E.T. on Enceladus ?

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Chevalier Bayard
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E.T. on Enceladus ?

Postby Chevalier Bayard » Tue 01 Apr, 2008 14:18

No, it's not an April fool ! ;)

=> http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/press-release-details.cfm?newsID=827

 Cassini Tastes Organic Material at Saturn's Geyser Moon
March 26, 2008
(Source: NASA/JPL)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft tasted and sampled a surprising organic brew erupting in geyser-like fashion from Saturn's moon Enceladus during a close flyby on March 12. Scientists are amazed that this tiny moon is so active, "hot" and brimming with water vapor and organic chemicals.

New heat maps of the surface show higher temperatures than previously known in the south polar region, with hot tracks running the length of giant fissures. Additionally, scientists say the organics "taste and smell" like some of those found in a comet. The jets themselves harmlessly peppered Cassini, exerting measurable torque on the spacecraft, and providing an indirect measure of the plume density.

"A completely unexpected surprise is that the chemistry of Enceladus, what's coming out from inside, resembles that of a comet," said Hunter Waite, principal investigator for the Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "To have primordial material coming out from inside a Saturn moon raises many questions on the formation of the Saturn system."

"Enceladus is by no means a comet. Comets have tails and orbit the sun, and Enceladus' activity is powered by internal heat while comet activity is powered by sunlight. Enceladus' brew is like carbonated water with an essence of natural gas," said Waite.

continues HERE


Complement: A Perspective on Life on Enceladus: A World of Possibilities

Exciting, ain't it ?  :)

If you haven't seen James Cameron's Alien Of The Deep, it's time now :D
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Chevalier Bayard
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Re: E.T. on Enceladus ?

Postby Chevalier Bayard » Wed 01 Dec, 2010 09:32

Bumping this topic two years and a half later as NASA will give a conference tomorrow (at 2 p.m. EST) regarding astrobiology, finding that will "impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life".

=> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/no ... ology.html

Kotaku wrote:What could the big announcement be? Chances are it has something to do with the recent discovery by the NASA-led international Cassini-Huygens mission of a tentative atmosphere containing both oxygen and carbon dioxide on the surface of Saturn's moon Rhea (HERE).

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The oxygen in Rhea's atmosphere is five trillion times less dense than that of Earth, and the surface of the moon is far too cold to support life as we know it. That doesn't rule out life as we don't know it.

Participating in the press conference will be NASA astrobiology program head Mary Voytek; NASA astrobiology research fellow Felisa Wolfe-Simon; NASA astrobiologist Pamela Conrad; Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution fellow Steven Benner; and Arizona State University professor James Elser, whose research involves biological stoichiometry, the study of balance of energy and multiple chemical elements in living systems. That's not a group you gather together just to look at pretty space rocks.


The conference will be streamed on http://www.nasa.gov/. Think I'll be around my computer! :bounce:
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