New model for Enceladus’s subsurface ocean

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A new model proposes that the subsurface liquid water ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus is possible only 3 miles below the surface near its south pole.

In order to reconcile the different constraints [created by the known data], the researchers propose a new model in which the top two hundred meters of the ice shell acts like an elastic shell. According to this study, Enceladus is made up successively of a rocky core with a radius of 185 km, and an internal ocean approximately 45 km deep, isolated from the surface by an ice shell with a mean thickness of around 20 km, except at the south pole where it is thought to be less than 5 km thick. In this model, the ocean beneath the ice makes up 40% of the total volume of the moon, while its salt content is estimated to be similar to that of Earth’s oceans.

Need I mention that this is only a computer model, and should therefore be considered with great skepticism?

Posted from warm and dry Tucson, Arizona, where I am home at last!


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