Recently in the Moons and Icy Worlds Category

Gas hydrates formed in oceans and permafrost occur in vast quantities on Earth representing both a massive potential fuel source and a large threat in climate forecasts. They have been predicted to be important on other bodies in our solar systems such as Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.

Ammonia, if present in the ice shells of icy satellites, could lower the temperature for the onset of melting to 176 K and create a large temperature range where partial melt is thermally stable.

Strategies to identify and explore ocean worlds in our solar system should focus on a range of targets, including confirmed and unconfirmed ocean worlds, according to a new paper by a team led by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Amanda R. Hendrix.

A recently published study led by researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology reveals Ganymede, an icy moon of Jupiter, appears to have undergone complex periods of geologic activity, specifically strike-slip tectonism, as is seen in Earth's San Andreas fault.

Ganymede's atmosphere is produced by radiative interactions with its surface, sourced by the Sun and the Jovian plasma. The sputtered and thermally desorbed molecules are tracked in our Exospheric Global Model (EGM), a 3-D parallelized collisional model.

Geophysical measurements can reveal the structure of icy ocean worlds and cycling of volatiles. The associated density, temperature, sound speed, and electrical conductivity of such worlds thus characterizes their habitability.

To date, seismological efforts have been limited to terrestrial objects: Earth, the Moon, and soon Mars. All have in common a rigid lithosphere above a solid mantle. The coming years may see the development of seismological experiments for Europa, Titan and Enceladus, so it is necessary to adapt seismological concepts to the setting of worlds with global oceans covered in ice.

A liquid ocean lying deep beneath Pluto's frozen surface is the best explanation for features revealed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, according to a new analysis.

As NASA missions explore our solar system and search for new worlds, they are finding water in surprising places. Water is but one piece of our search for habitable planets and life beyond Earth, yet it links many seemingly unrelated worlds in surprising ways.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists the first clear evidence that Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal activity which may resemble that seen in the deep oceans on Earth.