In this artist's rendering, a distant sun forms a halo (refracted sunlight by ice crystals) amid streamers of pure water ice particles, which spew into space from cracks in the south polar surface of Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus.

In this artist's rendering, a distant sun forms a halo (refracted sunlight by ice crystals) amid streamers of pure water ice particles, which spew into space from cracks in the south polar surface of Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus.

Cassini Pinpoints Source of Jets on Saturn's Moon Enceladus

In a feat of interplanetary sharpshooting, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has pinpointed precisely where the icy jets erupt from the surface of Saturn's geologically active moon Enceladus.

New carefully targeted pictures reveal exquisite details in the prominent south polar "tiger stripe" fractures from which the jets emanate. The images show the fractures are about 300 meters (980 feet) deep, with V-shaped inner walls. The outer flanks of some of the fractures show extensive deposits of fine material. Finely fractured terrain littered with blocks of ice tens of meters in size and larger (the size of small houses) surround the fractures.

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