Saturn’s icy moon spurts huge plumes of water vapour


[Picture: NASA/JPL/SSI]

Huge plumes of water vapour have been seen spurting out into space from Enceladus – one of Saturn’s icy moons.

Astronomers made the discovery while using the James Webb telescope. The 504 km wide moon is well known for its geysers. However, this discovery has left astronomers on the edge of their seat.

The distance of the vapour streams spanned some 9600km. That’s the distance equivalent to that of flying from the UK to Japan.

Previous observations had tracked vapour emissions extending for hundreds of kilometers but this geyser is on a different scale.

The European Space Agency (Esa) calculated that that speed of the water gushing out was about 300 litres per second.

This is enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in just a few hours.


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