Jun 16, 2019 | Updated: 11:54 AM EDT

Saturn’s Icy Moon Enceladus Is Warmer Than Expected

Mar 15, 2017 05:57 AM EDT

Apollo 9
(Photo : Russell L. Schweickart/Keystone/Getty Images) 6th March 1969: Docked Apollo 9 command service module beyond and the lunar module spider on the left with Earth in the background. A preparatory mission for the moon landing it was the first to feature the Saturn rocket in full lunar configuration. This photograph was taken from the porch of the 'Spider' on the 4th day of the earth -orbital mission with astronaut David R Scott undertaking extravehicular activity.

NASA has found out that Saturn's icy moon Enceladus has warmth underneath its icy exterior. The international Cassini mission has shown the intense activity at the southern pole of Saturn's icy moon, Enceladus.

Saturn's icy moon Enceladus has definitely hot spaces in between its icy exterior. That has given hope for scientists as they saw those fractures have water-rich jets. That only means, Enceladus might have underground sea, Phys.org reported. The heat was specifically found in the three fractures that are like "tiger stripes".

The fractures stand up so much as it aggressively emitted hot water. However, as of the moment of the discovery, the fractures are not active, explained NASA. The inactive fractures above the moon's warm ocean have changed the aspect of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus' geology. The discovery only meant that the moon might have experienced many different occurrences of activity, in different places on its surface.

A team, not part of the Cassini mission, has estimated the thickness of Enceladus' icy crust. In their 2016 study, it was indicated that the average depth for the ice shell at the South Pole was 11 to 14 miles (18 to 22 kilometers) and less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) thick. The study is apparently correct as shown in this new discovery.

"Finding temperatures near these three inactive fractures that are unexpectedly higher than those outside them adds to the intrigue of Enceladus," said Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. "What is the warm underground ocean really like and could life have evolved there?" The answer cannot be because of the sun. it is not also because of Saturn heat.

There are definitely other resources that give the Enceladus some heat underneath it. The questions will remain unanswered unless NASA and/or ESA will go into action and will research more about Saturn's icy moon, Enceladus.

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