NewsNational

Saturn's 'Death Star' moon may have underground ocean

Space Cassini Saturn Photo Gallery
Posted at 9:37 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 09:57:41-05

One of Saturn's moons may be able to support life.

Researchers say there is evidence that shows Mimas may contain a liquid water ocean underneath a thick icy shell.

"An ocean within Mimas would be surprising, given the lack of comparable geologic activity to that observed on other ocean-bearing moons like Europa and Enceladus," researchers said in their findings, which were published in the academic journal Icarus.

The moon, which has a huge crater that resembles the Death Star from "Star Wars," was previously thought to be completely frozen.

"Turns out, Mimas’ surface was tricking us, and our new understanding has greatly expanded the definition of a potentially habitable world in our solar system and beyond," said Dr. Alyssa Rhoden, a specialist in the geophysics of icy satellites at the Southwest Research Institute.

Saturn has 82 moons. Scientists say at least two of them contain underground oceans. One of Jupiter's moons also has an underground ocean, according to researchers.