Categorized | General, SnowSports

Skiing on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

Posted on 06 October 2011 by SomeGood

Skiing on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

You’ll want to use your air miles for this ski trip. Saturn’s Enceladus moon has fine, powdery ice crystals constantly falling from its’ atmosphere.

The superfine ice crystals that coat Enceladus’s surface would make perfect powder for skiing.

Bulky space suits and extremely low gravity aside (the surface gravity there is only roughly 1% that of Earth’s), the particles themselves are only a fraction of a millimeter in size, roughly a micron or two across, even finer than talcum powder. This would make for the finest powder a skier could hope for.
Dr. Paul Schenk of the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

I imagine that low gravity would make for some really BIG AIR. People might be charging 200 metre drops into craters since Enceladus appears to have a lot interesting terrain. Craters, ridges, valleys scarps and ‘tiger strips’ could equate into some interesting skiing and riding.

NASA Enceladus moon terrain

Ski terrain on Enceladus by NASA

Pale pink snow will have you carefully consider what tint of goggle to take. It is believed that salt in the water produces the tint. The very small ice crystals, measured in microns, can accumulate into large drifts. Some drifts measured 100 metres, so bring your fat boards.

As global warming threatens skiing around the world maybe we’ll all be booking trips to Encedalus. NASA scientists reported that Enceladus,

“is emerging as the most habitable spot beyond Earth in the Solar System for life as we know it”.

Enceladus is also a candidate for harboring extraterrestrial life since the Cassini probe found trace amounts of organic compounds in some dust.

What ever you do don’t forget your down suit. Enceladus the most reflective surface of any body in the solar system means surface temperature at noon only reaches −198 °C. And I thought I was cold teaching skiing in Banff in -69° C back in the 90′s.

Via Discovery & Astrobiology Magazine

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