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恩克拉多斯# 8217下冰冷的外壳是一个全球海洋的液态水

新闻来源:admin 发布时间:2018-09-21

Saturn’;s moon, Enceladus, is covered in a thick icy crust, but beneath it might lie an ocean of liquid water despite there are minus 201 degrees Celsius on the surface。 This is a theoretical assumption, which is however backed by very solid indirect evidence。 Gushing plums of water from the moon’;s south pole also point to this conclusion。 If this is true, Enceladus can be envisioned like a gourmet candy: a hot core (maybe chocolate?), surrounded by a layer of fluid (water in this case), and all covered in a crunchy crust of ice。

What Enceladus might look like in a cross-section view。 Image: NASA JPL

What Enceladus might look like in a cross-section view。 Image: NASA JPL

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Enceladus is the sixth-largest moon of Saturn。 It was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel, but very little was known about it until the Voyager fly-bys in the 1980s。 We recently learned even more about it thanks to the Cassini spacecraft。 We know that it has a type of tectonicsgeysers,  and there were some indications that it has an ocean under all its ice –; 50 km of ice, mind you。

As the moon orbits Saturn, it exhibits a distinct wobble or ‘;libration’;。 These wobbles are so tiny and seemingly imperceptible that only high-res images from NASA’;s Cassini spacecraft could spot the pattern。 Now, researchers at Cornell University have devised a model in which they plugged in all sorts of scenarios to see which of these best fit the pattern。 The analysis showed that the only viable scenario was that of a hot core, all surrounded by a global ocean of water。 So, what may look like an inhospitable icy wasteland might actually be a lot more friendly。 Now…; it’;s still tough。 Imagine Antarctica times 1000 in difficulty, but the prospect of liquid water flowing millions of miles away can get anyone excited。 There’;s so much that could happen。

本文源自: 环亚娱乐



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