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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Ocean Worlds

Ocean Worlds

Doug Ellison, Emily Lakdawalla, and Bob Pappalardo. Internal models based mostly on Hauke Hussmann, Frank Sohl, and Tilman Spohn, 2006, except for Titan (Giuseppi Mitri et al., 2010) and the Galilean moons (Bob Pappalardo, personal communication)

Ocean Worlds
The solar system is full of “ocean worlds.” Their surfaces are inhospitable—frozen and fried by solar and galactic radiation—but deep inside, they contain large volumes of liquid water. At least two of these worlds, Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus, very likely have hydrothermal vents sprouting from hot rocks at their ocean floors, providing a possible habitat for life.

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