PUBLISHED: 12:29, Wed, Nov 25, 2020 | UPDATED: 12:30, Wed, Nov 25, 2020
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest in the Solar System, behind only Jupiter. It is a gas giant with an average radius of about nine times that of Earth, but it is best known for its prominent ring system. NASA sent its Cassini probe into orbit of the planet to study the unique features and also the surrounding natural satellites.
But the Discovery Channel’s ‘NASA’s Unexplained Files’ revealed how the space agency’s plans soon changed when they spotted activity on the moon of Enceladus.
The narrator said: “NASA’s billion-dollar probe Cassini on a fly-by past Saturn when it captures images of something unusual on the icy moon Enceladus.
“Enormous plumes of a mysterious vapour are jetting from the frozen moon’s south pole.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
“They look so much like geothermal eruptions on Earth that scientists call them geysers.
NASA made a breakthrough near Saturn (Image: GETTY)
Cassini was sent on a mission to Saturn (Image: GETTY)
“They are more than 8,000 times larger than any geyser found on our planet.
“This is a huge discovery. If there is water flowing on Enceladus, it becomes a world where life can exist.”
The series went on to reveal how the probe’s mission was changed to investigate the plumes.
The narrator added: “NASA rips up Cassini’s original plan, but the new mission brings problems – the probe was designed to observe planets from distant orbits, not collect samples.
“Casino is 800 million miles from Earth, to make it work, NASA completely rebuilds its software remotely.
READ MORE: NASA mystery: Scientists feared probe 'hacked by unknown party’ in deep space
The probe spotted ice plumes coming from Enceladus