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All Aglow: Enceladus

Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.

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Owlscrying
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:36 pm

Image
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn's moon Enceladus drifts before the rings, which glow brightly in the sunlight. Beneath its icy exterior shell, Enceladus hides a global ocean of liquid water. Just visible at the moon's south pole (at bottom here) is the plume of water ice particles and other material that constantly spews from that ocean via fractures in the ice. The bright speck to the right of Enceladus is a distant star.

This image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 6, 2011, at a distance of approximately 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from Enceladus.

Source / Image Courtesy

 

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Owlscrying
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:37 pm



NASA's Cassini spacecraft discovered hydrogen in the plume of gas and icy particles spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus. The discovery means the small, icy moon — which has a global ocean under its surface — has a source of chemical energy that could be useful for microbes, if any exist there. The finding also provides further evidence that warm, mineral-laden water is pouring into the ocean from vents in the seafloor.

On Earth, such hydrothermal vents support thriving communities of life in complete isolation from sunlight. Enceladus now appears likely to have all three of the ingredients scientists think life needs: liquid water, a source of energy (like sunlight or chemical energy), and the right chemical ingredients (like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen).

Cassini is not able to detect life, and has found no evidence that Enceladus is inhabited. But if life is there, that means life is probably common throughout the cosmos; if life has not evolved there, it would suggest life is probably more complicated or unlikely than we have thought.

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Owlscrying
Posts: 2066
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:39 pm



Enceladus, one of saturn's moons, impresses with mystery geysers that spit out into space. This documentary about the findings of the Cassini-Hyugens spacecraft shows the beautiful geysers.

 

 

Samanthaj
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:19 am

Unread post Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:42 pm

Owlscrying wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:37 pm


NASA's Cassini spacecraft discovered hydrogen in the plume of gas and icy particles spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus. The discovery means the small, icy moon — which has a global ocean under its surface — has a source of chemical energy that could be useful for microbes, if any exist there. The finding also provides further evidence that warm, mineral-laden water is pouring into the ocean from vents in the seafloor.

On Earth, such hydrothermal vents support thriving communities of life in complete isolation from sunlight. Enceladus now appears likely to have all three of the ingredients scientists think life needs: liquid water, a source of energy (like sunlight or chemical energy), and the right chemical ingredients (like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen).

Cassini is not able to detect life, and has found no evidence that Enceladus is inhabited. But if life is there, that means life is probably common throughout the cosmos; if life has not evolved there, it would suggest life is probably more complicated or unlikely than we have thought.

 .

I'm so so so happy to read this. I think we are a step away. :clapp:
I know i'm positive there must be life out there. No way there can't be... (or never has been).
Thanks for posting Owlscrying :hugs:
"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A. A. Milne

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