Enceladus as viewed from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft

Enceladus as viewed from NASA's Cassini spacecraft

Enceladus as viewed from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. It is Saturn’s sixth largest moon, only 157 miles (252 km) in mean radius, but it’s one of the most scientifically compelling bodies in our solar system. Hydrothermal vents spew water vapor and ice particles from an underground ocean beneath the icy crust of Enceladus. This plume of material includes organic compounds, volatile gases, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, salts and silica.

With its global ocean, unique chemistry and internal heat, Enceladus has become a promising lead in our search for worlds where life could exist. Image: NASA.gov

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