Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Solar system

Saturn's tides control Enceladus' plume

Data obtained by the Cassini spacecraft show that the plume of ice particles at the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus is four times brighter when the moon is farthest away from the planet than when it is closest. See Letter p.182

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Enceladus' ice-particle jets.



  1. *This article and the paper under discussion1 were published online on 31 July 2013.


  1. Hedman, M. M. et al. Nature 500, 182–184 (2013).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Hurford, T. A., Helfenstein, P., Hoppa, G. V., Greenberg, R. & Bills, B. G. Nature 447, 292–294 (2007).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Spencer, J. R. & Nimmo, F. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 41, 693–717 (2013).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Postberg, F., Schmidt, J., Hillier, J., Kempf, S. & Srama, R. Nature 474, 620–622 (2011).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Waite, J. H. et al. Nature 460, 487–490 (2009).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Spitale, J. N. & Porco, C. C. Nature 449, 695–697 (2007).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Roberts, J. H. & Nimmo, F. Icarus 194, 675–689 (2008).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Collins, G. C. & Goodman, J. C. Icarus 189, 72–82 (2007).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Porco, C., DiNino, D. & Nimmo, F. 44th Lunar Planet. Sci. Conf. abstr. 1775 (2013).

  10. Crow-Willard, E. & Pappalardo, R. T. EPSC Abstr. 6, EPSC-DPS2011-635-1 (2011).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to John Spencer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Spencer, J. Saturn's tides control Enceladus' plume. Nature 500, 155–156 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing