Good news! As concerns of growing water scarcity grow among experts on Earth, some believe they know where a massive cache of H20 could be. The only problem is it’s a bit of a hike to reach it since it’s in one of Saturn’s moons. Still, it’s a good sign that life could grow there.
Mimas, which scientists say looks like the Death Star from Star Wars, has the potential to hold massive quantities of water. Mimas from the outside looks like a giant block of ice. But it has something Saturn’s other moon’s don’t — a strange orbital pattern, Mashable reported.
Saturn’s gravity pulls and stretches the moon like taffy as Mimas orbits. This causes “tidal heating,” which can create large amounts of water. While there are no signs of life on — or under the surface — of Mimas, this does give researchers hope.
“Water is at the top of the list of ingredients that make life possible,” NASA explained. “Tidal heating could be powering a system that cycles water and nutrients between the moon’s rocky interior, ice shell, and ocean, creating a watery environment rich with chemistry conducive to life.”
It’s unlikely humans could ever survive on that planet, but other forms of life could potentially make it there.
Scientists Find ‘Significant Amounts of Water’ on Mars
The European Space Agency recently announced that it had discovered a vast ocean of water just below the surface of Mars the size of the Netherlands. It’s a major step in determining if mankind could one day live there as billionaire Elon Musk hopes.
Scientists have long suspected water existed on the Red Planet. They thought there are small amounts at the planet’s poles. But this new find is a sea change in our understanding.
The space agency’s ExoMars orbiter used a new kind of technology that can analyze hydrogen on the ground as it orbits the planet. The equipment detected a gigantic deposit of the chemical at the Candor Chaos — Mars’ Grand Canyon. The cache of water stretches 15,830 square miles.
“We found a central part of Valles Marineris to be packed full of water — far more water than we expected. This is very much like Earth’s permafrost regions, where water ice permanently persists under dry soil because of the constant low temperatures,” said Igor Mitrofanov, a member of the team who analyzed the data.
The push to move some humans to another planet to protect the species from environmental collapse is getting louder. And while Mars poses a lot of challenges, it also seems to have the best chance of survival, thanks in large part to discoveries like this.
“Knowing more about how and where water exists on present-day Mars is essential to understand what happened to Mars’ once-abundant water, and helps our search for habitable environments, possible signs of past life, and organic materials from Mars’ earliest days,” said ExoMars project scientist Colin Wilson.