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Saturn's moon shows evidence of an ocean beneath the surface

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posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 07:58 AM

Enceladus is a tiny, icy moon located in a region of the outer solar system where no liquid water was expected to exist because of its large distance from the sun,” he said. “This finding is therefore a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life may be sustainable on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets.”

washington post

Enceladus is a tiny moon that is only 310 miles or 500 km in diameter. It is in the outer solar system but is relatively young and is one of the few bodies out there that is active.

It has been suggested that the material that was released from the plume that was discovered in 2005 maybe the source of the E ring.

Saturn's icy moon Enceladus is emerging as the most habitable spot beyond Earth in the Solar System for life as we know it, scientists said last week at a meeting of the Enceladus Focus Group at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

So not only is it considered habitable, with the discovery of a possible ocean under the surface, it maybe even a source of life as well as the article speculates.

I am not an astrobiologist, but maybe conditions can vary to create life, but I thought the Earth had a very few unique components that led to the successful development of life, such as the moon causing the tides. And the size of the Earth and its gravity. and its wobble. So if in theory that Enceladus can produce life, I wonder what it would be like.

It has liquid water, organic carbon, nitrogen [in the form of ammonia], and an energy source," says Chris McKay, an astrobiologist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Besides Earth, he says, "there is no other environment in the Solar System


How necessary is temperature to grow or support life?

The temperature of the equator on Enceladus is 80 degrees Kelvin or -315 degrees Fahrenheit. But the 2005 Cassius mission found that the pole was surprisingly warm at 110 degrees Kelvin -261 degrees Fahrenheit. Not exactly Florida, but it shows that there maybe the moon has its own heat source. Which would explain why it has a nice, crusty icy coating with a salty ocean underneath.

I think this little moon maybe a very unique sphere.

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:02 AM
wow great find, keep up the good work, looking forward to seeing more on this!

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:36 AM
reply to post by bsalert

Thank you! I look forward to hearing from someone who may know more about astrobiology. How is it that experts think an icy planet that is 300 degrees below zero would make a conducive place for life.

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:42 AM
So thats where dolphins come from

Sorry couldn't resist that one. Great find op, I absolutely love hearing new things about our own solar system. Its amazing what we have discovered over the past few years alone. so much has come to light with much more still not told to us average Joe's.


posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 09:12 AM

Acetylene-eating microorganisms on Earth convert the molecule into ethanol and acetate. Their biochemistry is much simpler than that of methanogens, suggesting that acetylene might be the food of choice for the most primitive organisms.

But acetylene, methane, ethanol and acetate aren't biomarkers. What's needed, Oremland and McKay agree, is to examine the ratios of carbon's two stable isotopes: carbon-12 and carbon-13.

Sounds more like the stuff used in metal shop, instead of life forms. They could be quite industrious little microbes though, fire me up, smoke em if you got em!

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 10:20 AM
Step by step we find moons that supporting life environments in our solar system.

A more accurate and sharp look, right around the corner of our "little house", maybe could reveal the unthinkable....

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 10:33 AM
That's where this baby comes in handy:

The probe, called ENDURANCE (Environmentally Non-Disturbing Under-ice Robotic Antarctic Explorer) is the NASA-funded brainchild of William Stone, president of Stone Aerospace Corporation in Austin, Texas.

Its purpose is to use sonar to map, navigate, and explore unknown, dark environments, beginning in Antarctica, but possibly someday extending into space. NASA's involvement stems from a program that helps develop methods for exploring remote environments.

Cosmos Magazine

All that is really necessary for life as we know it is CHON and an energy source. (CHON= Carbon Hydrogen Oxygen Nitrogen) These may very well exist in the atmospheres and oceans in the outer Solar System. When the submersible probes arrive, the AI aboard them will probably be a lot smarter than the natives, however.

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 12:25 PM
reply to post by nixie_nox

The interesting thing about Enceladus isn't that it's covered in ice but that it has huge fissures on its surface which have broken, moved and refroze indication liquid water below.

Enceladus and the Search for Water

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