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Cassini Finds Hydrocarbons on Saturn's Moon Hyperion

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apc

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 10:10 PM
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www.physorg.com...

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed for the first time surface details of Saturn's moon Hyperion, including cup-like craters filled with hydrocarbons that may indicate more widespread presence in our solar system of basic chemicals necessary for life.


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"Of special interest is the presence on Hyperion of hydrocarbons--combinations of carbon and hydrogen atoms that are found in comets, meteorites, and the dust in our galaxy," said Dale Cruikshank, a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and the paper's lead author. "These molecules, when embedded in ice and exposed to ultraviolet light, form new molecules of biological significance. This doesn't mean that we have found life, but it is a further indication that the basic chemistry needed for life is widespread in the universe."


Yet another entry on the growing list of evidence for the argument that life is a common variable in the universe. Possibly even on a barren hunk of rock about the size of Ireland.




posted on Jul, 6 2007 @ 01:44 AM
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Excellent!

Because that is where I was planning on moving.



posted on Jul, 6 2007 @ 02:39 AM
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This is great! It's almost like we don't know anything and we're still learning that our science and personal beliefs may be entirely wrong or flawed.Why is it that people can't understand that we base almost everthing on theory or scientific speculation.We have so much to learn.We don't know crap about life.We need to pay attention to more discoveries like this one before we even scratch the surface.



posted on Jul, 6 2007 @ 02:51 AM
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Hyperion is a really odd looking moon.
All those slumped craters. Deformed as if the moon has drastically changed shape after the craters were formed.
It almost looks like it's been deflated. Maybe it's a captured comet, and it's underlying supporting structure has jetted out into space.

Interesting article, thanks!


apc

posted on Jul, 6 2007 @ 07:49 AM
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It certainly does have an eventful past...



Who knows what it looked like before that impact.

In such desolate places like this, the most we could ever hope to find would be traces of bacteria. But I think that would be enough. If we could say even little bugs could be found under almost every spacerock, we could easily raise our expectations of running into our counterparts in the not-too-distant future.



posted on Jul, 6 2007 @ 08:18 PM
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Microscopic life on Earth was a result of simple chemosynthesis - and the first organic molecule were hydrocarbons -that provided foundation for formation of more complex amino acids ..etc.

Chemosynthetic biota we can find still on Earth: in deep sea vents, hot spring or volcanos, even in cold seeps, and its ability to develop in extreme condition - astrobiologist are aware of their potentials.

No need for oxygen or light - chemosynthetic life can be anywhere in space, on planets, moons or meteorites: no atmosphere or vicinity of the sun needed.

What is life?

Important tread you open.


apc

posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 01:18 AM
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Oxygen and a source of energy are still needed for complex, multicellular life. I expect we will find plenty of bacteria... maybe a few archaea here and there... but eukaryotic life I don't doubt will require oxygen and energy, in the form of light or heat, as all plants and animals on our own planet do. Chlorine might work instead of oxygen, but it doesn't appear to be anywhere near as common.




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