Cassini observes the active south pole of enceladus

C. C. Porco, P. Helfenstein, P. C. Thomas, A. P. Ingersoll, J. Wisdom, R. West, G. Neukum, T. Denk, R. Wagner, T. Roatsch, S. Kieffer, E. Turtle, A. McEwen, T. V. Johnson, J. Rathbun, J. Veverka, D. Wilson, J. Perry, J. Spitale, A. BrahicJ. A. Burns, A. D. DelGenio, L. Dones, C. D. Murray, S. Squyres

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Abstract

Cassini has identified a geologically active province at the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus. In images acquired by the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), this region is circumscribed by a chain of folded ridges and troughs at ∼55°S latitude. The terrain southward of this boundary is distinguished by its albedo and color contrasts, elevated temperatures, extreme geologic youth, and narrow tectonic rifts that exhibit coarse-grained ice and coincide with the hottest temperatures measured in the region. Jets of fine icy particles that supply Saturn's E ring emanate from this province, carried aloft by water vapor probably venting from subsurface reservoirs of liquid water. The shape of Enceladus suggests a possible intense heating epoch in the past by capture into a 1:4 secondary spin/orbit resonance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1393-1401
Number of pages9
JournalScience
Volume311
Issue number5766
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 10 2006

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    Porco, C. C., Helfenstein, P., Thomas, P. C., Ingersoll, A. P., Wisdom, J., West, R., Neukum, G., Denk, T., Wagner, R., Roatsch, T., Kieffer, S., Turtle, E., McEwen, A., Johnson, T. V., Rathbun, J., Veverka, J., Wilson, D., Perry, J., Spitale, J., ... Squyres, S. (2006). Cassini observes the active south pole of enceladus. Science, 311(5766), 1393-1401. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1123013