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Enigmatic plumes from Saturn's moon caused by cosmic collision

Enceladus' south pole is wounded, bleeding heat and water. Its injury may have come from a huge rock smashing into this frigid moon of Saturn less than 100 million years ago, leaving the area riddled with leaky cracks.
The region near Enceladus' south pole marks one of the solar system's most intriguing mysteries. It spews plumes of liquid from an interior ocean, plus an enormous amount of heat. The south pole's heat emission is about 10 gigawatts higher than expected - equivalent to the power of 4000 wind turbines running at full capacity. The rest of the moon, though, is cold and relatively homogeneous.

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Enceladus' south pole is warm under the frost

Over the past decade, the international Cassini mission has revealed intense activity at the southern pole of Saturn's icy moon, Enceladus, with warm fractures venting water-rich jets that hint at an underground sea. A new study, based on microwave observations of this region, shows that the moon is warmer than expected just a few metres below its icy surface. This suggests that heat is produced over a broad area in this polar region and transported under the crust, and that Enceladus' reservoir of liquid water might be lurking only a few kilometres beneath.
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Enceladus ocean 'must be global'

Scientists have determined that the sub-surface body of water on the Saturnian moon Enceladus must be far more extensive than first thought.
Using pictures from the Cassini probe, the researchers have detected and tracked a slight wobble in the moon.

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Under Saturnian moon's icy crust lies a 'global' ocean

By measuring with exquisite precision the tiny wobbles of Saturn's moon Enceladus - whose cosmic quavers are detectable only in high-resolution images taken by NASAs Cassini spacecraft - Cornell University researchers have learned that a global ocean lies beneath the moons thick icy crust.
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Saturn's moon Enceladus Activity Could Be 'Curtain Eruptions'

New research using data from NASA's Cassini mission suggests most of the eruptions from Saturn's moon Enceladus might be diffuse curtains rather than discrete jets. Many features that appear to be individual jets of material erupting along the length of prominent fractures in the moon's south polar region might be phantoms created by an optical illusion, according to the new study.
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Hydrothermal activity on Enceladus

Tiny grains of rock detected by the international Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn point to hydrothermal activity on the seafloor of its icy moon Enceladus.
The finding adds to the tantalising possibility that the moon could contain environments suitable for living organisms.

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Cassini Spacecraft Reveals 101 Geysers and more on Icy Saturn Moon

Scientists using mission data from NASAs Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturns icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moons underground sea all the way to its surface.
These findings, and clues to what powers the geyser eruptions, are presented in two articles published in the current online edition of the Astronomical Journal.

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Saturn's Enceladus moon hides 'great lake' of water

The evidence for an "ocean" of water under the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus appears to be overwhelming.
The little world has excited scientists ever since jets of icy material were seen squirting into space from a striped region at its south pole.
Now, exquisite measurements using Nasa's Cassini probe as it flew over the moon have allowed researchers to detect the water's gravitational signal.
 
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NASA Space Assets Detect Ocean inside Saturn Moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes.
Researchers theorized the presence of an interior reservoir of water in 2005 when Cassini discovered water vapor and ice spewing from vents near the moon's south pole. The new data provide the first geophysical measurements of the internal structure of Enceladus, consistent with the existence of a hidden ocean inside the moon. Findings from the gravity measurements are in the Friday April 4 edition of the journal Science.

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Icy moon Enceladus has underground sea

Saturn's icy moon Enceladus has an underground sea of liquid water, according to the international Cassini spacecraft.
Understanding the interior structure of 500 km-diameter Enceladus has been a top priority of the Cassini mission since plumes of ice and water vapour were discovered jetting from 'tiger stripe' fractures at the moon's south pole in 2005.
Subsequent observations of the jets showed them to be relatively warm compared with other regions of the moon and to be salty - strong arguments for there being liquid water below the surface.

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