Saturn’s moon named Enceladus seems to have an ocean beneath its surface recent photos reveal. It has long been believed that oceans were just a thing of earth, but a new study into Saturn and its moons reveals something different. This new found ocean appears to be on top of a rocky seabed according to USA Today.
This ocean is said to rest beneath the south pole of the moon Enceladus which is tiny and icy and orbits close to Saturn. This ocean is proposed to be bigger than Lake Superior. The rocky bottom gives the water access to sulfur, potassium, and even other elements that would be essential for life. The water of this ocean lies between an icy top and a rocky bottom the article continued. The base of this ocean appears to be very much like the bases of our own oceans here on Earth.
If there is indeed to be a mission to Saturn’s moon it would be called Enceladus Life Finder or ELF. The mission would involve passing through the plumes many times and looking for complex organic molecules. The hope is that it will launch early in the next decade. The second mission would be called Life Investigations For Enceladus or LIFE. The budget for this could run a billion dollars or more and the mission would involve going into Saturn’s orbit many years after around a 2030 launch potentially. Both missions are expected to take longer than a decade to complete.
The Hoops News said that the microscopic rock grains on the moon are not very old and scientists say that the water temperature must be about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists have learned that Saturn’s moon Enceladus is smaller than Earth’s moon. Additional discoveries about Saturn and its moons are what scientists hope to obtain. This research could help to answer the question of whether or not extraterrestrial life does exist and if there can be life in other places. Missions to Saturn could open doors for scientists and reveal hidden secrets of it and space itself.
By Heather Granruth
The Hoops News