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‘Snow-cannon’ Enceladus shines up Saturn’s super-reflector moons

17 Sep 2019, 09:05 UTC
‘Snow-cannon’ Enceladus shines up Saturn’s super-reflector moons NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Radar observations of Saturn’s moons, Mimas, Enceladus and Tethys, show that Enceladus is acting as a ‘snow-cannon’, coating itself and its neighbours with fresh water-ice particles to make them dazzlingly reflective. The extreme radar brightness also points to the presence of ‘boomerang’ structures beneath the surface that boost the moons’ efficiency in returning the microwave signals to the spacecraft. The results will be presented at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 in Geneva by Dr Alice Le Gall.

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