NASA Discovers Hidden Ocean On Enceladus, Saturn’s Moon

In our search for life outside our planet, scientists may have found a vivid hint now. NASA has discovered a huge ocean of liquid water under the thick crust of ice on Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus.

Enceladus ocean

The information was gathered with the help of Cassini spacecraft and the Deep Space Orbiting Network. Any spacecraft is significantly impacted by the gravity of the heavenly body it orbits. Any changes in the gravitational pull of this body directly affects the orbit of the spacecraft.

It was by measuring the change in the movement of the Cassini spacecraft that NASA scientists realized there was water under the ice on Enceladus. While orbiting around Saturn’s moon near its south pole, Cassini registered a drop in the gravitational pull. The subsequent data from Cassini confirmed that the drop in gravity indicated a huge surface depression caused most probably by liquid water.

According to NASA’s estimates, this huge water ocean is roughly situated six miles beneath the surface of Enceladus. It must be noted here that in the past, scientists have frequently speculated about the possibility of water on Enceladus. This theory was based on the observation of jets of water vapors erupting out of the south pole, back in 2005.

The new finding confirms this and brings to light one very probable explanation. The existence of water fits the bill of all the current information. And if this turns out to be true, this would mean that there’s a huge possibility of microbes existing in these waters on Enceladus. These microbes may well turn out to be our first finding regarding extra-terrestrial life.

Source: NASA

Courtesy: Gizmag

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