Flow in Enceladus’ Internal Ocean

When it comes to moons in our solar system that don’t orbit our own planet, Europa tends to get all the attention. It’s either Arthur C. Clarke’s fault or Stanley Kubrick’s fault. Or also it may be how amazing Europa is, with its enormous hidden ocean. But there’s another moon that’s just as awesome, Saturn’s Enceladus. Here’s more from Centauri Dreams:

New thinking about the shape of the ice shell on Enceladus raises the interesting possibility that the ocean believed to lie beneath is churning with currents. That would be a departure from the accepted view that the ocean — thought to be 30 kilometers deep or more, as opposed to Earth’s average of 3.6 kilometers — is relatively homogenous.

Remember, this is a body of water buried beneath perhaps 20 kilometers of ice, locked within a moon that is 500 kilometers in diameter. We know it’s there because a 2014 flyby of the Cassini Saturn orbiter collected data on geyser activity erupting through the striking fissures in the south polar ice. That immediately put Enceladus high on the list of astrobiologically interesting targets along with, of course, Jupiter’s moon Europa.

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