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Water on Enceladus

  1. Feb 6, 2008 #1

    wolram

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080206/sc_afp/spacesaturnmoon

    A tiny satellite measuring just 504 kilometres (315 miles) across, Enceladus has become one of the most fiercely debated objects in the Solar System, thanks to close-up pictures taken by the US probe Cassini.

    Enceladus has a brilliant white shell of ice that is untouched except for some strange-looking grooves and impacts from space rocks.

    Cassini revealed plumes of water vapour that gush from surface stripes near its south pole, shooting crystal jets upwards for hundreds of kilometres (miles) into space.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2009 #2
    I saw a programme about this recently on BBC4 'The Sky At Night' with Sir Patrick Moore. The ice geysers simply shouldn't be happening, according to conventional theory. It's really got the experts in a muddle BBC iPlayer - The Sky At Night: The Fountains of Enceladus
     
  4. Mar 6, 2009 #3
    My observation:

    Per this video from www.space.com with Cassini Scientist, Torrence Johnson speaking; the so-called plumes they are referring to do not appear to track per the rotation of the backlit Enceladus rather, they appear to track per the Sun. Per this lone clip, I wouldn't assume that which they are presently suggesting. I'd require more evidence than this (not to imply they are incorrect however).

    http://www.space.com/common/media/video/player.php?videoRef=Enceladus_web
     
  5. Mar 7, 2009 #4
    This should not detract from the high energy of the plumes originating from Enceladus. The standard model doesn't account for the high temperatures needed for this activity. The surface is also relatively free of cratering, suggesting that high energy activity on a global scale has led to recent resurfacing. This is especially clear when compared to Saturn's rocky moon's of Mimas and Iapetus which show extensive cratering from the time they were formed Gallery of Saturn's moons
     
  6. Mar 7, 2009 #5
    These may very well be “plumes” from Enceladus however, this particular video provides nothing in the way of conclusive evidence concerning this matter.

    In this video, the so-called “plumes” aren’t observed “rising vertically and pluming” (they are essentially “static” in appearance) nor does the video capture them repetitively in the act of “rising and pluming” per the same locations on Enceladus as it rotates, which would essentially confirm the existence of such a process. For the moment, it is merely an anomaly to be observed and studied.

    Yes, I find this anomaly intriguing, but I’m not one of those individuals who leap to premature conclusions from a video that provides nothing in the manner of conclusive evidence.
     
  7. Mar 10, 2009 #6
    I'm guessing that the didn't actually watch the BBC TV documentary then? The experts there were in no way disputing the reality of the 'ice geysers'.
     
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