A moon of Saturn that bears a striking resemblance to Star Wars‘ Death Star has been holding a secret — and it’s not the Galactic Empire’s favorite world-obliterating space weapon.
Mimas, one of the planet’s 146 moons, most likely has an ocean brewing under its entire icy shell, according to new evidence recently published in the journal Nature.
Though previous research has suggested the tiny moon could have water beneath its lackluster surface, the study, led by astronomer Valéry Lainey at the Paris Observatory, presents the most compelling case yet, contradicting other theories that its interior is solid. That makes Mimas the ninth place in the solar system believed to have sloshy seas — counting Earth among the lot, of course.
“The existence of a recently formed liquid water ocean makes Mimas a prime candidate for study for researchers investigating the origin of life,” said Nick Cooper, co-author of the study from Queen Mary University of London, in a statement.