On March 13th, 2015 we learned about

The indoor heated pool on Enceladus

The solar system may have even more wet moons. The Cassini spacecraft found ice geysers spraying from the south pole of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, in 2005. This sparked speculation that there was some kind of liquid ocean below the surface.

The latest wrinkle is Cassini’s detection of tiny silica particles, presumably ejected into space by Enceladus’ geysers. The exciting thing is that this silica could have only been formed at temperatures around 190° F, which means that there’s a considerable amount of heat being created under the moon’s icy exterior. Some of that heat may be caused by the pull of Saturn’s gravity, but that likely doesn’t explain all of it.

The most exciting explanation would be that there are chemical reactions taking place, generating the heat. And that much activity and energy could be a possible starting point for living organisms. It’s not quite as hot as the organisms that live near Earth’s thermal vents, but they may still be a possible model for what kind of ecosystem could exist in Enceladus. It’s a lot of “woulds” and “coulds,” but it’s still exciting to suddenly have a distant moon proving to be so active in the first place.

Source: Researchers Think There's A Warm Ocean On Enceladus by Geoff Brumfiel, The Two-Way

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