Icy moon Enceladus spews massive water plume.

Astronomers have detected a huge plume of water vapour spurting out into space from Enceladus, an icy moon of Saturn.

The 504km-wide (313 miles) moon is well known for its geysers, but this is a particularly big one.

The water stream spans some 9,600km - a distance equivalent to that of flying from the UK to Japan.

Scientists are fascinated by Enceladus because its sub-surface salty ocean - the source of the water - could hold the basic conditions to support life.

Nasa's Cassini mission (2004-2017) gathered tantalising evidence of the necessary chemistry by regularly flying through the geysers and sampling the water with its instruments - although it made no direct detection of biology.

The new super-plume was spied by the James Webb Space Telescope. Previous observations had tracked vapour emissions extending for hundreds of kilometres, but this geyser is on a different scale.

Source: www.bbc.com

No comments:

Post a Comment




Popular Posts

Blog Archive

Recent Posts