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Jets of Icy Spray from Saturn Moon Enceladus Could Be ‘Curtain Eruptions’

Many features thought to be discrete jets of material erupting from Saturn's moon Enceladus might actually be diffuse curtain eruptions extending along the length of prominent fractures, according to a paper by PSI Senior Scientist Joseph Spitale.
Based on simulations, researchers using data from NASA’s Cassini mission determined eruptions of fine, icy particles from Enceladus’ south polar region are better explained as diffuse curtain eruptions extending along the length of prominent fractures than the discrete jets identified in earlier studies.
Spitale is lead author of “Curtain eruptions from Enceladus’ south-polar terrain” published May 7  in the journal Nature.
Above, recent research suggests much of the eruption activity on the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus could be in the form of broad, curtain-like eruptions rather than discrete jets.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/PSI
May 18, 2015
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