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Hot water clue to life on Saturn moon

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posted on Mar, 12 2015 @ 02:32 PM
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Hope the follow up mission comes soon. Looks promissing.

Scientists find a 300 mile-wide moon of Saturn has hot water under its icy crust, raising the possibility that it may host life

uk.reuters.com...


This small moon orbiting Saturn could host life, according to NASA scientists. Enceladus is only 30 miles wide. But research suggests it possesses a large ocean containing hot water under its icy crust. The findings are the result of gravity measurements taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. SOUNDBITE (JAPANESE) ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, YASUHITO SEKINE, SAYING: "It's very rare that liquid water and heat exist at the same time and have strong chemical reactions between them; it has never been found in any places in the universe other than Earth." Silica nanoparticles were found in dust Cassini caught in space above the moon after it erupted off its surface. University of Tokyo Associate Professor Yasuhito Sekine, analysed them. He's not sure what causes the warmth, but thinks the water might be sustained by tidal heat from gravitational tugging by Saturn and its sister moons. He says some form of alien life could possibly be sustained on Enceladus. SOUNDBITE (JAPANESE) ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, YASUHITO SEKINE, SAYING: "We knew that Mars might have had liquid ocean and heat in the past, but now it's a cold and dry planet. But the Saturn moon, Enceladus, has liquid water and heat reacting to each other, which is a new discovery that raises the possibility that there may be living organisms." A follow-up mission to Enceladus is planned, but it will take decades for scientists to collect potential evidence of life.



NASA test-fires the largest solid fuel rocket motor in the world in Utah. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
uk.reuters.com...
edit on 12/3/15 by EnigmaAgent because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 12 2015 @ 02:45 PM
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Yes, this is akin to the steam vents which exist at the bottom of Earth's oceans, vents where life congregates and evolves. The possibility is there that these "alien" vents serve or have served the same purpose.



posted on Mar, 13 2015 @ 12:01 AM
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originally posted by: EnigmaAgent
Hope the follow up mission comes soon. Looks promissing.

Scientists find a 300 mile-wide moon of Saturn has hot water under its icy crust, raising the possibility that it may host life

uk.reuters.com...


Enceladus has been known for about 10 years to have subsurface water and its geysers were photographed erupting into space by NASA's Cassini space mission in 2005:




What the takeaway from today's stories should be is that we now know that it has hydrothermal vents like the ones on Earth which many scientists believe helped life get started here around 4 billion years ago.

Another takeaway is that it may under certain circumstances, be possible for tidally heated habitable exomoons to orbit exoplanets which are at the "too cold" distance from the planet and moon's central star.



 
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