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Saturn Moon: Enceladus!

This Voyager 2 mosaic of Enceladus was made from images taken through the clear, violet and green filters on August 25, 1981, from a distance of 119,000 kilometers.


Discovered by William Herschel in 1789, Enceladus is one of the innermost moons of Saturn. Enceladus has the highest reflectivity (almost 100%) of any body in the solar system. Its surface, believed to be dominated by fresh, clean ice, is marked by few craters, smooth plains, and extensive fissures and ridges. Observations indicate that Enceladus has had five distinct geologic periods. The fresh surface suggests relatively recent volcanism, caused perhaps by tidal forces exerted by Saturn and the moon Dione, with which Enceladus forms a satellite pair

The surface temperature of Enceladus is -201 degrees C (-330 degrees F) and has a diverse surface, with all sorts of features that tell much about its history. There are cratered and non-cratered plains, many crustal deformations with fissures and rough terrain. The interior may be liquid although this goes against common logic because its low surface temperature would prohibit the formation of ice. However it is theorized that Enceladus is warmed by a tidal mechanism.


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