Exploring the Ocean Worlds of Our Solar System

  • Bernard Henin

Part of the Astronomers' Universe book series (ASTRONOM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Bernard Henin
      Pages 3-20
    3. Bernard Henin
      Pages 21-31
    4. Bernard Henin
      Pages 33-75
  3. Part II

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 77-77
    2. Bernard Henin
      Pages 79-96
    3. Bernard Henin
      Pages 97-109
    4. Bernard Henin
      Pages 111-142
    5. Bernard Henin
      Pages 143-158
    6. Bernard Henin
      Pages 159-188
  4. Part III

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-189
    2. Bernard Henin
      Pages 191-208
    3. Bernard Henin
      Pages 209-231
    4. Bernard Henin
      Pages 233-247
  5. Part IV

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 249-249
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 273-303

About this book


In the last 25 years, planetary science experienced a revolution, as vast oceans of liquid water have been discovered within the heart of the icy moons of our Solar System. These subsurface oceans lie hidden under thick layers of ice. We call them ocean worlds.

Some of these icy moons, such as Ganymede, may hold two to three times more liquid water than all the water present on Earth, while others, such as Enceladus and Europa, are thought by astrobiologists to be our best hope of finding extraterrestrial life.

In this book, we will explore and compare a variety of Solar System ocean worlds, meeting in the process 22 of the most intriguing objects, from the giant asteroid Ceres to the enigmatic, distant Sedna. In doing so, we will also encounter the multiple spacecraft that brought back most of what we know of these worlds (Pioneers, Voyagers, Cassini-Huygens, etc.), as well as the latest scientific research on this new topic.

We will also entertain the possibility of life on each of these ocean worlds by assessing their habitability, as ultimately, these ocean worlds might hold the key to answering the fundamental questions in life: How did life appear? Where do we come from? Is there life out there?


Alien bodies of water Astrobiology and water Habitability of worlds Oceans on other planets Habitability of other planets Moons in our solar system Extraterrestrial wet worlds Europa's ocean Enceladus' buried ocean Titan's ocean Planet subsurface Planetary exploration

Authors and affiliations

  • Bernard Henin
    • 1
  1. 1.NottinghamUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information