Friday, 17 October 2014

Saturn’s Moon Mimas – A Puzzle for Long Ages

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/SSI.

Joel Kontinen

For long-agers, Saturn’s moons have turned out to present a bounty of surprises. Titan has rivers and lakes filled with ethane and methane. More recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has spotted signs of relative youth on Enceladus - jets of water-ice seem to be blasting from the tiny moon.

Now, as researchers have studied photographs taken by Cassini, they suspect that there might be a subterranean ocean on Mimas.
According to New Scientist:

There's more to Mimas than meets the eye. The wobbles of one of Saturn's smallest moons hint at an unusual make-up below the surface – perhaps even an ocean of water hidden underground.”

This is something that believers in long ages never suspected, and some remain skeptical:

“An ocean discovery would be exciting, but a bumpy interior is probably more likely, says Francis Nimmo at the University of California, Santa Cruz. ‘It's really hard to understand how an ocean could survive for billions of years inside something as small as Mimas.’ "

But in a model based on Genesis, we would expect to see signs of relative youth all over the solar system.


Rutkin, Aviva. 2014. Saturn's moon Mimas might have its own subsurface sea. New Scientist (16 October).