Monday, April 07, 2014

SATURN - The Moon Enceladus Has Water

"New report shows water on Saturn’s moon" PBS NewsHour 4/6/2014


HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  A report published this week in Science magazine offered new remarkable details about the presence of water on one of Saturn’s moons.  It once again stirred talk about the possibility of life elsewhere in our solar system.  For more, we are joined from Los Angeles by David Stevenson of the California Institute of Technology.  He co-authored the article.

So tell us about this moon, Enceladus.  You knew about it, quite a bit about it before.  Tell us what you found and how did you find it?

DAVID STEVENSON, California Institute of Technology:  So we knew already that Enceladus has geysers.  Water coming out of cracks near the south pole.  But we didn’t know what was beneath the surface.  What we’ve now done by tracking the Cassini spacecraft, which is in orbit around Saturn, is figure out that there must be excess mass underneath the ice at the south pole.  And water will do that because water is more dense than ice.  This is an ocean that is about the size of Lake Superior, perhaps even larger and it is about 10 kilometers thick.  So it’s a lot of water.

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