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Cassini may have found water on Enceladus

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posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by meshuggah1324
Drudge Report show's them as TWO SEPERATE stories..


Yeah, and clicking on link one (before they took it down at least) had said...



NASA is planning to make an announcement about a new discovery.


Exact details of what we can expect to hear have not been released. Earlier reports about the announcement may have been misleading.


So Drudge is just misleading people and blowing things out of proportion still.




posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 01:04 PM
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*WELL HERE'S THE PUDDING*

www.cnn.com...




posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 01:10 PM
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"We have the smoking gun" that proves the existence of water, said Carolyn Porco, a Cassini imaging scientist from the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.


I think she means "the steaming gun"


Or maybe more precisely, "the water gun".



I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 01:28 PM
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Beachcoma, the big deal comes from two elements.

First, this is the first time liquid water has ever been discovered on an extraterrestrial surface. Ice has been found, but never liquid water.

Another amazing element behind this is the surface of Enceladus. It has been a big mystery for a long while, because it seemed to have a fresh new sheet of ice that was somehow replenishing itself. From this discovery, it would seem that there are many, many geysers of this type covering the entire surface, leading to the belief it may be similar to Europa in it's makeup. However, the Ice level on Europa is extremely thick, with the under-ice ocean existing due to the gravitational forces of Jupiter keeping the core heated. So now the question is, what's allowing water so near to the surface of Enceladus that it can melt through the ice at times and come through (so far as has been observed, this doesn't happen on Europa that I've seen) to the surface.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 01:35 PM
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On NASA TV now!!!!!!!!!

Go here:

www.nasa.gov...

then select how you want to watch it via Real Player, Windows Media, Yahoo, ect.




posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 02:04 PM
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The big question is, did they discover Scotch there, too? That would be a sure sign of life.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake
However, the Ice level on Europa is extremely thick, with the under-ice ocean existing due to the gravitational forces of Jupiter keeping the core heated. So now the question is, what's allowing water so near to the surface of Enceladus that it can melt through the ice at times and come through (so far as has been observed, this doesn't happen on Europa that I've seen) to the surface.


Not saying it's not a big deal, just saying I'm not surprised. They've speculated about it since the Cassini probe first noticed the ice is being replenished. Even before Cassini the clues were there. It's got the highest albedo (reflectivity) of any object in the Solar System -- 99%. Most space snowballs get dirty from cosmic dust. Not Enceladus. Something's keeping it shiny.

They've also speculated Saturn's rings are replenished by that small moon via the same process that resurfaces it. So I'm just saying it's not a surprise. Interesting, but not surprising given what was known before.

Anyway, isn't it possible that tidal forces alone can account for the heating of that small moon so that much of it's sub-surface is liquid? I mean Europa is more or less 325 times the mass of the Enceladus. I take that to mean it's not as easy to heat up much of it via tidal forces.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 04:49 PM
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But if they is water theres a big chance it contains life. Mars once had water so does that mean mars had life on it one time?
The life on there is probally like those blind shrimp that live on the ocean very primitave beings. But can surivive in harsh conditions and reproduce.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 05:01 PM
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Not a big chance, but instead a possibility. There are few places in our Solar system that could foster life as we know it. Now there is another possibility of a planetary body hosting primitive microorganisms. We are clueless as to the likelihood of this, though. The only other two real possibilities I know of are Europa and Titan, and as of yet, no expeditions have gone there to verify the existence of life there. Since Earth is the only place we know of where life exists, there is no way to know the probability of it existing on another planetary body. It could be that life is very common, and bacteria are everywhere, or it could be that life is extremely rare. We just don't know, and won't know until we start to search for it extensively on other planetary bodies.

EDIT: Oh, right, Beachcoma, that's one possible scenario. Check out this article from Space.com for more information about the heat source on Enceladus.

[edit on 3/9/06/09 by junglejake]



posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 06:38 AM
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So the theory is that the gysers shoot so high, that they replenish the rings? Sounds too amazing to be true. Should be we searching for life on mars? Or the rings of saturn? This is an interesting find the more I think about it, because all those gas giants they find around other stars still could have life on the moons. This opens up a whole new realm of possibility. Sea creatures anyone?



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 04:04 PM
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Here is the official NASA news release.

saturn1.jpl.nasa.gov...

I think NASA should plan a mission to try to collect some of the ice/water from that has been ejected into space from the geyser and return it to Earth, similar to the Stardust mission.

Could they possibly find microbial life from a captured sample?



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by Hal9000


I think NASA should plan a mission to try to collect some of the ice/water from that has been ejected into space from the geyser and return it to Earth, similar to the Stardust mission.

Could they possibly find microbial life from a captured sample?


I just hope if they ever try to bring back possible alien microbial life it dont end up like this NASA sample return mission

Genesis mission


Anyone eles watch Andromeda Strain



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
I just hope if they ever try to bring back possible alien microbial life it dont end up like this NASA sample return mission


That was quite an embarrassment, but they still recovered the samples from Genesis.

They had better luck with retrieving Stardust.


stardust.jpl.nasa.gov...



Anyone eles watch Andromeda Strain

That is a scary scenario where microbial life from somewhere else could cause a pandemic.

Maybe they could recover the samples out in orbit?



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by mxboy15u
So the theory is that the gysers shoot so high, that they replenish the rings? Sounds too amazing to be true.


Actually, it makes perfect sense. Enceladus is about 1/500 the mass of our own moon. Its gravitational tug is about 1/87 that of Earth. Under those conditions coupled with the fact that Saturn herself is so massive and exerts an intense gravitational tug, I think the logic fits perfectly.

Besides, they have filmed the rings under different light spectra and it seems that as the ring progresses outwards, it appears to be cleaner, less dusty.

external image
From this image by the Cassini probe's Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS), the redder it is the 'dirtier' or more dust filled.

That would indicate that the outer rings are fresher. Something has to be replenishing the rings, and now we find geysers on Enceladus which happens to sit in orbit just within the outermost ring.

Given those two facts, what conclusion would you draw?



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:24 PM
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This is big news IMO. Liquid water on another body in the solar system would be the key to potentially finding life. If life can exist on the sea floor in the Artic, it can surely thrive on Enceladus.

I found this link.


[edit on 13/3/06 by Intelearthling]



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