The discovery was announced this week by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.
hre weite Entfernung und retrograde Bewegung geben den Astronomen Anlass zur Vermutung, dass Saturn in der Frühzeit des Sonnensystems wie unsere Sonne von einer Staubscheibe umgeben war, in der diese neuentdeckten Monde entstanden sind.
The Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer saw a much higher density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected. This dramatic increase in density was evident as the spacecraft flew over the area of the plumes.
Previous analyses inferred three different spectral types of Enceladean ice grains (Postberg et al. 2008, 2009a): Type 1 represents grains of almost pure water ice, Type 2 shows features consistent with grains containing significant amounts of organic material, and Type 3 is indicative of salt-rich water ice grains.
Before NASA’s Cassini mission studied Saturn and its moons for 13 years, beginning in 2004, Enceladus held many secrets. Cassini revealed that there was a global ocean between the moon’s icy crust and its rocky core.
Although the Cassini mission ended in a blaze of glory when it disintegrated in Saturn’s atmosphere, surprises from the data it collected will be released for years to come.
The Cassini spacecraft has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004, and after many years analyzing the data collected, Cassini has observed the first FTE at Saturn.