New data from the spacecraft Cassini, suggests that the geologically active moon of Saturn – Enceladus – there is a continuous ocean beneath the icy crust, according to NASA. These findings researchers have analyzed the behavior of the motion of Enceladus around Saturn.
The existence of indirect evidence ocean geysers ejecting water vapor, ice particles and simple organic molecules, which Cassini discovered near the South Pole of the satellite. According to scientists, it can be assumed that the source of the geysers is a huge ocean of liquid water.
Conducted apparatus Cassini observations previously allowed the researchers to suggest that within Saturn’s South Pole in hiding ventricular reservoir. However, new data from Cassini during several crossings in close proximity to the region indicate that the subsurface ocean is global, that is, takes up the entire area of Enceladus.
It was quite a difficult puzzle. We took years of observations and calculations using knowledge from different disciplines. But now we believe we are now on the right track – says one of the study’s authors, Peter Thomas of Cornell University.
The scientists involved in the mission Cassini, a little over seven years analyzed a large number of images of Enceladus made by Cassini. Researchers have made an accurate map of the satellite, noting the location of the various entities, mainly craters. As a result, it was revealed that Enceladus oscillates while moving around Saturn. This phenomenon is called liberation.
Experts suggested considering several models of the internal structure of Enceladus, given the nature of oscillations. If the surface of the core and the satellite was secured to, fluctuations have been less than we have seen – says Matthew Tiskareno Institute of SETI. Vibrations Enceladus can be explained only by the presence of a continuous liquid layer that separates the surface layer of the core.
The reason why the ocean inside Enceladus not frozen, remains unknown. According to scientists, the gravitational influence of Saturn may produce more heat inside the satellite, than previously thought. October 28 Cassini will have to make a rapprochement with Enceladus, passing through a plume of ice particles. The unit flies above the surface at an altitude of 49 km.