Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Surface, ocean and core of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The illustration shows
Surface, ocean and core of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The illustration shows the ice shell, which is thinner at the polar regions, with the ocean underneath. The core of Enceladus is assumed to be porous and thus permeable to ocean water. The graphic is based on a new model used to produce a three-dimensional simulation of these processes under the influence of Saturn’s tidal forces. The orange "glowing" parts of the core represent the areas that reach temperatures of at least 90 degrees Celsius.

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the "engine" for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. This presupposes that the moon has a porous core that allows water from the overlying ocean to seep in, where the tidal friction exerted on the rocks heats it. This shows a computer simulation based on observations from the European-American Cassini-Huygens mission. It also offers among others an answer to the long-standing question of where the energy that can support water in liquid form on the small, cryovulcanic moon far from the sun comes from. ...

account creation

TO READ THIS ARTICLE, CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT

And extend your reading, free of charge and with no commitment.