10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Enceladus

Enceladus circles Saturn at a distance of 148,000 miles between the courses of two other moons known as Mimas and Tethys.

There are over 60 moons orbiting Saturn, and Enceladus is one of them. Enceladus is basically a small world covered in ice. It is, however, smaller than the Earth and is quite far from the sun. Scientists haven’t been able to study Enceladus accurately, mainly because it’s quite far.

enceladus
Plumes spray water ice and vapour from many locations along with the so-called “tiger stripes” crossing Enceladus’ south polar terrain. The four prominent fractures are about 84 miles long. Source: NASA

However, I have accumulated ten fascinating facts about Enceladus. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?

1) It is known as Saturn’s sixth-largest moon:

Enceladus has a diameter of only 310 miles, and a mass less than 1/50,000 that of Earth. When it comes to places to look for life, Enceladus is at the top of the list. According to various scientists and astronomers, Enceladus can house humans mainly because it has liquid water. Yes, it is not just a massive ball of ice. Hence, it has obtained quite a lot of interest over the past decades.

2) It was discovered in 1789:

One of the English astronomers called William Herschel discovered Enceladus in around 1789. However, it remained a mystery until 2004. Enceladus garnered quite a bit of interest when the Cassini mission began circling Saturn in 2004.

3) Discovery of water in Enceladus:

Only a handful of the worlds in our solar system contain liquid water. The most enthralling thing about Enceladus is that it sprays its water out into space, where a spacecraft can sample it. Hence, with the help of these accumulated samples, scientists have learned that Enceladus has most of the chemical ingredients needed for life. Its water is full of minerals.

4) Whitest surface in the solar system:

Enceladus also has the whitest, most reflective surface in the solar system. It creates a ring of its own as it circles Saturn. Moreover, its spray of icy particles or water spreads out into the space around its range.

5) Pictures clicked by the Voyager spacecraft:

Pictures accumulated by the Voyager spacecraft in the 1980s revealed the actual size of the moon. Moreover, astronomers were also able to notice its icy surface; it is smooth in some places, and bright white all over. As stated before, Enceladus is the most reflective planet in the solar system.

6) Cold temperature:

The surface temperature of Enceladus is extremely cold, about minus 330 degrees Fahrenheit. As per various reports, the weather conditions of the said planet are bearable, and it can easily sustain life.

7) Cassini’s magnetometer:

Cassini’s magnetometer identified something strange in Saturn’s magnetic field near Enceladus. The magnetometer suggested that the moon was active. Experts could also spot water vapours and icy bits emanating from massive crevices located on the planet.

8) Enceladus revolves around Saturn:

Enceladus circles Saturn at a distance of 148,000 miles between the courses of two other moons known as Mimas and Tethys. Enceladus is tidally locked with Saturn. Hence, it presents the same face toward the planet. Moreover, it completes one round in about 32.9 hours.

9) Impact craters on Enceladus:

Multiple areas of Enceladus show craters that are approximately 22 miles in diameter. Moreover, as per reports, the south polar region of Enceladus does not have any impact craters. The area also contains massive ice rocks and slabs.

10) Enceladus of Greek mythology:

Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, is named after the giant Enceladus of Greek mythology. William Herschel’s son, John Herschel, proposed this name in his 1847 publication “Results of Astronomical Observation”.

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