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2014-07-28. Cassini Spacecraft Reveals 101 Geysers and more on Icy Saturn Moon.

posted Aug 25, 2014, 11:17 AM by Alan Gould

For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 7. NASA RELEASE 14-203. Excerpt: Scientists using mission data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus.  Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon’s underground sea all the way to its surface. ...After the first sighting of the geysers in 2005, scientists suspected repeated flexing of Enceladus by Saturn’s tides as the moon orbits the planet had something to do with their behavior.  ...Individual geysers were found to coincide with small-scale hot spots, only a few dozen feet (or tens of meters) across, which were too small to be produced by frictional heating, but the right size to be the result of condensation of vapor on the near-surface walls of the fractures. ...“Once we had these results in hand we knew right away heat was not causing the geysers, but vice versa,” said Carolyn Porco, leader of the Cassini imaging team from the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and lead author of the first paper. “It also told us the geysers are not a near-surface phenomenon, but have much deeper roots.” Additional details, images and an animation are available at: http://www.ciclops.org/view_event/202 More information about Cassini is available at: http://www.nasa.gov/cassini ...  http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/july/cassini-spacecraft-reveals-101-geysers-and-more-on-icy-saturn-moon/#.U_t6YkiprZE