Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

PacSci-Doku: “Last Look”

By Dennis Schatz – Senior Advisor

Do you Sudoku? It’s one of the hottest number games around! Well, here’s a twist we think you’ll love. We call it PacSci-Doku. Can you guess why? Here’s how it works. Instead of filling in the blanks with numbers, we use letters. Hidden in one of the columns or rows is the answer to a science question. You’ll find information about the answer on the answer tab below.

The question in this edition is:

The Cassini Spacecraft recently made its last flyby of what object?

To find the answer, complete this PacSci-Doku using the following nine letters:

E  e  U  A  S  L  C  D  N

PacSci-Doku

Puzzle Difficulty: Easy

The Answer

PacSci-Doku

The question in this edition is:

The Cassini Spacecraft recently made its last flyby of what object?

The answer: Enceladus

OOn December 19 of last year, the Cassini Spacecraft made its last of almost 24 flybys of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. This provided NASA scientists with enough data to provide a 360 degree view of the moon. Go to this New York Times website to “spin” Enceladus to see its entire surface. The website allows you to spin seven of the 62 currently known moons of Saturn.

Many scientists think that Enceladus is one of the best places to look for the existence of life. The 300 mile diameter moon is totally ice covered and the brightest object in the solar system because it reflects almost 100% of the sunlight falling on it. The gravitational pull by Saturn changes the moon’s shape as it orbits the planet, which heats the moon’s interior. The salty water geysers at Enceladus’ south pole reveal that a relatively warm ocean exists under the icy covering. Organic compounds found in the salt water could mean that life exist in the oceans below. View this video to see why scientists think that Enceladus might harbor life.

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