Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, is more than meets the eye. Deep buried secrets await now to be discovered, but the challenge is tougher than previously believed.
According to a new paper, Enceladus’ ocean currents might be similar to those on our planet. How so? Apparently, the Saturnian moon’s oceans are not that homogeneous.
Here is what you need to know.
Intriguing Features of Enceladus’ Oceans Unveiled
A team of scientists developed a computer model of Saturn’s moon. The results are genuinely intriguing.
The team’s work and findings
The team’s work included a computer model of Enceladus and a new analysis of the layer of ice covering the moon’s global oceans. Thanks to that, scientists discovered that currents are pretty much the same as Earth’s. Such a thing indicates that the oceans might be, in fact, not homogenous at all.
On Earth, the oceans are 3.7 kilometres (2.3 miles) deep on average. On the other hand, Enceladus’ oceans are around 30 kilometres deep, covered in approximately 20 kilometres of ice.
We know from the Cassini probe that Saturn’s moon has salty waters. If the team’s work and findings are accurate, the salt levels in Enceladus’ deep oceans might be on the lower side – they came from the melt region – and the waters around the equator are actually very saline.
On Earth, the ocean currents are vital. They can distribute the nutrients efficiently, keeping a safe rhythm. Advanced analysis of nutrient distribution and salinity levels would indicate the most habitable areas of Enceladus.
Well, we still don’t know if life unfolds on the Saturnian moon. The chances are low because it is too far away from the Sun. The only chance for life could be supported by internal geothermal heating.
Up next, we can hope for a new Enceladus mission to bring us more data. Scientists still have a lot of things to figure out.