A surprising study reveals that one of Saturn's main moons has a small ocean beneath its surface

The Mimas ocean has different characteristics than those found on other moons in the Solar System.
Reyna Campos Gaba Reyna Campos Gaba Meteorite Chile 3 min

Thanks for the great work done since 1789 Astronomer William Herschel Of British and German descent – we know Saturn has moons today One of the most important of them is Mimas.

Other natural satellites of our solar system, etc Ganymede, Europa, Titan and Enceladus They also have oceans.

Until recently, they were thought of as Mimas It was not an ideal candidate to host an alien ocean, as its rough surface suggested. Its interior was completely solid.

However, the results of the study Recently published by the journal Nature They made a remarkable twist in this story. Beneath the floor of Mimas, particularly at a depth of 30 km, They discovered a small sea.

The ocean on Mimas is very different from the oceans on other moons in the Solar System

Something unusual happened at Mimas And about 10 years ago scientists realized this because of the contradictions they observed The rotation of this natural satellite.

Mimas is Saturn's moon
The research team relied on data released by the Cassini spacecraft's flybys of Mimas.

Uncertainty found by scientists This was a great motivation to continue the investigation, because they had some surprises waiting for them. The interior of this moon of Saturn.

Based on the available evidence, the research team decided It is possible that there is an ocean beneath the surface of Mimas.

The results are not yet conclusive, Because unlike the seas of other natural satellites, Mimas does not offer geological activity or geysers, which is a sign. Water flows to the surface.

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Jupiter's moon Europa
A view of Jupiter from Europa confirmed the presence of oceans on one of its moons.

The authors of the study explain that it is possible The Mimas Sea is relatively new, Because it has not yet reached its surface.

What will happen now? Scientists will continue to analyze the recorded data over time Mimas Sea wants to explore space And for this to happen, its surface must begin to show signs of fractures.

News Note:

Lainey, V., Rambox, N., Toby, G. and many others. A recently formed ocean within Saturn's moon Mimas. Nature 626 (2024)

Misty Tate

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