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Enceladus moon good candidate for astrobiology study

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posted on Nov, 6 2017 @ 10:05 PM
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I saw a fairly sensational sounding story on MSN news, called There’s a good chance life exists under the surface of this Moon source:MSN. It describes observations made by Cassini which support the theory that Enceladus could be potentially hospitable, having millions or billions of years to potentially evolve life.

If any life is found, my bet is on microbial life, but can't rule out macro-organisms. Either way, if this turned out to be the case, it would provide very strong indications for the existence of other complex intelligent life in the universe. In that respect, even microbes would be a major discovery.

Due to these findings, I would expect it to be a prime candidate for current and future searches for life off this planet.

To ensure MSN wasn't being too sensational, I got on phys.org and read their article on the findings.

source: phys.org


Enough heat to power hydrothermal activity inside Saturn's ocean moon Enceladus for billions of years could be generated through tidal friction if the moon has a highly porous core, a new study finds, working in favour of the moon as a potentially habitable world.

Read more at: phys.org...





edit on 11/6/2017 by JBurns because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 6 2017 @ 10:22 PM
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“All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landings there.”
―Arthur C. Clarke


I hope so, since humans have been banned from the other leading candidate with warm subsurface oceans.



posted on Nov, 6 2017 @ 10:24 PM
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Woah, while looking for these results on arxiv.org, I stumbled across a paper from physicists at University of Wuppertal called Acoustic properties of glacial ice for neutrino detection and the Enceladus Explorer.

In this paper, they mention a probe called "Enceladus Explorer" and describe the following:



The purpose of the Enceladus Explorer (EnEx), on the other hand, is the search for extraterrestrial life on the Saturn moon Enceladus. Here acoustics is used to maneuver a subsurface probe inside the ice by trilateration of signals.


If I'm reading this correctly, there are already plans to search the moon. I know this has been a theoretically likely candidate for awhile now, so this looks like something that could be confirmed/unconfirmed at some point.



posted on Nov, 6 2017 @ 10:27 PM
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a reply to: Tripnman


That certainly brought back memories from the 60s


I can imagine a warm subsurface ocean given billions of years could develop some pretty interesting organisms



posted on Nov, 6 2017 @ 10:51 PM
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Plan it and send it.

I'm typically in support of anything that will help get humanity off this rock sooner. What better way to start than to discover life on another world.

They've been talking about sending a probe to Enceladus since I was a teenager. So far I have seen no prototyping, planning, research phases. I wanna know what's going on. Are we doing this or not?

PS: Google Chrome's autocorrect wants to change Enceladus to Enchiladas. This has been a public service announcement.
edit on 6 11 17 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2017 @ 10:56 PM
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a reply to: JBurns

Clarke's warning aside, I think we should be exploring Eurpoa, Enceladus, Callisto, Titan and any other icy moon that may have subsurface oceans. I've always thought that these worlds would be our best local candidates for extra terrestrial life, single celled or larger.

The surface ice would provide good protection from the massive radiation from the planet (especially when it's miles thick). Throw in some (warm) water, salt and other nutrients and it sounds like a life-giving recipe to me. Look at the crazy adaptations here on Earth with the organisms that colonize around hydro-thermal vents in the deep ocean. They never see light, there's very little dissolved oxygen in the frigid water and yet they thrive.

Landing RC buggies on Mars was awesome. Now let's build a RC submarine with a really long cable, wrap it up in a ice boring machine that can slip through a mile of ice, strap it to a rocket and get there already.

EDIT: Dammit, now I want tacos too.
edit on 6-11-2017 by Tripnman because: Tacos



posted on Nov, 6 2017 @ 10:57 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Seconded!

I can only hope this will provide some impetus for sending a probe, especially now they believe favorable conditions exist.

And I am not a big fan when it comes to auto-correct, but I do believe this is a sign from above to proceed immediately to taco bell and collect tacos



posted on Nov, 6 2017 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: Tripnman

I'm adding Pluto to your great list since there is strong evidence of a subsurface ocean there as well. Another case where the entire surface might actually be floating.

