Scientists Discover Fresh Ice On Saturn’s Sixth Largest Moon Enceladus

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The US space agency NASA has claimed to find strong evidence of fresh ice on one of Saturn’s moons. The agency said that fresh ice was found on Enceladus. Enceladus is one of Saturn’s 82 moons. Scientists studied the data gathered by Cassini spacecraft. They analyzed the infrared pictures of Enceladus to arrive at this conclusion. The ice was said to be resurfaced from Enceladus’ interior. The images provided the most detailed infrared views of the moon. Scientists said that the fresh ice was resurfaced at the northern hemisphere of the moon. The discovery of fresh ice on Enceladus makes it one of the most promising places in the solar system for scientists to look for life.

Cassini spacecraft was launched in 1997. It entered into the planet’s orbit in 2004. Its objective was to study Saturn and its system. The spacecraft was declared dead in 2017. During its probe, Cassini spacecraft clicked pictures of Saturn, its rings, and moons. Enceladus comes at the sixth position in terms of its size in the list of Saturn’s moons. The diameter of the moon is approximately 500 km which is a tenth of Titan. Titan is Saturn’s largest moon. In 2005, scientists revealed that Enceladus is mostly covered by ice. The ice was fresh and clean. This makes Enceladus one of the most reflective bodies in the entire solar system. The surface temperature of Enceladus reaches minus 198 degrees Celsius in the afternoon.

NASA said that the Cassini spacecraft used its Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer to gather light reflected from the gas giant, its rings, and its icy moons. It then separated the light into its different wavelengths. Scientists combined the data with images clicked by the spacecraft’s Imaging Science Subsystem. This helped the scientists to learn more about Enceladus’ materials. Enceladus is highly reflective and looks like a bright white snowball. Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun. It is the second-largest planet after Jupiter. Its radius is nine times that of Earth. Its ring system comprises ice particles, rocky debris, and dust.

 

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