Aug 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:55 AM EDT

Saturn's Icy Moon Enceladus May Have Tilted, According To Recent Photos From Cassini

May 31, 2017 12:14 PM EDT

The tiger stripes fracture is the evidence of Saturn's moon Enceladus tipped over.
(Photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Cornell University) The tiger stripes fracture is the evidence of Saturn's moon Enceladus tipped over.

Cassini finds that Enceladus may have tipped over in the distant past. The latest picture the Saturn's moon Enceladus showed that its north and south poles are reoriented.

According to NASA, the recent research from Cassini mission has found the evidence of tilted axis on the Saturn's moon Enceladus. This is clearly seen as the reorientation of the north and south pole lines. The possible cause for this tip over is a collision of the Saturn's moon Enceladus with an asteroid.

Cassini imaging team from the Cornell University Ithaca, New York has examined that Saturn's moon Enceladus seems to have tipped away from its axis by around 55 degrees. That means the Enceladus rolled more than halfway onto its side as noted by the associate of the Cornell University imaging team, Radwan Tajeddine. The researchers have also published their research in the journal Science Direct.

In the earlier photo of Cassini mission, taken in 2005, there are jets of water vapor and icy particles spray from the tiger stripe fractures. This indicated the underground ocean in the Saturn's moon Enceladus has emitted directly into space from beneath the south polar terrain.

"The geological activity in this terrain is unlikely to have been initiated by internal processes," Tajeddin said about the axis reorientation of the Saturn's moon Enceladus. "It's possible that an impact was behind the formation of this anomalous terrain."

The axis reorientation of Saturn's moon Enceladus has caused the redistribution of the Enceladus mass. The redistribution has made the rotation of the moon to become wobbly and unsteady. However, the rotation will be stabilized eventually in a million years after its north and south poles have passed the reorientation mechanism, known as "true polar wander."

The polar wander of Saturn's moon Enceladus will reorient its axis in order to realign its largest moment inertia of the spin axis. Watch the report from the NASA regarding the crack in the Enceladus below:

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