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Waspie_Dwarf

Global Ocean in Saturn's Moon Enceladus

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Waspie_Dwarf

Cassini Finds Global Ocean in Saturn's Moon Enceladus

A global ocean lies beneath the icy crust of Saturn's geologically active moon Enceladus, according to new research using data from NASA's Cassini mission.

Researchers found the magnitude of the moon's very slight wobble, as it orbits Saturn, can only be accounted for if its outer ice shell is not frozen solid to its interior, meaning a global ocean must be present.

The finding implies the fine spray of water vapor, icy particles and simple organic molecules Cassini has observed coming from fractures near the moon's south pole is being fed by this vast liquid water reservoir. The research is presented in a paper published online this week in the journal Icarus.

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Dark_Grey

It's crazy how abundant water is in the Universe

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Waspie_Dwarf

It's crazy how abundant water is in the Universe

It's a simple, stable molecule of two abundant atoms. It would be a surprise, chemically speaking, if it wasn't common. The difficult trick is finding it in liquid form, although even that seems more common than was dreamt of just a few years ago.

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bubblykiss

Stories like this make me course with endless thoughts, dreams and hopes for life outside of our tiny rock being found in my lifetime.

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BeastieRunner

It's crazy how abundant water is in the Universe

Growing up it was treated like the most precious thing ever and that we would probably never find any anywhere.

So ... every time people find more water in the universe, it blows my mind.

Edited by BeastieRunner
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FTWind

What surprises me is that people didn't already think water was abundant through out the universe, being that hydrogen(1st) and oxygen(3rd) are some of the most abundant elements in the universe.

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ShadowSot

We know water is common, finding it in liquid form has been the question.

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DieChecker

Water, water everywhere... And doesn't it make you think.....

Water, water everywhere.... For astronauts to drink...

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FTWind

Is life more unlikely in oceans like this if the salt content is to high?

Edited by FTWind

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Astra.

Water, water everywhere... And doesn't it make you think.....

Water, water everywhere.... For astronauts to drink...

Although it's made of ice......it wouldn't taste so nice.

Astronauts could melt it.....using a heating device.

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Mr.United_Nations

It's a simple, stable molecule of two abundant atoms. It would be a surprise, chemically speaking, if it wasn't common. The difficult trick is finding it in liquid form, although even that seems more common than was dreamt of just a few years ago.

Why do moons tend to have frozen surfaces than planets?

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Waspie_Dwarf
Why do moons tend to have frozen surfaces than planets?

These moons are distant from the sun and therefore cold and frozen. The planets they orbit are all gas giants which have no real surface to freeze. If there was an Earth like planet at Jupiter's distance, or beyond, it would have a frozen surface too.

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DieChecker

To add to what Waspie said. They (The frozen moons/asteroids/dwarf planets also mostly lack atmosphere, so what heat gets to the surface is not held back.

I wonder if the Earth's Moon was covered in water, if it too would be frozen over. I suspect it would.

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Waspie_Dwarf

I wonder if the Earth's Moon was covered in water, if it too would be frozen over. I suspect it would.

Absolutely not.

The Moon is too close to the Sun. During day light the temperature on the lunar surface can reach 123 oC (253oF). Having no atmosphere means that any water ice would not melt as it warmed, it would sublime (that is change state directly from a solid to a gas without passing through the liquid stage).

The Moon is too small to retain an atmosphere and that includes water vapour. Rather than freezing any water on the lunar surface would boil off into space.

The exception to the above is in a few craters at the lunar poles. The floors of these craters are permanently dark and so they retain some ice.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.
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highdesert50

The abundance of galactic water certainly makes for an interesting speculative argument for some parallelism in the comparable evolution of primitive biological lifeforms.

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