Science & Tech

Hidden ocean discovered beneath the surface of moon

Hidden ocean discovered beneath the surface of moon
Saturn’s Moon Mimas Is Likely Hiding a Subsurface Ocean Under Its Cratered …
ZMG - Amaze Lab / VideoElephant

It feels like every day now we’re learning more about the moon – be it the finite nature of its resources or the existence of a gigantic, buried heat-emitting mass.

And it’s not just our moon, either, which is turning up unexpected discoveries. It turns out Saturn’s moons are also just as fascinating.

In fact, scientists have uncovered an entire ocean hidden beneath 15 miles of ice on Saturn’s moon Mimas.

While other moons around it have showed signs of water existing below the surface, Mimas was never thought to feature water given its extreme surface conditions.

However, new studies from French astronomer Valéry Lainey and researchers from Observatoire de Paris have discovered an ocean which formed in the last 25 million years and is still developing.

The icy moon MimasiStock

The study, which was published in Nature, could change the way experts think about the search for habitable entities in the universe.

The study reads: "Mimas would be the most unlikely place to look for the presence of a global ocean.”

Incredibly, the ocean exists between 12 and 18 miles below the surface of the frozen surface of the planet. It was uncovered after researchers studies the findings from a NASA's Cassini spacecraft which was active for a decade before it crashed into Saturn in 2017.

Mimas' thick, icy exterior, however, has never indicated the existence of an ocean. Researchers suggest this is because Mimas' ocean dwells 12 to 18 miles (20 to 30 kilometers) below the moon's 15-mile-thick frozen shell.

Reflecting on the findings in an interview with, Laney said: "The major finding here is the discovery of habitability conditions on a solar system object which we would never, never expect to have liquid water. It's really astonishing."

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