Saturn's moon Enceladus emits plumes of water vapour and ice particles from fractures near its south pole, suggesting the possibility of a subsurface ocean. These plume particles are the dominant source of Saturn's E ring. A previous in situ analysis of these particles concluded that the minor organic or siliceous components, identified in many ice grains, could be evidence for interaction between Enceladus' rocky core and liquid water. It was not clear, however, whether the liquid is still present today or whether it has frozen. Here we report the identification of a population of E-ring grains that are rich in sodium salts (∼0.5-2% by mass), which can arise only if the plumes originate from liquid water. The abundance of various salt components in these particles, as well as the inferred basic pH, exhibit a compelling similarity to the predicted composition of a subsurface Enceladus ocean in contact with its rock core. The plume vapour is expected to be free of atomic sodium. Thus, the absence of sodium from optical spectra is in good agreement with our results. In the E ring the upper limit for spectroscopy is insufficiently sensitive to detect the concentrations we found.
We examine Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem images of the E ring taken over a period of almost 7 yr, from 2006 September to 2013 July, in which long, sinuous structures dubbed tendrils are present. We model these structures by numerically integrating the trajectories of particles launched from the sources of the most active geysers recently located along the four main fractures crossing the south polar terrain of the moon, and producing from these integrations synthetic images that we then compare to the real ones. We include the effects of charging and the electromagnetic forces on the particles in addition to the gravity of Saturn and Enceladus. We demonstrate that these structures are produced by the highest velocity particles erupting from the most active geysers and entering Saturn's orbit, and not perturbations of E ring particles by Enceladus. The detailed structures of the tendrils change with the orbital position of Enceladus, a finding likely to be the result of the diurnal variability in the source activity.
During Cassini's close flyby of Enceladus on 14 July 2005, the High Rate Detector of the Cosmic Dust Analyzer registered micron-sized dust particles enveloping this satellite. The dust impact rate peaked about 1 minute before the closest approach of the spacecraft to the moon. This asymmetric signature is consistent with a locally enhanced dust production in the south polar region of Enceladus. Other Cassini experiments revealed evidence for geophysical activities near Enceladus' south pole: a high surface temperature and a release of water gas. Production or release of dust particles related to these processes may provide the dominant source of Saturn's E ring.
We present several independent in-situ measurements, which provide evidence that charged dust in the E-ring interacts collectively with the dense surrounding plasma disk of Saturn, i.e., form a system of dust-plasma interaction. The results are based on data sampled by the Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) investigation onboard Cassini, which allows for interferometry of plasma density inhomogeneities (δ / ) with two antenna elements and a Langmuir probe sensor. The interferometer experiment detects two ion populations; one co-rotating with the planetary magnetic field and another moving with near Keplerian speed around Saturn. The full range of RPWS measurements indicates that the Keplerian population consists of colder ions (
We present the first in situ direct measurement of the composition of particles in Saturn's rings. The Cassini cosmic dust analyser (CDA) measured the mass spectra of nearly 300 impacting dust particles during the 2004 October E ring crossing. An initial interpretation of the data shows that the particles are predominantly water ice, with minor contributions from possible combinations of silicates, carbon dioxide, ammonia, molecular nitrogen, hydrocarbons and perhaps carbon monoxide. This places constraints on both the composition of Enceladus, the main source of the E ring, as well as the grain formation mechanisms.
Abstract A stereoselective synthesis of the bicyclic unit constituting the A and E rings of calyciphylline B-type alkaloids is disclosed. The propionate ester of (1 R )-cyclohex-2-en-1-ol, obtained by enzymatic resolution, is subjected to an Ireland–Claisen rearrangement. Subsequent reduction of the acid, Mitsunobu reaction to introduce a nitrogen functionality, oxidative cleavage to a dialdehyde, and intramolecular aldol and aza-Michael reactions afford the bicyclic subunit.