Tag: Enceladus

Astronomers Have Formula for Finding Subsurface Oceans in Exomoons

Article by Erik Arends                             April 23, 2020                            (phys.org)

• In the search for extraterrestrial life, we have typically looked at Earth-like planets at a distance from their parent star where the temperature is between the freezing and boiling point of water. But as in our own solar system, most of the liquid water seems to be outside of this ‘habitable zone’ on moons where interior water is heated beyond the melting point by tidal forces.

• In our solar system only Mars and Earth have ‘habitable’ surfaces. But moons within our solar system, such as Enceladus, Europa and six other moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, are examples of celestial bodies that are freezing cold on the surface but may harbor habitable subsurface oceans.

• Researchers from SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research and the University of Groningen (RUG) have derived a formula that indicates whether a subsurface ocean is present on an ‘exomoon’ and how deep it is. Adding moons to the equation, exoplanet hunters have a much larger field of potentially habitable places to search for extraterrestrial life. In fact, “there could be four times as many habitable exomoons as exoplanets,” says lead author Jesper Tjoa.

• The formula analyzes factors including the diameter of the moon, the distance to its planet, the thickness of the gravel layer on the surface, and the thermal conductivity of the ice or soil layer below the surface to provide a lower limit for the ocean depth.

• Just as “astronomers study starlight shining through the atmospheres of exoplanets” to identify oxygen, for example, says Tjoa, future telescopes “may see geysers like on Enceladus, stemming from a subsurface ocean”, as an indication of life there.

 

So far, the search for extraterrestrial life has focused on planets at a distance from their star where liquid water is possible on the surface. But within

              Jesper Tjoa

our Solar System, most of the liquid water seems to be outside this zone. Moons around cold gas giants are heated beyond the melting point by tidal forces. The search area in other planetary systems therefore increases if we also consider moons. Researchers from SRON and RUG have now found a formula to calculate the presence and depth of subsurface oceans in these ‘exomoons.”

In the search for extraterrestrial life, we have so far mainly looked at Earth-like planets at a distance from their parent star where the temperature is between the freezing and boiling point of water. But if we use our own Solar System as an example, moons look more promising than planets. Enceladus, Europa and about six other moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune may harbor a subsurface ocean. They all reside far outside the traditional habitable zone—it is literally freezing cold on the surface—but tidal interaction with their host planet heats up their interior.

With moons entering the equation, exoplanet hunters such as the future PLATO telescope—which SRON is also working on—gain hunting ground regarding the search for life. When astronomers find a so-called exomoon, the main question is whether liquid water is possible. Researchers from SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research and the University of Groningen (RUG) have now derived a formula telling us whether there is a subsurface ocean present and how deep it is.

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Saturn’s Mysterious Moon Could Support Alien Life Thanks to New Discovery

 

Article by Chris Ciaccia                           January 24, 2020                        (nypost.com)

• Researchers with the Southwest Research Institute, using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, have found an “abundance” of carbon dioxide on Saturn’s moon Enceladus reacting with the moon’s core and subsurface oceans that could potentially create energy sources that might support life. Researcher Hunter Waite reported, “While we have not found evidence of the presence of microbial life in the ocean of Enceladus, the growing evidence for chemical disequilibrium offers a tantalizing hint that habitable conditions could exist beneath the moon’s icy crust.”

• “We came up with a new technique for analyzing the plume composition to estimate the concentration of dissolved CO2 in the ocean,” said researcher Christopher Glein. “This enabled modeling to probe deeper interior processes.” The new technique identifies reactions between the water and the core of the celestial satellite as the source of the complexity. Their findings are published in Geophysical Research Letters.

• Enceladus was first discovered in 1789. Voyagers 1 and 2 conducted “fly-bys” in the 1980s, but not much was known about the “ocean world” moon until NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was launched in 1997 and spent 13 years in Saturn’s orbit studying the planet and its moon satellites. In September 2017, the Cassini plunged itself into Saturn’s atmosphere and found the presence of hydrogen in Enceladus’ atmosphere. In 2018, scientists announced the discovery of complex organic molecules, the “building blocks” for life, on the moon.

• In June, NASA announced the “Dragonfly mission” to explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, which also could potentially host extraterrestrial life.

 

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has an even better chance of supporting extraterrestrial life than previously thought: Researchers have discovered its oceans are more complex than first believed.

The moon’s oceans shoot plumes of carbon dioxide into space, researchers have found, using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The findings, published in Geophysical Research Letters, point to reactions between the water and the core of the celestial satellite as the source of the complexity, discovered thanks to a new technique the researchers used.

“By understanding the composition of the plume, we can learn about what the ocean is like, how it got to be this way and whether it provides environments where life as we know it could survive,” said Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) researcher Christopher Glein in a statement. “We came up with a new technique for analyzing the plume composition to estimate the concentration of dissolved CO2 in the ocean. This enabled modeling to probe deeper interior processes.”

