NASA's Cassini mission has posted a new photo of Saturn's moon Enceladus emitting a stunning plume of water vapor longer than the moon is wide.

Enceladus' water jets were first confirmed back in 2005. Since then, the Cassini team has identified at least 98 geysers like this one localized near the moon's south pole. Recent images have shown this water vapor is sometimes expelled so violently that it makes it all the way to Saturn itself, making Enceladus the only known moon to affect its planet's climate directly.


The Cassini spacecraft has flown through these jets, and found them to contain water, organic material, and salt levels similar to that of our own oceans. If Enceladus is harboring a subsurface ocean, as planetary scientists think it is, it could make one of the most attractive destinations in the entire solar system in our search for life.

[Cassini via Universe Today]

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