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The ice fountains of Enceladus Fountains of water ice blast thousands of kilometres above the surface of Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus. It is thought that the pull of Saturn's powerful gravity distorts the moon and heats the interior, forming an underground ocean. When this reservoir of water contacts the vacuum of space it vaporises and explodes above the moon. Any liquid water freezes instantly. Images of the ice fountains were first captured by the Cassini probe.

Backlit Saturn - Seen from the Cassini SpacecraftThe Cassini spacecraft was sent by NASA and ESA to study Saturn and its moons. Two of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus and Tethys, appear in the bottom right of this image. So far, the spacecraft has found new storm systems on Saturn, active geysers on its moon Enceladus, liquid oceans on its moon Titan, and many other unexpected discoveries.

The Cassini spacecraft took this view of Saturn’s moon Dione in October 2005, with the tranquil gold and blue hues of Saturn in the distance. The horizontal stripes near the bottom of the image are Saturn's rings