Peeling back the layers of Ganymede's interior. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The largest moon in our solar system could be home to a subterranean 'club sandwich' of ice and oceans.
The internal structure of Jupiter's moon Ganymede could be a lot more complex than previously thought according to a new NASA-funded study that has found evidence that there could be several layers of ice and water below its surface.
"Its ocean is huge, with enormous pressures, so it was thought that dense ice had to form at the bottom of the ocean," said NASA's Steve Vance. "When we added salts to our models, we came up with liquids dense enough to sink to the sea floor."
Scientists believe that the presence of this "club sandwich" structure could make the formation of life a lot more plausible, particularly at the points where the different layers meet.
Ganymede is one of several icy moons thought to contain subterranean oceans of liquid water with Jupiter's Europa and Saturn's Enceladus being two other notable examples.
Source: Phys.org | Comments (6)