A moon that looks like the Death Star from "Star Wars" might have something hiding beneath it.
What is this? A whole ocean.
Mimas, one of Saturn's 82 moons, has a huge crater on its surface and thus resembles the iconic Star Wars ship, but it may be a "liquid internal ocean," according to the strange wobble the moon has wroughtmore often formally a "oscillation" by in its rotation thats similar to the way other ocean-carrying planets and moons move.
While internal water ocean worlds (IWOWs) have been discovered before, those being actually, other planets' moons, the possibility of one on Mimas further enhances the theory of how life may thrive outside of a planet such as Earth.
IWOWs, such as Enceladus and Europa, tend to be fractured and show other signs of geologic activity, says Dr. Alyssa Rhoden, a research fellow in geophysics of icy satellites.
Turns out, Mimas' surface was tricking us, and our new understanding has greatly expanded the definition of a potentially habitable world in our solar system and beyond.
The Southwest Research Institute's press release continues to explain how this new information came to light only after the NASA Cassini mission captured the movement. Where scientists take those information from here, however, remains to be seen.
Mimas' status as an ocean moon would enable us to better understand Saturn's rings and mid-sized moons, as well as the prevalence of potentially habitable ocean moons, according to Rhoden.