Looking for oceans in the Solar System is nothing new. But finding out that they could be hiding in one of Saturn’s numerous moons is the kind of news that gives us new hope. Hope that someday, some of us might move our luggage to another space object from the Solar System. Surely many of us have our moments when we want to move to another planet.
Saturn is the champion of the Solar System as being the planet that hosts the most moons: 82. One of them is Mimas, a moon that’s far smaller than the only natural satellite that revolves around Earth. But even so, Mimas might be far more interesting due to a new discovery.
Evidence for an underground ocean on Mimas emerges
According to EurekAlert.org, astronomers now find what they consider being compelling evidence for the existence of an underground ocean beneath the surface of Saturn’s moon Mimas.
What’s peculiar is that a scientist from the Southwest Research Institute discovered the evidence of the liquid ocean while she was only trying to prove that Saturn’s moon was a frozen inert object.
Dr. Alyssa Rhoden from SwRI, who’s a specialist in icy satellites geophysics, declared the following:
If Mimas has an ocean, it represents a new class of small, ‘stealth’ ocean worlds with surfaces that do not betray the ocean’s existence.
Rhoden also explained, as cited by the same source:
Because the surface of Mimas is heavily cratered, we thought it was just a frozen block of ice,
IWOWs, such as Enceladus and Europa, tend to be fractured and show other signs of geologic activity. Turns out, Mimas’ surface was tricking us, and our new understanding has greatly expanded the definition of a potentially habitable world in our solar system and beyond.
It’s great to see that the potential for life can be even higher in our own Solar System. We’re eagerly waiting to see what else astronomers will discover about Mimas in the near future.
The new study was published in Science Direct.