Saturn's Moon Hints at Water

High speeds strongly hint at liquid water's presence
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Nov 26, 2008 4:44 PM CST
Enceladus is seen here as a white disk across the unilluminated side of Saturn's rings (black and white stripes across the bottom of the image).   (AP Photo/NASA)
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(Newser) – Plumes of gas and dust firing off one of Saturn's moons are moving at speeds “hard to do without liquids,” astronomers say, strongly suggesting the presence of water and raising the possibility of the moon supporting life. As Enceladus continues “helpfully spewing out its innards,” evidence of liquid H2O “is building,” a scientist tells the AP.

Scientists used images from NASA's Cassini probe to measure the faster-than-sound speed—more than 1,360 mph—at which dust and gas is shooting off Enceladus, one of Saturn's 60 moons. The land mass has the right components for potential life, making it the "go-to place" for outer planet exploration, says a NASA astronomer.