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Enceladus Globe

Image of Enceladus Globe
TIGER STRIPES ON ENCELADUS: Close fly-bys of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft revealed an array of narrow linear cracks straddling Enceladus’ south pole, a region of relatively higher temperature. Visible in this false-color composite image, they are called ‘tiger stripes,’ and are fissures in the surface where jets are spraying icy particles, water vapor, and organic compounds. Many jets erupt all along the tiger stripes, and the vigor of individual jets can vary with time. Some scientists infer that the warmer the temperatures are at the surface, the greater the likelihood that jets are erupting from liquid. If true, could this liquid subsurface environment enriched with organic molecules (compounds necessary for life as we know it) be a possible habitat for extraterrestrial life? Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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