Geysers are Discovered On Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus

Photo+Courtesy+of+www.arcadiastreet.com

Photo Courtesy of www.arcadiastreet.com

A water jet has been discovered on the icy climate of Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons and a mission called Cassini, shows that the jet erupts when the moon is away from the planet, according to space.com.

Interest from scientists has increased since water can be a sign of life. Under the ice layer lies a salt water ocean, another piece of evidence that life on Enceladus is possible. The salt water might have the right conditions for microbes to survive according to foxnews.com.

“Astronomers noticed a long time ago that the orbit of Enceladus around Saturn coincides with a ring called the E Ring.  When we got to Saturn with Cassini we discovered that water vapor and ice particles are erupting from Enceladus, and going into orbit around Saturn, forming the E ring,” according to Dr.Candy Hanson, a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute of NASA, who led the study’s observational planning, in an interview with the Matador Messenger.

“So with our spacecraft we solved a mystery that had puzzled astronomers,”  she added.

Since 2004, many eruptions have occurred on  moon. They all contain a water vapor believed to be from the salt water ocean below the surface reported www.onthe.space

“We think that energy from tides is causing the eruptions.  Enceladus is in a slightly elliptical orbit, so as it gets closer and further from Saturn the gravitational “tugging” changes,” according to Dr.Cady Hanson, who lead the study’s observational planning, in an interview with the Matador Messenger.

Dr.Candy Hansen and her team focused on one jet called “Baghdad I” which makes up 8% of the total water plume. The plume consists of several jets along cracks in the moon. However the team is still unsure what is happening beneath the surface of Enceladus, space.com.

For students who enjoy astronomy, they may want to take the advice of Dr.Candy Hanson. “If that’s what you love – do it!  And take lots of math classes.”