A Guide to the Unearthly Oceans in Our Solar System

Liquid water is typically associated with planet Earth, but our solar system hosts surprisingly large volumes of the stuff—you just need to know where to

Curated via Twitter from Gizmodo’s twitter account….

Calculations point to an ocean 60 miles (100 km) deep, pointing to a tremendous amount of liquid water on this oversized moon.

Places outside this zone, whether planet, dwarf planet, or moon, are either burnt to a crisp or frozen solid, but that doesn’t mean they’re devoid of liquid water.

Some liquid water could still exist beneath Pluto’s frozen surface to this very day, in a process similar to the one seen on Ceres.

The moon’s sandwiched liquid layer is roughly 5 to 6 miles deep (8 to 10 km), and it contains about as much water as Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.

Earth is parked inside our solar system’s habitable zone, a celestial sweet spot in which liquid water can persist on a world’s surface.

Dwarf planets in the asteroid belt aren’t typically associated with liquid water, but such is the case for Ceres, which was recently revealed to be a watery world.

Liquid water has existed on Enceladus for potentially billions of years, and it’s concentrated in the moon’s southern hemisphere.

Its physical properties led Italian scientists to propose the presence of liquid water, which likely exists as a brine pool or sludge filled with soil.

Liquid water is typically associated with planet Earth, but our solar system hosts surprisingly large volumes of the stuff—you just need to know where to look.

A mosaic image showing the location of a presumed subterranean reservoir, with blue representing liquid water.

Mars used to host vast oceans and rushing rivers on its surface, but most of that water is now gone, lost to outer space.

As research from 2018 showed, however, some stable liquid water may exist near the Red Planet’s south polar ice cap.

This is potentially good news for future Martian explorers, as liquid water will be a scarce commodity on the Red Planet.

Lake Vostok formed around 14 million years ago, and its water has been isolated from the rest of the world for around 1 million years.

The dwarf planet’s reservoir sits some 25 miles (40 km) beneath the surface, and it measures hundreds of miles wide—which is substantial, given that Ceres is just 590 miles wide (950 km).

Vostok thus offers a unique environment for scientists studying ancient ecosystems, as this body of water could contain species never seen before (cue ominous horror movie music).

Enceladus also features fractures on its surface called tiger stripes, which often leak water.

Gravitational tugs exerted by Jupiter, and not heat from the Sun, allow this water to remain in a liquid state.

Evidence of a subsurface ocean appeared in 2011, when the Hubble Space Telescope spotted geysers spewing out from the moon’s surface.

Liquid water could exist deep inside these planets where the temperature and atmospheric pressure is just right.

A warm watery world exists beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa.

An instrument aboard the Mars Express spacecraft bounced radar off the Martian surface, showing an odd subterranean structure measuring 12 miles (20 km) across.

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