Friday, March 14, 2008

Enceladus


Enceladus is not justy a tasty mexican dish, but also one of the moons of Saturn. It's been in the news recently as NASA's Cassini space probe has been passing close by taking photos, and analysing a huge geyser that is pouring out nearly 500km into space from beneath the surface of the frozen moon.


The moon was named in 1789, long before the geyser was discovered, but it's turned out to be an extremely appropriate name. In Greek mythology, Enceladus was one of the Giants; he was wounded in the war between the giants and the Olympian gods, and buried on Sicily, beneath the volcanic Mt Etna. The volcano's eruptions were said to be the giant's fiery breath, and earthquakes occurred when he rolled over. Scientists still aren't quite sure what is causing the geyser on Enceladus- perhaps they should consider the existence of a giant imprisoned under the icy surface.

[there are more great photos from the Cassini probe here]

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, sir.
I was just wonedring whether you could tell me what the words encephelitis lethargica mean, if they do mean anything.

Thankyou.

jm said...

i can't tell you much about the disease, but the words themselves come from Greek (i think) and mean soemthing like 'in the head' and 'sleepy'.

Shakthi said...

perhaps the giant is celebrating at finally waking up...