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Scientists find evidence for warm liquid water ocean under Enceladus
Posted: Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 10:56 PM ET (0256 GMT)
Enceladus cutaway image with geysers (NASA) Any icy moon of Saturn likely has a warm ocean of liquid water beneath its surface, scientists reported this week. In a paper published in the journal Nature, scientists concluded that a particular type of dust grain found in one of Saturn's rings originated from within Enceladus, the result of a kind of chemical reaction between rock and water that requires temperatures of at least 90 degrees Celsius. Those dust grains were ejected from the moon via geysers. Scientists said this hydrothermal activity is the best evidence to date that Enceladus has a subsurface of liquid water and could be hospitable to life. A second paper, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, linked an excess of methane found in the moon's plumes to processes within that liquid water ocean.
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