Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Geysers of Enceladus

My favorite moon. 

That's Saturn in the foreground, and the crescent Enceladus behind it.  The remarkable bit about this shot is the erupting geysers clearly visible at the south pole of Enceladus (at the very bottom of the crescent; click the picture to make it bigger).  Wow.  These ice geysers are coming from quarter mile deep cracks in the surface of the ice, called the Tiger Stripes.  The Cassini probe keeps making passes over this section, and on this last pass, on Feb 23, observed 30 geysers.  This was once supposed to be a dead moon, all rock and ice.  Now we know it to be alive with geological activity, and likely hiding a great lake of water beneath all that ice (though the jury is out on that).

Curiouser and curiouser.

Here's a close-up.
 
Thanks to Cassini, and to Bad Astronomy, for the pix.

7 comments:

slommler said...

Yes very curious! And beautiful
Thanks
Hugs
SueAnn

Gordo said...

It's got to be the best name for a moon, too. Very cool pics.

Hilary said...

Very cool. The closeup looks like an icy railing I photographed the other day.

Dominic Rivron said...

Diamond geysers! I've a telescope which shows Titan as a little dot next to Saturn. I don't think I'm likely to see these with it!

オテモヤン said...

オナニー
逆援助
SEX
フェラチオ
ソープ
逆援助
出張ホスト
手コキ
おっぱい
フェラチオ
中出し
セックス
デリヘル
包茎
逆援
性欲

Clowncar said...

Thanks for saying so, SueAnn.

Io is a pretty cool name too, Gordo. And Ganymede.

Hil, it's weird how the big stuff reminds us of the little stuff, and the little stuff reminds us of the big stuff. Infinite regression.

Dom, my telescope only shows Titan as a dot too. I can catch the brighter galaxies though. What size scope do you have?

Back atcha, オテモヤン

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

So very beautiful.

Thank you for sharing it.



Scarlett & Viaggiatore