James webb captures a huge “pillar of steam” from a moon of Saturn

2023-05-30 04:14:33

Astronomers have once again made a new discovery thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope. This time, they discovered a “huge watery cloud” from Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth-largest moon.

The discovery was presented during the conference of the Space Telescope Science Institutein Baltimore, which “could take the ingredients for life further into space than previously known,” according to the Nature magazine.

Likewise, the water is evidence of a possible life on the natural satellite. Enceladus is embedded in a thick layer of water iceand measurements suggest that a large ocean lies beneath that crust.

The plume is “huge,” said Sara Faggi, a planetary astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Although it is not the first time that scientists have seen Enceladus “spewing water into space”, James Webb’s sensitivity has amazed experts. That is, the steam jets extend much deeper into space than previously thought.

Scientists believe that the jets of water detected by the US agency’s Cassini telescope and spacecraft originate from “hydrothermal vents” coming from the ocean floor.

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