Researchers discovered that Dione, Saturn’s moon, is hiding an ocean, 62 miles beneath the surface. The discovery was made due to Cassini, a spacecraft from NASA that has the mission to explore Saturn. It seems that the underground ocean has been around since Dione appeared. This would mean that it had enough time to develop microbial life.
Unfortunately, it is not so easy for the researchers to get to the ocean. However, they still have hope. Dione could eject ocean spray by using the polar geysers. It would not be the first time when this happens. Moreover, this event is usual for the others moon of Saturn, Titan, and Enceladus.
Researchers have discovered that Saturn has 62 moons until now. From them, there are three with underground oceans. The difference is that Dione’s ocean is not so easy to access in comparison with others. For example, Enceladus’ ocean is closer to the surface and it was easier for scientists to discover it.
It is very important that the ocean has contact with the rocky core. This is the only way that life could be possible because nutrients and energy are provided. NASA will continue their research on Dione hoping they will be able to find life on that moon. It would be surprising for most people that planets like Jupiter, Saturn or Pluto have moons with underground oceans. It seems that the Universe has more mysteries than we could think.
Dione was discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1684. He used a big telescope at the Paris Observatory and managed to discover four moons of Saturn. However, they were not named until 1847. Dione is the 15th largest moon in the Solar System. Almost two-thirds of its mass are water ice, which makes life more possible on it that on other planets.
It will be interesting to discover microbes in one of the underground oceans. At the moment, Dione’s ocean can’t be accessed. However, NASA will focus on Jupiter’s moons because it is easier to collect samples from them. Pluto has water, Jupiter’s moons have underground oceans and it seems that Dione is also on the list. What do you think? Is there life in those oceans? Will it be able to develop in the future?
Image source: Wikipedia