Enceladus, yet another moon with blatant expansion tectonics, has a visible plasma corona just like the Sun.
Royal Astronomical Society: Charged dust from inside Enceladus. (Via Universe Today)
A team of planetary scientists working on the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens mission has discovered tiny, charged icy particles in the plume from Saturn’s moon Enceladus that offer a tantalising glimpse of the interior of this enigmatic world. Dr Geraint Jones and Dr Chris Arridge, both from University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, will present the results on behalf of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) instrument team on Wednesday 22nd April at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science conference at the University of Hertfordshire.
Cassini has been exploring Saturn and its moons since 2004. Five hundred kilometre (300 mile)-wide Enceladus, discovered from Slough in 1789 by William Herschel, has been found by Cassini’s suite of instruments to possess active jets near its southern pole that spew gas and water out into space over thousands of kilometres. During two particularly close flybys of the moon in 2008, skimming only 52 and 25 km from the surface at around 15 km per second (54000 km per hour), the CAPS instrument on the spacecraft was pointed to scoop up gas as it zoomed through the plume.
The CAPS instrument is designed to detect charged gas (plasma) ....