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Are There Water Plumes at Dionne and Tethys?

Cassini simulation of Tethys occultation

Everyone is familiar with the dramatic plumes of water erupting from the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus, but it is important to determine whether similar processes occur on other icy satellites of Saturn. A number of stellar occulations by Tethys and Dione were planned by the Cassini mission to determine whether such plumes existed on those satellites and, if not, the limits of such activity. Such activity would be indicated by how a star faded out as it passed behind the moons - would it start fading before it hit the edge of the moons? Observations were executed, some using stars in the belt of Orion (simulated in image). The results were negative. These provide loose constraints that an eruption was not occurring at the time and place observed.  

Provided by Candy Hansen.

May 16, 2018
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