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This picture shows Enceladus. It is one of Saturn's moons. The picture is from the Cassini spacecraft. The moon's South Pole is towards the left side of the picture. Can you see the "Tiger Stripes" there?
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Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Enceladus

Saturn has moons. Enceladus is one of them. Enceladus is the sixth biggest moon of Saturn. The diameter of Enceladus is 505 km (314 miles).

Enceladus is very interesting. It is also very strange. It is made of ice. There are many cracks in the ice near the moon's South Pole. The South Pole of Enceladus is warmer than the rest of the moon. That is very odd.

Have you heard of "Old Faithful" geyser in Yellowstone Park? It shoots hot water and steam up into the air. Some scientists think there are geysers on Enceladus. They shoot out cold water and ice crystals instead of hot water and steam. The geysers are near the South Pole of Enceladus, where the cracks are.

Some of the ice from the geysers falls back onto Enceladus. It covers the moon with shiny, fresh ice. It reflects lots of light, like fresh snow does. Some of the ice makes the atmosphere of Enceladus. Most of the atmosphere is on the side near the geysers. Some of the ice from the geysers goes into space. It makes one of the rings of Saturn! The orbit of Enceladus is inside of a ring.

The name "Enceladus" is from Greek mythology. Enceladus was a giant. He was one of the children of Gaia. He fought against the Greek gods. A goddess named Athena killed him. He was buried under a volcano!

Last modified January 22, 2009 by Randy Russell.

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