The Cassini spacecraft intentionally plunged itself into Saturn’s atmosphere in September 2017 after it was launched in 1997 at a total cost of $3.9 billion ($2.5 billion in pre-launch costs and $1.4 billion in post-launch). It spent 13 years circling, studying and taking data of Saturn and its moons.

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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Showed That Aliens Might Be More Than Science Fiction

Listen to “E51 8-03-19 A Private Tour of Roswell with a UFO Expert Looking for the Truth” on Spreaker.

Article by Brandon Specktor                       July 20, 2019                      (livescience.com)

• On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon. Four days later, the astronauts were quarantined aboard the USS Hornet for a 21-day isolation period. This was to ensure that no potentially hazardous lunar microbes had hitchhiked back to Earth with them. The NASA scientists found no microbial aliens on the astronauts themselves or in the 50 pounds of lunar rocks they brought back.

• Senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, Seth Shostak (pictured above), thinks that the Apollo 11 Moon mission did bring back aliens, in a sense. “Today, about 30 percent of the public thinks the Earth is being visited by aliens in saucers, despite the evidence of that being very poor,” says Shostak. “I think the Moon landing had something to do with that.” Live Science.com recently spoke with Shostak to find out more about how the Moon landing changed the scientific community’s pursuit of aliens and the world’s perception of them.

LS: What did the Moon landing teach humans about extraterrestrial life?  Shostak: Not too much. By 1969, most scientists expected the Moon would be dead. The Moon has no atmosphere, no liquid, and temperatures that range from hundreds of degrees to minus hundreds of degrees. “It’s awful!” But the Apollo missions showed that you could travel from one world to another on a rocket – and maybe aliens could, too. Suddenly, the universe was a little more open.

LS: In 1969, did scientists think there might be aliens somewhere else in the solar system?  Shostak: Mars was the ‘Great Red Hope’ of extraterrestrial life in the solar system. People were very optimistic in 1976 when the Viking landers plopped down onto Mars that there would be life. There wasn’t. These days, scientists will suggest looking at the moons of Jupiter or Saturn, such as Enceladus, where geysers shoot possible microbial material right into space, so you don’t have to land a spacecraft on the surface to find it.

LS: What did the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) look like around 1969? Shostak: Modern SETI experiments began in 1960 with astronomer Frank Drake and his Project Ozma, where he searched for inhabited planets around two stars using a radio telescope. (After four years of searching, no recognizable signals were detected.) By 1969, SETI research was being conducted informally by people who were working with telescopes in their spare time, looking up the coordinates of nearby stars and hoping to pick up radio waves. It wasn’t really organized until the NASA SETI program began in the 1970’s with a budget of $10 million a year. In 1993, a democratic congressman from Nevada killed the SETI funding, in spite of the fact that the NASA program profited from the public’s fascination with aliens more than from anywhere else.

[Editor’s Note]  Previous articles have established that Seth Shostak and SETI are Deep State assets whose objective is to lull the public into complacency by reassuring them that every planet and heavenly body, besides the Earth, is ‘dead’ and unable to support life beyond possible microbial life. Lately, SETI and Shostak have been shilling for the restoration of Deep State government funding, so they can line their pockets while maintaining the ongoing Deep State cover-up of a teeming extraterrestrial presence on, within, and orbiting our planet.

 

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on Earth’s moon for the first time in human history. Four days later, they — along with Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins — were locked up on an American battleship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The triumphant astronauts were in quarantine. Per a NASA safety protocol written half a decade earlier, the three lunar visitors were escorted directly from their splashdown site in the central Pacific to a modified trailer aboard the USS Hornet, where a 21-day isolation period began. The objective? To ensure that no potentially hazardous lunar microbes hitchhiked back to Earth with them.

Of course, as NASA quickly confirmed, there were no tiny aliens lurking in the astronauts’ armpits or in the 50 pounds (22 kilograms) of lunar rocks and soil they had collected. But despite this absence of literal extraterrestrial life, the Apollo 11 astronauts still may have succeeded in bringing aliens back to Earth in another way that can still be felt 50 years later.

“Today, about 30 percent of the public thinks the Earth is being visited by aliens in saucers, despite the evidence of that being very poor,” Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute — a nonprofit research center focused on the search for alien life in the universe — told Live Science. “I think the moon landing had something to do with that.”

Shostak has been searching for signs of intelligent life in the universe for most of his life (and, fittingly, shares a birthday with the Apollo 11 landing). Live Science recently spoke with him to find out more about how the moon landing changed the scientific community’s pursuit of aliens and the world’s perception of them. Highlights of our conversation (lightly edited for clarity) appear below.

LS: What did the moon landing teach humans about extraterrestrial life?

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