The sea may be under the ice of Saturn’s moon “Mimas” like the Death Star-GIGAZINE


by Kevin Gill

movieStar WarsAppear in the seriesGalactic EmpireSpace fortress “Death starIs a huge astronomical military space station.Saturn’s first satellite, which is said to resemble the Death Star.MimasIt has been pointed out that there is a possibility that “there is a sea of ​​liquid under the ice”.

The case for an ocean-bearing Mimas from tidal heating analysis – ScienceDirect
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0019103521005091

SwRI scientist uncovers evidence for an inter | EurekAlert!
https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/940521

Saturn’s ‘Death Star’ moon could have a secret underground ocean | Live Science
https://www.livescience.com/saturn-death-star-moon-hidden-ocean

Discovered in 1798, Saturn’s first satellite, Mimas, is a celestial body with a diameter of about 400 km, and there are many craters and canyons on its surface.The largest crater in MimasHerschelThe diameter is about 130km, the height of the peripheral wall is about 5km, the depth of the bottom is about 10km, and the height of the hill in the center of the crater is about 6km.

Such Mimas is said to be “similar to the military space station” Death Star “that appears in the Star Wars series,” or “Thermal image (heat distribution map) resembles Pac-ManIt has been pointed out. NASA has also created an image associated with the story “Mimas resembles the Death Star.”

by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

For Mimas, the Saturn probe launched by NASA and othersCassiniFrom the observation data ofscaleIt is known that it is performing a vibrational motion called. Since it is difficult to explain the libration of Mimas only by its own orbital motion, it has been pointed out that “Isn’t there a sea inside Mimas?”

However, “If there is a sea insideTide powerThere should be some cracks in the ice on the surface of Mimas, “and there is a theory that libration may be due to another factor. Alicia Roden, a geophysicist at the Southwest Institute in the United States, said:EnceladusorEuropaPlanets with an internal ocean, such as, show surface cracks and other geological signs. “

Therefore, the research team of Roden et al. Warms the inside of Mimas by the gravitational interaction with Saturn.tidal heatingCreated a model to see if we could have a sea of ​​liquid inside without destroying the ice on the surface. Then, analysis using a tidal heating model revealed that Mimas can maintain liquid water inside while holding ice with a thickness of 24-31 km on the surface. Roden argues that this scenario is not a special adjustment, it is a realistic scenario in terms of the stability of the ice shell, and it is consistent with the observations of libration. ..

“The fact that Mimas has a sea represents the existence of a new type of’stealth’ocean world where the sea does not leak from the surface,” Roden said. “After all, the surface of Mimas is me. Our new understanding has greatly expanded the definition of a “potentially habitable world.” That is, if there is a sea in Mimas, whose surface is covered with ice and shows no signs of geology such as cracks, there is much more water and life supported by water in the solar system than previously assumed. There is a possibility of doing so.


This discovery has the potential to make Mimas a promising target for future exploration. “While these results support the existence of the ocean in Mimas, it is a formidable theme to align Mimas’s orbital and geological features with our current understanding of thermal and orbital evolution,” Roden said. He argued that Mimas’s research is an attractive research target for understanding the habitable marine satellites that exist on Saturn and Tenno.

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