Modelling the Interior Structure of Enceladus Based on the 2014’s Cassini Gravity Data

  • R.-S. Taubner
  • J. J. Leitner
  • M. G. Firneis
  • R. Hitzenberger
Astrobiology

Abstract

We present a model for the internal structure of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. This model allows us to estimate the physical conditions at the bottom of the satellite’s potential subsurface water reservoir and to determine the radial distribution of pressure and gravity. This leads to a better understanding of the physical and chemical conditions at the water/rock boundary. This boundary is the most promising area on icy moons for astrobiological studies as it could serve as a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life similar to terrestrial microbes that inhabit rocky mounds on Earth’s sea floors.

Keywords

Enceladus Icy moons Internal structure Subsurface water reservoir 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • R.-S. Taubner
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. J. Leitner
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. G. Firneis
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Hitzenberger
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Platform: ExoLifeUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of AstrophysicsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Aerosolphysics and Environmental Physics, Faculty of PhysicsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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