Culture

Saturn's Moon Mimas Possesses a Body of Water

NASA’s Cassini mission proved that its thick ice shell is warm enough to harbor liquid.

By
41,154 Hypes

Saturn's Moon Mimas Possesses a Body of Water

NASA’s Cassini mission proved that its thick ice shell is warm enough to harbor liquid.

NASA‘s Cassini mission has resulted in several astounding discoveries, the latest being that Saturn’s moon Mimas holds a body of water. Although
these Interior Water Ocean Worlds (IWOWs) are common in our solar system, Mimas’ heavily crated exterior has tricked scientists into thinking otherwise.

IWOWs usually hint at some geologic activity due to their fractured surfaces, such as that of Enceladus and Europa. However, Mimas shows signs of none, meaning that it could belong to a new class of “stealth” ocean worlds “with surfaces that do not betray the ocean’s existence,” according to Dr. Alyssa Rhoden in a press release with Universe Today.

Tidal forces are in play when it comes to Mimas; interior structure. Alongside its rotational energy, Saturn’s orbit stretches the small moon into its ellipsoidal shape, which in turn causes heating. This process involves a delicate balance in which the heating must be powerful enough to melt its interior into liquid, but not so that it melts the surface. IWOWs such as Mimas, which lack surface oceans, can be found over a wider range of distances since they do not rely on their stars to retain the temperatures required for liquid oceans.

Each discovery of an IWOW could signify the possibility of life. However, for life to happen, there has to be an active interface between water and rock. Rhoden expands on this, saying: “Evaluating Mimas’ status as an ocean moon would benchmark models of its formation and evolution. This would help us better understand Saturn’s rings and mid-sized moons, as well as the prevalence of potentially habitable ocean moons, particularly at Uranus. Mimas is a compelling target for continued investigation.”

Read Full Article
Source
Universe Today
Share this article

What to Read Next

NASA's Latest Photos of Jupiter Show the Massive Planet Like You've Never Seen It Before
Culture

NASA's Latest Photos of Jupiter Show the Massive Planet Like You've Never Seen It Before

“Two of its moons, rings and even distant galaxies are visible.”
6,911 Hypes

Here's What a Black Hole 200 Million Light-Years Away Sounds Like, According to NASA
Culture

Here's What a Black Hole 200 Million Light-Years Away Sounds Like, According to NASA

The eerie sound is out of this world — literally.
945 Hypes

NASA Captures the Clearest Photos of Neptune's Rings in Over 30 years
Culture

NASA Captures the Clearest Photos of Neptune's Rings in Over 30 years

Take a closer look at the planet’s rings and moons here.
1,027 Hypes


First Stills of 'Avatar: The Way of Water' Have Been Leaked
Film & TV

First Stills of 'Avatar: The Way of Water' Have Been Leaked

Reportedly taken from the soon-to-be-released official trailer.
3,912 Hypes

Bubblegum Pink Takes Over the New Balance 991
Footwear

Bubblegum Pink Takes Over the New Balance 991

The perfect pink sneaker doesn’t exi—
9,834 Hypes

Paco Rabanne's FW22 Collection Celebrates Youth in All Forms
Fashion

Paco Rabanne's FW22 Collection Celebrates Youth in All Forms

Filled with pouffe skirts, peplum tops, kitten-heeled shoes and more.
3,249 Hypes

Nike Channels Rome for Patent Leather Air Force 1
Footwear

Nike Channels Rome for Patent Leather Air Force 1

Channeling the early aughts.
5,584 Hypes

Take a Look Inside Savage X Fenty's First Brick-and-Mortar Store in Las Vegas
Fashion

Take a Look Inside Savage X Fenty's First Brick-and-Mortar Store in Las Vegas

Featuring five rooms filled with interactive experiences.
10,030 Hypes


A Closer Look at Pharrell Williams' Custom Diamond-Encrusted Tiffany & Co. Sunglasses
Fashion

A Closer Look at Pharrell Williams' Custom Diamond-Encrusted Tiffany & Co. Sunglasses

The artist wore this stunning pair to Kenzo’s FW22 runway show.
10,681 Hypes

NIGO Transcends Cultural and Conventional Dress Codes in His Debut Kenzo Collection
Fashion

NIGO Transcends Cultural and Conventional Dress Codes in His Debut Kenzo Collection

The designer offered an exclusive preview of his upcoming album, ‘I Know Nigo.’
5,809 Hypes

Designer Thierry Mugler Dies at Age 73
Fashion

Designer Thierry Mugler Dies at Age 73

The news was announced via Instagram.
4,988 Hypes

Your First Look at the Latest New Balance 2002r Iterations
Footwear

Your First Look at the Latest New Balance 2002r Iterations

Dropping in maroon, forest green, muted blue and brown.
7,953 Hypes

Peep the Flamingo Pink Details on the New Nike Air Force 1 "Valentine's Day"
Footwear

Peep the Flamingo Pink Details on the New Nike Air Force 1 "Valentine's Day"

Celebrate the day of love with these themed kicks.
390,663 Hypes

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Keep updated on the latest news.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.