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Thanks to the observations made by the Cassini space probe and the NASA Deep Space Network, we know a little more about Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons. American and Italian scientists discovered in 2005 evidence that Enceladus, which has an area covered by ice, houses an underground ocean of liquid water. This revelation has opened a new field for scientists about the possibility of extraterrestrial microbes on this satellite.
Studies began when the Cassini probe discovered water vapor and ice geysers that flowed through vents near the south pole of Enceladus. These data provided the first geophysical measurements of the internal structure of this moon, suggesting the existence of an ocean inside Saturn's satellite. Everything indicates that water could be found only 40 kilometers from the icy surface of Enceladus.
The finding was a surprise, since the surface temperature of Enceladus is -180 degrees Celsius, and its size is too small to have an internal energy source capable of melting ice and generating liquid water.
Scientists estimate that this ocean could be as large as Lake Superior shared by the United States and Canada, and that it has an area of 82,100 square kilometers. In addition, this body of water is on an extensive layer of siliceous rock.
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