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Heat from friction could be their power-source, says a recent study that provided new insights into the warm interior of Saturn's geologically active moon. Pictured here are the dramatic plumes, both large and small, that spray water ice out from many locations along the famed "tiger stripes" near the south pole of Enceladus. The tiger stripes are fissures that spray icy particles, water vapor and organic compounds. Individual jets of different sizes can be seen in this mosaic created from two high-resolution images that were captured by our Cassini spacecraft, when it flew past Enceladus and through the jets on Nov. 21, 2009. While the Cassini spacecraft is gone, an enormous collection of data about Saturn – the giant planet, its magnetosphere, rings and moons – will continue to yield new discoveries for decades to come. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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Astronomers took this image as they were observing an extraordinary exploding star – a supernova – near the galaxy’s central yellow core! The star rapidly evolved from a supernova containing very little hydrogen to one that is hydrogen-rich — in just one year. This rarely observed metamorphosis was luminous at high energies and provides unique insight into the poorly understood final phases of massive stars. By studying similar galaxies we hold a scientific mirror up to our own, allowing us to build a better understanding of our galactic environment, which we cannot always observe, and of galactic behavior and evolution as a whole. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA/D. Milisavljevic (Perdue University)