Enceladus actually has a slight wobble while it orbits, which according to scientists can only be explained by theorizing that its outer icy shell and interior are not frozen together, suggesting the presence of a liquid ocean underneath.
The latest discovery was made courtesy of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
“This was a hard problem that required years of observations and calculations involving a diverse collection of disciplines, but we are confident we finally got it right,” said scientist Peter Thomas.
There was over 7 years of data from Cassini that was used to study the wobble and reach the conclusion of an underground ocean.
“If the surface and core were rigidly connected, the core would provide so much dead weight the wobble would be far smaller than we observe it to be,” said SETI’s Matthew Tiscareno. “This proves that there must be a global layer of liquid separating the surface from the core.”
It’s still not clear as to why the subterranean ocean hasn’t frozen up, however the possibility of such an environment opens doors to the idea that life may exist below the icy surface.
Check out the article here at astronomy.com.