Enceladus - the Moon of Saturn

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 0 comments

Enceladus is the sixth largest moon of Saturn. Discovered in 1789 by British Astronomer and technical expert William Herschel. Very little was known about this moon until the two Voyager spacecraft passed near it in early 1980s.

The Voyagers identified water ice on the surface of the moon. Then the Cassini spacecraft discovered a water-rich plume venting from its south polar region. this discovery, along with the presence of escaping internal heat and less number of craters shows that Enceladus is geologically active even today.

It is also the one of the three outer solar system along wit Io and Triton where active eruptions have been observed.  Analysis of the outgassing suggests that it originates from a body of sub-surface liquid water, which along with the unique chemistry found in the plume, has fueled speculations that Enceladus may have some lifeforms.

NASA has reported that Enceladus is emerging as the most habitable spot beyond Earth in the Solar System for life as we know it. This could also be a new hope for finding a habitable zone.


Post a Comment


©Copyright 2011 Metanerds | TipsInside | Tweaktag