Published On: Mon, Feb 6th, 2017

NASA’s Cassini Views a Potentially Hospitable Enceladus

New Cassini View of a Potentially Hospitable Enceladus

This newly expelled Cassini picture shows a Saturn-facing hemisphere of Enceladus.

Seen from outside, Enceladus appears to be like many of a kin moons: cold, icy and inhospitable. But underneath that ominous extraneous might exist a really conditions indispensable for life.

Over a march of a Cassini mission, observations have shown that Enceladus (313 miles or 504 kilometers across) not usually has flowing jets promulgation icy grains into space; underneath a icy membrane it also has a tellurian ocean, and might have hydrothermal activity as well. Since scientists trust glass H2O is a pivotal part for life, a implications for destiny missions acid for life elsewhere in a solar complement could be significant.

This perspective looks toward a Saturn-facing hemisphere of Enceladus. North on Enceladus is adult and rotated 6 degrees to a right. The picture was taken in immature light with a Cassini booster narrow-angle camera on Nov 27, 2016.

The perspective was performed during a stretch of approximately 81,000 miles (130,000 kilometers) from Enceladus. Image scale is 2,566 feet (782 meters) per pixel.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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