They discovered large oceans hidden on the moons of Uranus

A picture of Uranus and some of its moons (NASA)

endless journey NASA Voyager Probes The information gathered on their visits to different planets does not stop either.

to more 4 decades after its launch, A new computer model and reanalysis of the Voyager data have been revealed to indicate this Four of the largest moons of Uranus likely have oceanic layers between ice cores and crusts.

Insulation and potential sources of heat can contribute to the moons’ mantles ambient warmth While antifreezes such as chlorides, ammonia and salts are likely to be abundant in their oceans.

Upon arriving at Uranus in 1986, Voyager 2 noticed a bluish orb with very subtle features. A layer of haze obscured most of the planet’s cloud features from view. NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA scientists concluded Four of the largest moons of Uranus probably contain an ocean layer. Their study is the first to detail the evolution of the internal composition and structure of the five large moons: Ariel, Imperial, Titania, Oberon and Miranda. The work indicates that four of the moons contain oceans that may be tens of kilometers deep.

In everything at least 27 moons It orbits Uranus, and the largest of the four ranges from Ariel, which is 720 miles (1,160 kilometers) wide, to Titania, which is 980 miles (1,580 kilometers) wide. Scientists have long believed that Titania, due to its size, likely retained internal heat generated by radioactive decay. Previously, other moons were considered too small to retain the heat needed to prevent the inner ocean from freezing, especially since the heat from Uranus’ gravitational pull is only a secondary source of heat.

See also  They created the most detailed 3D map of the universe for the first time | Video

The National Academies of Astrobiology and Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey 2023 prioritized exploration of Uranus. In preparation for such a task, Planetary scientists focus on the ice giant To enhance your knowledge of the mysterious Uranus system. Participated in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets said lead author Julie Castillo-Rogues, Julie Castillo-Rogues NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Around gas planets, water can circulate in their moons under their surface (NASA)

“When it comes to small bodies (dwarf planets and moons), planetary scientists have previously found evidence of oceans in several unlikely places, including the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto, and Saturn’s moon Mimas,” he said. “So there are mechanisms at play that we don’t fully understand. This paper looks at what these things are and how they relate to the many bodies in the solar system that may be rich in water but have limited internal heat.”

The study reviewed findings from NASA’s Voyager 2 flyby from Uranus. In the eighties and observations from the ground. The authors built computer models imbued with additional findings from Galileo, Cassini, Vonn, and New Horizons (each of which discovered ocean worlds), including insights into the chemistry and geology of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Pluto, its moon Charon, and Ceres. . All icy bodies are the same size as the moons of Uranus.

The researchers used this model to measure how porous the surfaces of Uranus’ moons are, and found that they are likely sufficiently insulated to retain the internal heat needed to house the ocean. In addition, they found what could be a potential source of heat in the moons’ rocky mantle, which releases hot liquid and helps the ocean maintain a warm environment, a particularly likely scenario for Titania and Oberon, where the oceans could be warm enough to support habitable potential.

Hidden oceans of the moons of Uranus, according to an illustration from NASA
See also  What features does it offer and in which iPhone models can it be downloaded

By investigating the composition of the oceans, scientists can identify materials that may also be found on the icy surfaces of moons, depending on whether material below has been pushed up from below by geological activity. there Directory of telescopes that at least one of the moons, Ariel, has material flowing to its surface, possibly from volcanic ice, relatively recently.

In fact, Miranda, the innermost and fifth largest moon, also hosts surface features that appear to be of recent origin, indicating that it may have been warm enough to support an ocean at one time. Recent thermal modeling has found that Miranda is unlikely to hold water for very long: it loses heat too quickly and may now be frozen.

But internal heat wouldn’t be the only contributing factor to the moon’s subterranean ocean. One of the main findings in the study indicates that chlorides, as well as ammonia, are likely to be abundant in the oceans of the ice giant’s largest moon. It has long been known that ammonia acts as an antifreeze. In addition, the model indicates that salts likely present in the water would be another source of antifreeze, preserving the bodies’ inner oceans.

Of course, there are still many questions about the large moons of Uranus, Castillo-Rogues said, adding that there is still a lot of work to be done: “We need to develop new models for different assumptions about the origin of the moons in order to guide planning for future observations.”

Read on:

Are secret oceans hidden on the moons of Uranus?
Who are the four people chosen by NASA to live a year as if they were on Mars and what will they do?
NASA announced that there may be life on one of Saturn’s icy moons
See also  The new game from the creator of Stardew Valley is made "almost from scratch" and will focus on combat

Lovell Loxley

"Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top