Aug 8, 2022

Ocean worlds in the solar system

Posted by in category: space

Once upon a time, the only world known to have an ocean of water was Earth. Now, planetary scientists think there are many ocean worlds – albeit with their oceans covered by deep layers of ice, rather than hanging out on the surface like ours.

Top on the list is Jupiter’s moon Europa, believed to have a 100-kilometre-deep ocean beneath perhaps 10–30 km of ice. But Saturn’s moons Enceladus, Titan, and Dione are also thought to have oceans, as is Pluto.

And those may just be the tip of the iceberg. Other moons in the outer solar system are also believed or suspected to have frozen-over oceans. Still more aren’t well studied enough for scientists to be sure, but could be capable of hosting water.

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