Weirdness Discovered on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus
Scientists have made a startling discovery about Saturn’s tiny ice-covered planet Month, Enceladus. A soft feather-like material was detected in the celestial icy crust.
A soft feather-like material was detected in the celestial icy crust. According to researchers, these are snow-like particles.
surface covered with ice and snow
A small frozen celestial body about 500 kilometers in diameter, Enceladus has a large underground ocean. On the other hand, since the celestial bodies are so far from the Sun, these oceans are covered with a thick layer of ice.
But this isn’t the only layer of ice that covers the ocean, according to new research. The surface of the object is also filled with soft snow-like particles.
These fragments are believed to have emerged from gigantic ice geysers that extend deep into the celestial body. These jets therefore deposited a large amount of soft particles on the surface.
Smaller, lighter particles ejected from geysers are also reportedly thrown into space and contribute to Saturn’s giant rings.
The findings, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Icarus, imply that the object is undergoing more tectonic activity than expected.
regolith not snow
Researchers, on the other hand, described these soft debris as “regolith” instead of snow.
“It’s not snow like we know it,” said Emily Martin, a planetologist at the US National Air and Space Museum.
“Unlike snow on Earth, the material detected on Enceladus’ surface is not produced from the atmosphere,” said Martin, who is also the lead author of the study.
“The way these particles fall to the surface is similar to snow. I think it’s an apt analogy,” Martin said.
May not have the same composition as the world’s snow
The soft material on Enceladus may not have the same composition as Earth’s snow.
“The physical properties of this material are not yet fully understood,” Martin told Futurist.
It’s important for astronomers to better understand these oddities of Enceladus.
It is estimated that the ocean that covers the satellite is rich in substances necessary for the birth of life.
This means that extraterrestrial life may exist on Enceladus, albeit at a microscopic level.