Recent NASA research suggests that four of the 27 moons orbiting the outer planet Uranus – Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, and Oberon – may have the necessary composition to support life.
Scientists have found evidence of oceans that could be miles deep lying between their icy crusts and cores, the New York Post reports.
Moreover, they have identified a potential heat source in the rocky mantles of these moons that could help maintain a warm environment suitable for supporting life.
This scenario is especially likely for Titania and Oberon, where the oceans may be warm enough to sustain habitability.
Telescopes have also observed evidence that material has flowed onto the surface of at least one of the moons, Ariel, potentially from icy volcanoes, relatively recently.
The discovery of a potential water source on these moons is a significant development in the search for extraterrestrial life, given their relative proximity to Earth.
Julie Castillo-Rogez and her team based their discovery on a re-evaluation of data gathered by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft during its flyby of Uranus in the 1980s.
This finding is just one part of a bigger picture in the Jovian planets region that could potentially support life.
Written by staff