Plume and Shadow

Cassini captured this image last summer. You can see the shadow of the moon Enceladus trailing to the upper left of the moon as well as the shimmer of ice particlaes erupting from the south pole.

Mission scientists are planning a daring pass through that fountain of ice just miles above the Enceladan surface later in the mission. For the secondary mission (2008-10) seven more encounters are planned. The hope is to solve some questions, the main one being: just how warm is it inside this little moon?

Some folks are touting this moon as a prime possible location for extra-terrestrial life. I don’t share their hopes, but I think the geology will be utterly fascinating.

From the wikipedia, here’s a comparison of Saturn’s moon with a major Earth island group:

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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