The expense is of course ginormous but still I wonder why we waste so much on less significant projects. Maybe some Black Ops missions have some of this covered.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 12:15 AM
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a reply to: JBurns

While I think it's an excellent discovery, the only problem is when we do arrive there, it will be under the control of corporations a la Weyland-Yutani from Aliens.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 05:33 AM
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a reply to: JBurns

This repeated mentioning here of "billions of years" to be time enough to have begat life on these bodies is rather ill-logical as we apparently breeze right past other bodies that may well have themselves created and extinguished life (more or less) during those billions of years.

It seems that mankind is desperate to find some sign of low-level life forms so that he can stand tall, thump his chest and shout to the universe that he, alone, IS the master. Yet he ignores the best evidence for why he is not.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 07:38 AM
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originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: JBurns

This repeated mentioning here of "billions of years" to be time enough to have begat life on these bodies is rather ill-logical as we apparently breeze right past other bodies that may well have themselves created and extinguished life (more or less) during those billions of years.

I'm not sure which ones we are "breezing past". Mars is right next door, and most scientists believe the conditions were right on Mars once to have begat life. Next out from there is Europa and after that is Enceladus, two moons that are though to have the right conditions for life under their ice caps. Titan also is believed to be a great candidate for life, and NASA has even found some anomalous levels of hydrogen that could suggest something on Tian may be eating that hydrogen.

So it seems to me they are very interested in finding life right in our own neighborhood.


It seems that mankind is desperate to find some sign of low-level life forms so that he can stand tall, thump his chest and shout to the universe that he, alone, IS the master. Yet he ignores the best evidence for why he is not.


Quite the opposite is true. Your take on this is rather short-sighted.

Life on Enceladus or Titan (for example) would have almost certainly had its own independent genesis, separate from ours. That would mean that life independently got its start in two different places in the same solar system. The idea that life would arise (at least) twice in one small solar system suggests that life is common throughout the universe, and if life of any kind is common, then there are almost surely other intelligent beings out there -- and we are just a tiny part of that living universe.

So no -- we aren't looking for evidence of microbes on Enceladus, Europa, Titan, and Mars so humans can claim they are special. Conversely, we are looking for that life to show that humans are just one example of life in a universe where life is common.


edit on 7/11/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 08:45 AM
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I believe that Enceladus does indeed have life. As does some of the other Moons of our solar system.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 11:39 AM
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a reply to: Aliensun


I also believe this is rather shortsighted. We mention microbes and microorganisms opposed to intelligent bioforms because there are more such organisms in our sample biome (Humans, Earth respectively). Therefore there is a greater chance of making a discovery involving microbes vs intelligent life, which would also galvanize the scientific community (and all of humanity, hopefully) to invest heavily in space exploration and development.

Given the vastness of space, my personal belief/deduction is that there is indeed intelligent life out there. So there is no argument from me. Humans aren't the center of the universe. We're barely the center of our own planet (and its moon)


Also don't want anyone to be disappointed if microbes are found, but not intelligent life. The sheer finding of ANY life whatsoever would highly increase the probability of this intelligent life, so by no means would microbes be a small discovery.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 06:04 PM
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originally posted by: JBurns
a reply to: Aliensun

The sheer finding of ANY life whatsoever would highly increase the probability of this intelligent life, so by no means would microbes be a small discovery.


This. Life on Earth has shown that it will always find a way. If we can prove the existence of life (at any scale) on some other rock than it becomes almost a certainty that the universe is teaming with it.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 06:11 PM
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If we were to anticipate the results from our experience with searching other planets and moons and asteroids for other life so far, it's dead as a doornail.

Off hand, if life exists somewhere, it soon makes itself obvious. The Earth looks the way it does because of life. See any other space rocks that look like Earth? Nope.

But, hey. The world has a lot of extra money lying around, the U.S. in particular, and we gotta employ our rocket scientists and keep them busy so somebody else doesn't hire them, so what the hell. Shoot a rocket at it. And then after we figure out that one is dead, we find another to shoot a rocket at. One down, billions to go.
edit on 7-11-2017 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)




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