Jets of Enceladus

Photojournal: PIA08386

Imaging scientists with NASA's Cassini mission used views like this one to help them identify the source locations for individual jets spurting ice particles, water vapor and trace organic compounds from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Some lines of evidence suggest this small, icy moon may possess subsurface reservoirs of liquid water. The ability to conduct a long-term, detailed study of the moon's activity using Cassini has led scientists to place Enceladus high on the list of worlds to look for habitable environments—places where conditions might be suitable for the development of living things.

The image is a false-color view, processed to reveal subtleties in the brightness of the overall plume that comprises the jets. The final product was colored as blue for dramatic effect.


NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute


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