On wow! On the final day that Saturn inhabits Scorpio, sign of watery depths, the MSM news confirms NASA’s discovery of a hidden ocean on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s 62 moons.
I just googled the mythological origins of the word “Enceladus”: a giant with a hundred arms buried under Mount Etna in Sicily. Hmmm . . . I’m reminded of Matt Taibbi’s famous phrase: “bloodsucking vampire squid” to describe the global corporatocracy. Time to bury it?
September 16, 1015
NASA researchers have discovered a global ocean underneath the icy surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Previous data from NASA’s Cassini space mission revealed there was steam, liquid and ice located in the south pole of the moon.
But now scientists believe the vast water reservoir is coming from an ocean between the moon’s rocky core and icy crust.
They found Enceladus has a slight wobble as it orbits Saturn, indicating that the ocean should extend across the entire moon.
The research was published this week in the journal Icarus.
“This was a hard problem that required years of observations and calculations involving a diverse collection of disciplines, but we are confident we finally got it right,” said Peter Thomas, lead author of the study and a Cassini imaging team member at Cornell University in New York.
Scientists analysed hundreds of images taken by the Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Enceladus since 2014.
They plugged their measurement of the wobble into different models for how Enceladus might be arranged on the inside, including data in which the moon was frozen from surface to core.
“If the surface and core were rigidly connected, the core would provide so much dead weight the wobble would be far smaller than we observe it to be,” Cassini scientist Matthew Tiscareno said.
“This proves that there must be a global layer of liquid separating the surface from the core.”
The mechanisms that might have prevented Enceladus’ ocean from freezing remain a mystery, NASA said in a statement.
The Cassini spacecraft is scheduled to pass within 50 kilometres of Enceladus’ surface on October 28.