Tag: Saturn

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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George Adamski Got Famous Sharing UFO Photos and Alien ‘Encounters’

Listen to “E225 George Adamski Got Famous Sharing UFO Photos and Alien ‘Encounters’” on Spreaker.

Article by Greg Daugherty                           January 9, 2020                           (history.com)

• George Adamski is perhaps the most famous UFO contactee and is certainly one of the most controversial characters in UFO history. Throughout his life, Adamski took photos of UFOs, wrote books and told stories of his encounters with human-like extraterrestrials from other planets in our solar system, gaining international fame as well as criticism.

• Adamski was born in Poland in 1891, coming to the U.S. with his parents and growing up in northern New York state. He had little formal education. In 1934, he told a Los Angeles Times reporter that he had lived in Tibet as a child, and planned to establish the first Tibetan monastery in Laguna Beach, California. In 1936, he told the newspapers that he was going to establish the world headquarters of an organization called ‘Universal Progressive Christianity’ in Laguna Beach. He also offered a tax plan to end the Great Depression in 1938.

• After World War II, Adamski’s ambitions turned to UFOs. In October 1946, he spotted his first UFO – a motionless black cigar-shaped craft. In August 1947, he witnessed a procession of 184 UFOs in the sky. By 1949, he’d attached a camera to his six-inch telescope and began scanning the skies. Adamski estimated that he took about 500 flying saucer photos, from which he got a dozen good quality shots. Newspapers and magazines published Adamski’s photos, and he gave lectures on UFOs. He also operated a tiny restaurant with a small telescope set up out back (in a rural area between Los Angeles and San Diego).

• In 1952, Adamski reported that he had met and conversed with a visitor from Venus in a California desert using a combination of hand gestures and mental telepathy, which he recounted in his 1953 book: Flying Saucers Have Landed. His 1955 sequel: Inside the Space Ships, recounted meeting human-like emissaries from Mars and Saturn. Adamski claimed that every planet in our solar system had human-like inhabitants, as did a base on the dark side of the Earth’s Moon.

• In his books, Adamski claimed that his extraterrestrial friends took him aboard a scout ship, flew him to a mother ship hovering over the Earth, gave him a ride around the Moon, and treated him to a colorful travelogue about life on Venus. He said that a 1,000 year-old man shared with him the secrets of the universe, some of which he was not allowed to divulge back on Earth.

• Adamski recounted his meeting in November 1952 with a human-like visitor from Venus in a remote part of the California desert. “The beauty of his form surpassed anything I had ever seen,” said Adamski. “(His) hair was sandy in color and hung in beautiful waves to his shoulders, glistening more beautifully than any woman’s I have ever seen.” The Venusian had come to deliver a message: ‘Earthlings should stop messing around with atomic bombs before they destroy their entire planet.’

• Project Bluebook investigator J. Allen Hynek called Adamski’s flying saucer photos ‘crude fakes’. Hynek’s Bluebook partner, Edward J. Ruppelt, visited Adamski’s restaurant in 1953 to find Adamski hawking his UFO photos. While Ruppelt didn’t believe him, he wrote that he was impressed all the same. “To look at the man and to listen to his story, you had an immediate urge to believe him,” said Ruppelt, … he had “the most honest pair of eyes I’ve ever seen.” SciFi writer Arthur C. Clarke also denounced Adamski’s work and called his believers “nitwits.” But in 1959, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands invited Adamski to her palace to discuss extraterrestrials. Adamski is said to have also had a secret meeting with the Pope in 1963.

• In 1961, Adamski published his last book: Flying Saucers Farewell, and continued to lecture widely. In 1965, Adamski predicted that a large fleet of flying saucers would soon descend on Washington, D.C. He died in April 1965 at age 74.

• Since his death, Adamski’s critics have tended to portray him as a harmless, small-time con artist. Others like Arthur C. Clarke and J. Allen Hynek have accused Adamski of discrediting the entire field of UFO research. But Adamski stuck by his story to the end. In his first book, Adamski gave an upbeat but ominous message: “Let us be friendly. Let us recognize and welcome the men from other worlds! They are here among us.”

 

To some, he was a prophet. To others, a laughing stock. Even today, more than half a century after his death, George Adamski remains one of the most curious and controversial characters in UFO history.

Adamski had multiple claims to UFO fame. Starting in the late 1940s, he took countless photos of what he insisted were flying saucers. But experts, including J. Allen Hynek, scientific consultant to the Air Force’s Cold War-era UFO investigation team Project Blue Book, dismissed them as crude fakes.

                 George Adamski

Then, in 1952, Adamski reported that he had met and conversed with a visitor from Venus in a California desert, using a combination of hand gestures and mental telepathy.

His story would only get stranger from there.

A star gazer is born

Adamski chronicled his alleged adventures in several books. The first, Flying Saucers Have Landed (1953), coauthored with Desmond Leslie, recounted his chat with the Venusian. Widely read at the time, it later gained a new generation of fans in the trippy 1960s.

Adamski’s 1955 sequel, Inside the Space Ships, described further meetings, not only with the Venusian but also with emissaries from Mars and Saturn.In Adamski’s telling, every planet in our solar system was populated with human-like inhabitants, as was the dark side of the earth’s moon.

In the 1955 book, Adamski claimed that his new friends took him aboard one of their scout ships, flew him to an immense mother ship hovering over the earth, gave him a ride around the moon and treated him to a colorful travelogue about life on Venus.

Along the way, he was also tutored by a space man he called “the master.” The master, who was said to be nearly 1,000 years old, shared the secrets of the universe with Adamski, only some of which he was allowed to divulge back on earth.

Preposterous as his stories seemed, Adamski became an international celebrity and lectured widely. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands raised a public stir after inviting him to her palace in 1959 to discuss extraterrestrial doings. Adamski supposedly claimed a secret 1963 meeting with the pope, as well.

Adamski soon had followers all over the planet. But not everybody was on board. Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, not only denounced Adamski’s work but characterized his believers as “nitwits.”

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