Saturn's 'Death Star' moon Mimas may have an ocean scientists never believed could exist

The nature reference paper cited in the abstract states: "Moons potentially harbouring a global ocean are tending to become relatively common objects in the Solar System1. The presence of these long-lived global oceans is generally betrayed by surface modification owing to internal dynamics2. Hence, Mimas would be the most unlikely place to look for the presence of a global ocean3. Here, from detailed analysis of Mimas’s orbital motion based on Cassini data, with a particular focus on Mimas’s periapsis drift, we show that its heavily cratered icy shell hides a global ocean, at a depth of 20–30 kilometres. Eccentricity damping implies that the ocean is likely to be less than 25 million years old and still evolving. Our simulations show that the ocean–ice interface reached a depth of less than 30 kilometres only recently (less than 2–3 million years ago), a time span too short for signs of activity at Mimas’s surface to have appeared."

What? Saturn ring system is considered to be very young too, perhaps 100 Myr or less. Now Mimas with a young ocean too? The radiometric ages of meteorites for the age of the solar system is fixed at about 4.56 Gyr.
Mar 9, 2024
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An interesting article. But like millions of articles today, the headline credits some discovery / creation / theory to 'scientists' - presumably because Joe Public couldn't possibly know what an astronomer or an astrophysicist does. The problem is every time the word scientist is used, especially in a headline, it appears to be yet more fake news, click-bait, or AI-generated fluffery - no-one need more of that!

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