One of the weirder critters orbiting Saturn is Enceladus, a moon with huge ice-geysers spewing from its south pole. No one knows exactly what's up with those geysers, though the leading theory seems to be internal heating due to the stresses put on the moon by Saturn's gravity. Predictably, the Babe in the Universe believes it is a good place to look for a black hole. Who knows, she may be right; she's much smarter than I am.
At any rate, NASA pulled off a seriously cool trick earlier this week, by flying the Cassini probe straight into an ice-geyser, skimming just 30 miles above the surface, while going 32,000 miles an hour. It must have been cool to see (and since water implies life, maybe it was seen). I read that some sensors shut down at a crucial moment, leaving a big hole in the data, but Cassini is gonna do nine more fly-bys, so the mission is hardly a failure.
The coolest thing about Enceladus is that it is responsible for its own ring. The astounding picture below actually shows the geyser dumping ice and water vapor into Saturn's E ring. That shot just amazes me (click it to enlarge it). Apparently they got the image by flying Cassini into a spot where the Sun was blocked by Saturn, but light was still shining on the ice crystals as they fell into orbit.
I don't have any fancy-pants literary metaphor to hang onto the ice-geysers, or the Cassini fly-by, or Enceladus. I suppose I could come up with something, but it would pale when compared to the reality of the whole thing. So I'll leave it alone. You can check out the raw images from Cassini here.