|Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/PSI|
The geysers of Saturn’s little moon are like sheets instead of jets, spelling trouble for theories of its ancient age and possible life.To read about Enceladus, Europa, and a small bit about the asteroid Ceres, click on "It’s Curtains for Enceladus". Further, take a look at "Saturn's Enceladus Looks Younger than Ever".
Enceladus has been in the news lately. Astrobiology Magazine (a NASA public outlet) is one of several news sources that reported on a new interpretation of the little moon’s south-pole geysers. New analysis of the plumes suggests that the eruptions come out in sheets or curtains, rather than individual jets. “Many features that appear to be individual jets of material erupting along the length of prominent fractures in the moon’s south polar region might be phantoms created by an optical illusion, according to the new study.”
Although the paper in Nature does not explicitly say so, the appearance of “broad vertical curtains extending over many kilometres of fracture” would seem to imply a greater volume of expelled material than previously thought. If so, this would require accounting for the mass loss over time.