Particles on Saturn's moon indicate liquid salt water (photo)
NASA says its Cassini spacecraft has discovered the best evidence yet for a large salt water reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn's moon Enceladus.
The fissures seen here have lead NASA scientists to believe there may be "ocean-like" liquid salt water on Enceladus, one of the dozens of moons that circle Saturn. The fissures spray icy particles, water vapor, and organic compounds--erupting from beneath the surface and into the atmosphere, NASA said today. The cosmic dust analyzer aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft found particles low in salt far away from the moon, but samples from closer to Enceladus' surface found that large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes, suggesting a composition beneath the surface that's similar to Earth's oceans, according to Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.