Weekly Space News: The Waters of Enceladus
It turns out that not only does Enceladus, a frozen Moon of Saturn, have oceans underneath its ice, but also these oceans could be much closer to the surface than previously thought.
How scientists figured out that Enceladus had oceans.
According to the new research, these potential oceans might be as close at 2km (1.24 miles) to the surface. That means that any new mission would have an easier time measuring and possibly detecting anything about the oceans, including the existence of life.
NASA image of the “tiger-striped” south pole region that is home to Enceladus’ ocean. The red stripe represents an area that was 36 degrees Celsius warmer than expected.
With these recent discoveries about Enceladus, and other moons in the solar system – like Jupiter’s Europa – it’s going to be a thrilling era for exploration. As new missions seek out these promising worlds, we may finally discover the answer to the enduring question of: are we alone, or is there life in our solar system beyond our fragile home?
Author: Nick Azer; Editor: Susan Emmer