Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gee Whiz, Cool and Far Out on Enceladus

Sometimes the "gee whiz" of science gets lost, especially in the debate over climate change. Which is a shame, because it's a big reason why people go into science.... But lots of things in science are just...cool... and ...far out.... Like this remarkable photograph - geysers of water vapor and ice particles on the Saturnian, icy ["cool"] moon Enceladus ["far out"]. Scientists now know of 101 of them.

Plumes erupt from Enceladus.

I haven't been able to find their height, but from the curvature of the moon's horizon (it's radius is 252 km), I'd guess a couple of tens of kilometers, at least.

This artist's rendering shows a cross-section of the ice shell beneath one of Enceladus' geyser-active fractures

Here's a surface map of them, if you're planning on landing there anytime soon:

Geysers on Enceladus

1 comment:

tonylearns said...

I would personally want to avoid them if landing there. I know , they may be harmless, but when outside Mars orbit, with little chance of rescue, I like to play it safe