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Space & Astronomy

The moons of Uranus could be home to liquid water oceans

By T.K. Randall
May 9, 2023 · Comment icon 5 comments

Uranus and some of its moons. Image Credit: NASA
Revisited data from the Voyager 2 probe seems to point to the possibility of not only oceans, but habitability as well.
The ice giant Uranus is full of surprises, it seems - the latest of which being the discovery that several of its moons could be harboring vast subterranean oceans of liquid water.

Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon are all now thought to be promising candidates, with two of these even being warm enough internally to potentially sustain life.

The discovery was made when scientists compared data from the Voyager 2 spacecraft to more recent data collected about other icy moons such as Pluto's Charon and Saturn's Enceladus by NASA's Galileo, Cassini, Dawn and New Horizons missions.
It had previously been thought that the only moon of Uranus capable of generating enough internal heat through radioactive decay was Tatiana, but now it seems as though this process might have also made internal oceans on three other moons possible as well.

Back in 2020, evidence of recent geological activity on Ariel also seemed to point to movement indicative of an interior ocean.

Conclusively determining that these oceans exist, however, will likely prove quite a challenge.

Source: Live Science | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Gumball 11 months ago
Again with the liquid water oceans.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 months ago
Given that H2O is one of the most abundant molecules in the universe, the existence of liquid water, where the correct conditions exist, shouldn't be a surprise.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Gumball 11 months ago
It was a joke.  We are constantly looking for this ubiquitous ocean.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 months ago
Really, you hid the humour well.   We are constantly finding them.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Cho Jinn 11 months ago
But where's the evidence? All I see is a grainy photograph.


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