Ice Moon

Mesmo em luas geladas menores, as chances de vida no fundo do oceano são boas Enceladus

Mesmo em luas geladas menores, as chances de vida no fundo do oceano são boas

O fato de que os astrobiólogos têm grandes esperanças de luas geladas como Enceladus ou Europa não se deve apenas aos oceanos que eles conseguiram detectar sob suas crostas de gelo, mas também ao fato de que eles são mundos geologicamente ativos. Os culpados são os planetas-mãe gigantes Saturno e Júpiter, respectivamente, que realmente amassam as luas com sua força gravitacional. Isto cria calor, o que mantém a água em seus oceanos escondidos líquida e relativamente quente. A água, por sua vez, dissolve das camadas rochosas subjacentes o que a vida potencial pode precisar. A energia também é liberada…
Mimas has an ocean under the surface too Enceladus

Mimas has an ocean under the surface too

Saturn's moons Enceladus and Titan have one, as do Jupiter's moons Ganymede, Callisto and Europa and the dwarf planet Pluto: a liquid ocean beneath their icy surfaces. Perhaps the same is true of Saturn's moon Mimas, as a Southwest Research Institute scientist suspects. Dr. Alyssa Rhoden, a specialist in the geophysics of icy satellites, actually set out to prove that Saturn's tiny, innermost moon is a frozen, inert satellite. Instead, she found evidence that the moon also has a liquid inner ocean. One of the most fundamental discoveries of the past 25 years in planetary science is that worlds…
Enceladus: Be careful when walking on ice Enceladus

Enceladus: Be careful when walking on ice

Anyone landing on Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, for example to explore the ocean at its depth, had better be careful: Ice quakes could be part of everyday life on the surface of the 500-kilometer-diameter moon. Researchers are drawing attention to this in a new study. The culprit is the massive tidal forces caused by Saturn and the planet's other, larger moons - much like the moon on Earth. These tidal movements, on the plus side, warm its interior so that life could possibly arise there. But they also cause the surface to crack, sometimes pushing large geysers of water…