Scientists have collected the strongest evidence yet that Saturn moon Enceladus has a large saltwater ocean lurking beneath its surface.
Samples of ice spray shooting out of the moon have been collected by the Nasa's Cassini spacecraft during one of its frequent Saturn fly-bys.
The plumes shooting water vapor and tiny grains of ice into space were originally discovered emanating from Enceladus - one of 19 known moons of Saturn - by the Cassini spacecraft in 2005.
Samples of ice spray shooting out of Saturn moon Enceladus have been collected by Nasa's Cassini spacecraft. Scientists believe it is the strongest evidence yet that Enceladus has a large saltwater ocean lurking beneath its surface
They were originating from the so-called 'tiger stripe' surface fractures at the moon's south pole and apparently have created the material for the faint E Ring that traces the orbit of Enceladus around Saturn.
During three of Cassini's passes through the plume in 2008 and 2009, the Cosmic Dust Analyser (CDA) on board measured the composition of freshly ejected plume grains.