Saturn’s satellite, Mimas, continues to attract scientists with its mysterious shape, reminiscent of the «Star of Death» from the movie «Star Wars». But the ominous form of this satellite does not bear geopolitical character, and the new discovery can represent serious interest for science.
Mimas, one of Saturn’s largest satellites, revolves around the planet every 22 hours. Its surface, dotted with numerous craters, including the crater Hershel with a diameter of 130 kilometers, reminiscent of the «Star of Death», raises many questions among scientists.
Scientists from the Paris Observatory proposed a completely new idea: a huge ocean could lie beneath the surface of Mimas. Researchers conducted detailed analysis of data obtained by NASA’s Cassini probe and mathematical models of the Mimas orbiter to confirm the existence of such an ocean. According to their reports, this ocean is located at a depth of 20-30 kilometers below the surface and, presumably, its age is about 25 million years.
The presence of oceans on Mimas is comparable to other satellites of Saturn, such as Europa and Ganymede, which are also known to have underground water formations. This opens a new perspective for the study of possible conditions for the existence of life in the Solar System.
Scientists hope that Mimas will attract more attention and will become the object of detailed research in future space missions. The discovery of a subsurface ocean on Mimas could significantly expand understanding of the possibility of life outside Earth.