Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blue Moon

Scientist have discovered a new moon embedded in the "G-Ring" of the planet Saturn's distinctive ring structure (above). The Cassini orbiter took the photographs above of the 61st moon found to be orbiting Saturn. Nobody is quite sure how long the moon will survive continual impacts from dust and meteorites that comprise the ring.

The blue on Enceladus (right) is liquid water that out-gasses from the moon and creates the "E-Ring" around Saturn. The presence of liquid water indicates the possibility of subsurface life. Both Europa (Jovian Moon) and Enceladus (Saturn Moon) share the attention since both are icy moons with vast subterranean lakes of liquid water and iron cores that are heated due to tidal friction.

The next big mission of exploration of these unique worlds in our Solar System will be the Europa Jupiter System Mission currently under development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

1 comment:

WoFat said...

Wow! Just what everyone's been looking for.

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