Snow in space? Craters made of ice on Saturn’s moon Enceladus


Washington: The search for water in space is a top priority for scientists. After Earth, Mars is the only planet where scientists expect water in the form of ice. But now scientists have discovered a network of craters made of ice on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. A study has shown that Enceladus, the sixth largest moon of the ringed giant planet Saturn, has ice layers up to 700 meters deep in some places. Enceladus is the coldest and most icy of Saturn’s moons. But beneath its surface is a warm, salty ocean. In such a scenario, scientists also expect life to exist here.

These pits are formed by water seeping out from beneath the surface.
Research physicist Emily Martin claims that Enceladus’ south pole has ice at varying depths. He said the ice vapor may have originated from cracks in the surface of its south pole. On the thick icy surface of Enceladus, liquid fountains continuously erupt from the ocean of salt water, which turns into ice. This ice forms a network of craters on the surface of Enceladus. Scientists claim that water emanating from Enceladus’ hidden ocean is also reaching some of its neighboring moons.

Conducting surface studies for mission to Enceladus
Emily Martin, who works at the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, is researching the thickness and density of Enceladus’ ice with her colleagues. He said his research is very important for future missions to the lunar surface. Martin explained that if you’re going to land a robot there, you need to understand what surface you’re going to land on.

Enceladus 2

Ice found on the surface of Saturn’s moons
According to their study, published in the scientific journal Icarus, the team used Icelandic soil to understand the solidity of Enceladus. Iceland has similar features to Enceladus. The surface of Enceladus has streaks and spots caused by the accumulation of ice. Later this ice melts, but the crater remains the same. Scientists were able to see this beautiful scene when NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017, sent images of Enceladus.


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