Skiing on Saturn’s moon
6th October 2011
Snow like crystals have apparently been falling on one of the planet’s moons for millions of years and have created deep powder snow in places. Perhaps one day we could be skiing there! PlanetSKI reports.
Scientists studying data from the Cassini orbiting probe have said that Enceladus, Saturn’s icy moon, is coated by a thick layer of powdery snow in places.
It is apparently spewed out from a vast underground ocean via surface vents and it turns into tiny particles of ice that are as fine as talcum powder.
Perfect for skiing and snowboarding.
The scientists have used computer generated mapping techniques to come up with their findings and say it is a light pink colour. The Cassini orbiter has been studying Saturn and its satellites since 2004.
They claim it is just a dusting in places but it has been going on for millions of years and so the build up is 100m deep on parts of the surface.
Apart from the obvious problem for us skiers of getting to Enceladus and of finding a decent hotel and ski hire shop there is another small matter.
There’s not much gravity on the moon.
In fact 100 times less then earth so a space suit would need to be designed to keep you on the surface of the snow but not so heavy that you sink in.
It may of course be somewhat difficult to make that smoothed carve turn in such a suit, but at least it cold be made in purple which is the colour of fashion for this coming 2011/12 ski season apparently.
Then there is of course the small detail that gravity is rather useful when it comes to skiing downhill.
We reckon it will be a while before we opt for Enceladus over Espace Killy but when ski holidays are offered to Saturn’s moon, or any other place in space come to that, PlanetSKI will be there and we’ll be living up to our name.
For more information on the discovery see here.
For the spirit of the mountains