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Space scientists say their discoveries about Saturn's moon Enceladus are stunning, if just a little baffling. Using the instrument-packed Cassini probe, they have confirmed that the 500km-wide world has an atmosphere. They have also seen a "hotspot" at the icy moon's south pole, which is riven with cracks dubbed "tiger stripes".


 water ice Moon atmosphere Cassini Saturn Enceladus mirror
Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus may be the best place to look for life elsewhere in the Solar System. ... Enceladus contains simple organic molecules, water and heat, the ingredients for life.


 water Moon extraterrestrial life Cassini Saturn Enceladus organic heat
The plumes of water that erupt from Saturn's icy satellite Enceladus can be traced back to a radioactive "meltdown" shortly after the moon formed. The discovery, in 2005, of water vapour spewing from geysers at Enceladus' south pole took scientists by surprise. How this tiny, ice-covered moon generated the amounts of heat needed to fuel these eruptions was a puzzle. Now scientists say a short-lived burst of...


 water ice Moon Cassini Saturn Enceladus Voyager 2
Nasa has released the latest raw images of Saturn's moon Enceladus, from the Cassini spacecraft's extended mission to the planet and its satellites.
 Cassini Saturn Enceladus moon toread
The Cassini spacecraft has made its lowest pass yet over the south pole of Enceladus, an active moon of Saturn which may harbour a liquid water ocean. The flyby, at an altitude of 74km, allowed Cassini to "taste" the jets of ice and water vapour that gush from the moon's polar region. Several lines of evidence suggest these jets are fed by a liquid water ocean beneath Enceladus' outer icy shell.


 moon Cassini Saturn Enceladus water ocean freeze ice extraterrestrial life