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knocker

Evidence for Hydrothermal Vents on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Hints at Conditions for Life

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When we think about life in the solar system, we tend to look to Mars. But science has broadened our minds in recent times—science has a way of doing that—and many scientists are turning their attention to the outer solar system. There are moons made of ice there, and some have entire oceans of liquid water under their surface.

 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/03/12/enceladus_scientists_find_evidence_of_hydrothermal_vents.html

 

Spacecraft Data Suggest Saturn Moon's Ocean May Harbor Hydrothermal Activity

 

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists the first clear evidence that Saturn’s moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal activity which may resemble that seen in the deep oceans on Earth. The implications of such activity on a world other than our planet open up unprecedented scientific possibilities.

 

“These findings add to the possibility that Enceladus, which contains a subsurface ocean and displays remarkable geologic activity, could contain environments suitable for living organisms,†said John Grunsfeld astronaut and associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “The locations in our solar system where extreme environments occur in which life might exist may bring us closer to answering the question: are we alone in the Universe.â€

 

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/march/spacecraft-data-suggest-saturn-moons-ocean-may-harbor-hydrothermal-activity/#.VQGSqo42fPQ

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The interesting point I saw on the box the other week was about Titan as far as recall where the methane acted in pretty well much the same way as water does on Earth i.e. by existing as a solid, a liquid and a gas with the weather conditions, the seas, the lakes, the rivers and frozen which go with it.

 

Our understanding of life is that water is essential to sustain this but at much colder temperatures where methane is acting in a similar way to water might it be possible that methane based life could develop?

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