Icy ocean world interiors: techniques and implications
Wed, Jan 15, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
PSI Conference Center
The discovery of icy ocean worlds within our own solar system has raised several important questions. Might these worlds, with their potentially habitable subsurface oceans, present our most promising opportunity for discovering life beyond Earth? More basically, how do we know the extent of these internal oceans, or that they are even present at all? Are these oceans a persistent or transient phenomenon? With an emphasis on Saturn’s small but surprisingly active moon Enceladus, I will show how, even with limited topography and gravity field information, we can place constraints on the interior structures and thermal states of these fascinating little worlds. At the same time, however, I will show that there are many important questions that remain open.