Watch geysers erupt!
It is thought that Saturn is orbited by around 82 moons, but its diminutive moon Enceladus exhibits some of the most fascinating features in the solar system. Fast jets of gas, water vapour and ice stream out from Enceladus’s south pole, spraying debris into space where it forms Saturn’s outermost rings. These powerful eruptions originate from a hidden ocean lying beneath its icy crust.
Jupiter’s icy moon Europa has a visibly cracked surface. Fissures criss-cross the thick ice sheets that cover this moon, capping a deep salty ocean three times as large as Earth’s. Like Enceladus, Europa has plumes of spraying water that erupt from its surface reaching far into space. Scientists are interested in ocean worlds like Enceladus and Europa because of their potential to support microbial life. By comparing with ice-covered lakes in Antarctica, scientists can better understand these alien ocean environments, and how to explore them.