Saturn's 'Death Star' moon Mimas may have a global ocean inside it

Surprise Inside Saturn's Moons
Surprise Inside Saturn's Moons


This is Mimas, the smallest of Saturn's major moons. Other than its giant impact crater, scientists thought Mimas was a rather boring piece of cold rock. Now, a new study says Mimas is much more mysterious, even exciting.

It was known that Mimas wobbles as it orbits Saturn, much like our moon wobbles as it orbits earth, shown in this NASA video. But scientists using instruments aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft found that Mimas wobbles much more than previously thought.

That means something is hiding inside Mimas, causing the extreme wobble. Scientists say a football-shaped core could explain it, but evidence is lacking. The study's more exciting second guess, is a global ocean, hiding inside Mimas.

Study author Radwan Tajeddine said quote, "this would definitely be another interesting body in the solar system to be added to the list of potential 'life-friendly environments.'" Could this tiny death-star-looking moon actually harbor life?

The odds are long of course, but these findings are another reminder of how much we don't know about our own solar system.



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