{ Moons of Saturn }
Discovered by            William Herschel 
Date of Discovery        1789
Distance from Saturn     238,020 km
Radius                   256.3 × 247.3 × 244.6 km
Mass                     7 × 10^22 g
Orbital Eccentricity     0.00452
Orbital Inclination      0.00°
Orbital Period           1.370217855 days
Rotational Period        Synchronous
Density (gm/cm3)         ??? 

Enceladus wins the prize for most reflective moon in the solar system. Not in the sense that it is sentient, rather the surface reflects nearly all the light it receives. Although it has craters from meteor impacts, some unknown geologic process has rendered vast areas of the moon smooth. Since it is composed nearly entirely of water ice, many scientists believe it has, or has had in the recent past, a liquid core. The suggested heat source for this liquidity is gravity. Gravitational forces from Saturn and the nearby moons Tethys and Diomed are believed to cause tides, similar to the tides in on Jupiter's moon, Io. Like Io, the inconstant pull of Saturn and the other moons causes friction, and therfore heating, within Enceladus. Some even believe that this heating has caused geysers in Enceladus's past, and water from these eruptions are the source of Saturn's E ring, which is near Enceladus. Neither this phenomena, nor the source of any other geologic activity, has been observed, though.

In addition to craters and smooth parts, Enceladus also has lots of cracks and fissures. Due to the reflectivity of the surface, the temperature is a relatively balmy -201° C.


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