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Monday, October 3, 2022
Home The Enceladus plume towers above the icy moon’s south pole, reaching hundreds of miles into space. Scientists wanted to know if observed large increases in the plume’s icy particle output were driven by a similarly large increase in water vapor. The latest finding is that no such increase is seen. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute) The Enceladus plume towers above the icy moon's south pole, reaching hundreds of miles into space. Scientists wanted to know if observed large increases in the plume's icy particle output were driven by a similarly large increase in water vapor. The latest finding is that no such increase is seen. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

The Enceladus plume towers above the icy moon’s south pole, reaching hundreds of miles into space. Scientists wanted to know if observed large increases in the plume’s icy particle output were driven by a similarly large increase in water vapor. The latest finding is that no such increase is seen. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

The Enceladus plume towers above the icy moon's south pole, reaching hundreds of miles into space. Scientists wanted to know if observed large increases in the plume's icy particle output were driven by a similarly large increase in water vapor. The latest finding is that no such increase is seen. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

The Enceladus plume towers above the icy moon’s south pole, reaching hundreds of miles into space. Scientists wanted to know if observed large increases in the plume’s icy particle output were driven by a similarly large increase in water vapor. The latest finding is that no such increase is seen. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

The gravitational pull of Saturn changes the amount of particles spraying from the south pole of Saturn’s active moon Enceladus at different points in its orbit. More particles make the plume appear much brighter in the infrared image at left. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Cornell/SSI)
Narrow jets of gas and icy particles erupt from the south polar region of Enceladus, contributing to the moon’s giant plume. A cycle of activity in these small-scale jets may be periodically lofting extra particles into space, causing the overall plume to brighten dramatically. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)