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Tue Dec 22, 2020, 05:18 PM

Are secret oceans hiding on the moons of Uranus? [View all]


By Chelsea Gohd 2 hours ago

Where might subsurface oceans lie in our solar system beyond moons like Europa and Enceladus?



Uranus and its five major moons are depicted in this montage of images acquired by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. The moons, from largest to smallest as they appear here, are Ariel, Miranda, Titania, Oberon and Umbriel.
(Image: NASA/JPL)

The moons of Uranus could be sloshing with oceans hiding just below the surface.

Icy worlds speckle our solar system from Jupiter's moon Europa to Saturn's moon Enceladus, scientists have been investigating these alien worlds, discovering subsurface oceans hidden under their icy crusts. Now, researchers have turned their gaze to the moons orbiting Uranus, searching for secret oceans.

In a new study not yet published, presented at the Dec. 15 AGU's Fall Meeting 2020, researchers led by Benjamin Weiss, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have developed a method for future missions to confirm the existence of subsurface oceans on worlds like the moons of Uranus. With this work, the team also hopes to further our understanding and knowledge of potentially habitable worlds.

"The big question here is, Where are habitable environments in the solar system?" Weiss said in a statement. Discovering subsurface oceans on Europa and Enceladus makes "a lot of us wonder whether there are many moons out there that, although they're small, may still be warm."

More:
https://www.space.com/uranus-moons-hiding-secret-oceans

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