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Best Havens for Life: Europa, Io, and Mars

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posted on May, 13 2008 @ 04:12 PM
I've watched countless videos and read countless articles about Mars, Io, nad Europa. Each of these (especially Europa) can be havens for life.

MARS I don't believe that Mars has life on it now and I'm pretty sure no one does but it could have been something like Earth. Perhaps it had life and suffered a global warming or humungo meteor type-deal that made it a barren rock. Canals and gorges found on Mars however probably formed by water or mud and if not, what else?

IO Io is a moon of Jupiter. It is the most volcanically active body in our solar system. One of its volcanoes is hotter and bigger than all the volcanoes on Earth combined. Do you think life could thrive here? (IO isn't really important so we will skip to the big one)

EUROPA This moon of Jupiter is our best bet for life somewhere other than Earth. Europa is an icy moon with a scratched ice surface. But beneath this cold shell is a warm oasis of water, an ocean. Water is the basic element for life so I don't see why even the most adaptable lifeforms couldn't live here.

If I were head of NASA or whatever I would can the moon and Mars and head straight for Europa. But that's me, wanting to actually do something important rather that orbit a barren white rock called Luna.

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 04:17 PM
This is Europa.


posted on May, 13 2008 @ 04:36 PM
I think that Europa definitely has potential. After all there's probably a liquid ocean under all that ice. I remember reading about a possible mission to send a small submarine like probe to search and that they were testing at some lake in Russia.

europa mission 1

Europa mission2

Europa Mission Video

posted on May, 13 2008 @ 08:15 PM
Some scientists believe that active plate tectonics are important, even essential for renewal of a planet's biosphere.

Currently it appears Mars does not have active plate tectonics, though it may have had a similar system to Earth's at one time.

Most think that the dry cold and arid state we see today was caused by radiation. If Mars has a magnetosphere it's probably weak. At one time it may have had a molten core, say for the first billion years, but it's now probably solid, due to cooling of this smaller planet.

Now most scientists tend to believe that the samples they've seen are not biologically active, but they're not so sure they'd not put them in quarantine were they to bring any samples back to Earth.

The question is, then, could we revive Mars, warm it up, regenerate an atmosphere which would reduce radiation and support some kind of biological life, bacteria, leading to the growth of primitive plants.

Some relevant links:

Chris McKay Lecture (1999):


It would take time, 100 years minimum but with more advanced methods it might take less.

Are we certain the liquid ocean is H2O? Many people think so based on magnetic field measurements. There are various theories as to why it's warm enough to remain liquid under the relatively thick crust, but we're still not sure, AFAIK, that it's a shallow ocean or a deep one.

ISTM, that if there's a liquid ocean it may be other than H2O, and could be something like a liquid hydrocarbon.

2 cents.

posted on May, 14 2008 @ 12:10 AM
Thrash can, Europa is a promising candidate; How come you missed Titan? moon of Saturn? it is also a potential candidate for extra terrestrial life.

posted on May, 14 2008 @ 07:39 AM

Originally posted by Enceladus
Thrash can, Europa is a promising candidate; How come you missed Titan? moon of Saturn? it is also a potential candidate for extra terrestrial life.

And how can you, Enceladus, miss the other moon of Saturn that may harbor life called...Enceladus??

Saturn's Moon Enceladus has a frozen surface and a warmer-than-expected interior that has a good chance of containing liquid water oceans or seas. The fly-by of Cassini a couple of months ago through one of Enceladus' water-ice geysers detected organic materials.

Granted, organinc materials does not always mean life -- but it's definitely a reason to include it on this list.

posted on May, 14 2008 @ 07:55 AM
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People

You are right SoylentGIP, Enceladus is a good candidate too; Titan is more like Earth and I thought the OP would find it easy to get more details about Titan than Enceladus, if he goes for a quick search.

Regarding Enceladus, you can find these two earlier threads with some information.

