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Like gently squeezing a rubber ball slightly deforms its shape, the fluctuating gravitational tug on Enceladus causes it to flex slightly. The flexing, called gravitational tidal forcing, generates heat from friction deep within Enceladus.
The microorganisms that could have evolved in the hypothetical ocean of liquid salt water under Enceladus' icy crust, and have been swept away by the water spouting through the crevasses in the ice, would be extremely unlikely to survive; they would explode at the surface, and all that would remain are the organic compounds whose existence was verified by the Cassini spacecraft.
The researchers on this collaborative project wish to analyse the rising water jets by taking samples while the water is still in a liquid state for this reason. To accomplish this, German engineers have already devised the initial concept for a technical solution; from a base station on the surface of Enceladus, an ice drill probe [The IceMole] would be inserted into the ice crust to a depth of 100 to 200 metres, melting its way through the ice to a water-bearing crevasse. At this point, the probe will be able to obtain a sample of the liquid water and examine it in situ for the presence of microorganisms.
Originally posted by StealthyKat
I wish I would have found THESE pics for my OP....these are actual pics Cassini took during the flyby....incredible!
Originally posted by sparky31
reply to post by yourmaker
i,m sorry but this earth like planet thing pees me off,why does it have 2 be an earth like planet?cause what we,ve been told is life will only exist on that?no it won,t.....life will exist to what ever situation it has to adapt too and even here on earth life exists in places that they never thot it wud so they can,t then cum out with that life here or there is impossible when even here on earth they are still being proved wrong.