Cassini Tastes Organic Material at Saturn's Geyser Moon Enceladus

Warm 'Tiger Stripes' on Geyser Moon Raise Hopes for Life

posted on May, 14 2008 @ 10:09 AM

If I were head of NASA or whatever I would can the moon and Mars and head straight for Europa. But that's me, wanting to actually do something important rather that orbit a barren white rock called Luna.

i take it you dont visit nasa jpl or any other space/science websites? becuase if you did youd already know nasa is finished with mars after the next rover and will move to the outer solar system

the first thing they will do is send a sattelite to map the surface and hopefully measure the depth of the ice crust covering europa. Also if they head straight to europa how do you expect them to get through the 10km of ice and down to the water? these are not small problems.

Enceladus is actually a much much easier target as it has material ejecting from the surface and would be easier to analyse for any lander

posted on May, 14 2008 @ 11:04 AM
reply to post by yeti101

Interesting. Can you gift us with a link to NASA being done with Mars.

I think it's probably a reasonable decision, but unfortunate in the long run. Perhaps they've deemed the problems of manned exploration insurmountable?

If they are going to focus on probes to the outer planets, is the purpose to find micro-organisms somewhere in the solar system? Let's say they did. Now the probability of life elsewhere is proved. Then what?

Just curious.

posted on May, 14 2008 @ 12:43 PM

Originally posted by Enceladus
Thrash can, Europa is a promising candidate; How come you missed Titan? moon of Saturn? it is also a potential candidate for extra terrestrial life.

Yea I actually found out about Titan just today while I was browsing around.

They say underneath its cloudy atmosphere there are lakes similar to Earth's However, the liquid natural gas is so cold it would freeze your skin right off your body. Still scientists are coming up with planes and helicopters to try to venture here.

If NASA is planning a mission on Phobos (Mars' smaller moon) It could support life. Phobos is a desolate dustball the size of Detroit.

posted on May, 15 2008 @ 04:01 PM
We just can't light a match on Titan.... It would explode in flames.

So Europa is the best bet in our solar system. Would you agree or disagree? If you disagree, tell me the place you think is the best place for life.

Another quick possibility: Venus? It has an atmosphere and a greenhouse effect and those are nessecary for life but what about water....

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 08:56 AM
reply to post by Trash can

Europa is a good candidate -- but I like Saturn's moon Enceladus a bit more.

Like Europa, Enceladus is believed to have a liquid water ocean under it's surface -- and (like yeti101 said above) its geyser is shooting material into space that may have come from that interior...and that material contains the "Building Blocks of Life", organic molecules.

Europa is known to have organic molcules of it's surface. However at least for now there is no way of knowing for sure if the oceans contains orgainc molecules.

The Cassini spacecraft flew through these geyers in March and analyzed the material ejecting from Enceladus. Cassini will make an even closer approach to Enceladus in August and will once again fly through the geysers.

Europa is certainly a good candidate, but I personally think Enceladus is very exciting. And let's not forget Mars -- in 9 days (May 25) the Phoenix Lander will touch down at the edge of Mars' North polar cap and will begin to dig and analyze the soil/water ice mixture that should exist there. That should be fun to follow.

Info on Cassini and Enceladus:

Info on Mars Phoenix:

[edit on 5/16/2008 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on May, 28 2008 @ 02:30 PM
On the topic of Venus:

Only problem: Lack of water.

Reason for consideration: Thick atmosphere creates hot temps; a greenhouse effect is needed for life and Venus has the biggest one i think ninety times the size/thickness of Earth's and we're worried about global warming.

posted on Jun, 2 2008 @ 10:32 AM

posted on Jun, 2 2008 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by Trash can

Gliese 581c has been known about for over a year now (that article you linked is from April 2007.)

It is very possible that some sort of life has formed there, since it lies within the habitable zone of its star (Gliese581), and spectral analysis suggests that water is present -- maybe a lot of water.

Some people have describe Gliese 581c as "Earth-like", but it's a big stretch to say that since astronomers don't know that much about it yet. Plus its gravity is 5X that of Earth's, so it wouldn't seem very Earth-like to a human being crushed by his own body weight due to the high gravity.

posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 10:54 AM
Okay, but it has the requirement for life: water.

Life can adapt to the high pressure of Gliese 581c just as it has before plenty of times in our past.

For example, life on the bottom of our oceans has adapted to not only high pressure but lack of food, light, and warm temperatures.

Certainly life can form/adapt to only high gravity.

That is, if there isn't life on it now, it could adapt. But if tehre is already life, well, there you have it.


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