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Life, Unbounded

Water Erupts Across the Solar System

Europa erupts (Credit: NASA/ESA/K. Retherford/SWRI)

Reading the scientific headlines recently one would be forgiven for thinking that we’re experiencing a bout of interplanetary gastrointestinal distress. First, Saturn’s diminutive moon Enceladus continues to spew what we think are giant sprays of salty water from gnarled creases in its southern icy surface – captured in glorious imagery by the Cassini spacecraft over [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Raw Footage From An Alien World

Swinging around, Enceladus against a backdrop of noise and what may be stars (Cassini raw image)

Have you ever wondered what it would really be like for a person to journey to a truly distant and alien place; another planet, even another planetary system? What kind of things would we first see through our windows, or our cameras? What would our sensory experience be in such a distant realm? Would we [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Lake Vostok is (Almost) Breached After 20 Million Years

Satellite composite showing location of Vostok within the Antarctic continent (NASA)

Two and a half miles beneath the surface of Antarctica’s central Eastern ice sheet is a body of water 160 miles by 30 miles across known as Lake Vostok, after the Vostok research station above it, built by the former Soviet Union in 1957 and now operated by Russia. Even by Antarctic standards it’s a [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Austere Beauty of Other Worlds

Magnificent Saturn, subtle blue and gold tones, while its moon Dione circles in silence (NASA/JPL)

In the northern winter months we are surrounded by the stark beauty of chilled landscapes. From the darkness of the far north, broken perhaps only by starlight and the glow of aurora, to the brisk grey streets of Manhattan and its now skeletal trees with their claw-like limbs and knobbly stubs pressed to the skies, [...]

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Water from a Saturnian Moon Rains Down on the Ringed Planet

Enceladus water jets

Enceladus, a small satellite of Saturn, has captivated planetary scientists for years with its watery polar geysers and ridgelike surface features known as "tiger stripes." Now it has a new layer of intrigue. The gas and ice escaping from Enceladus and shooting out from the moon’s south pole in towering jets, which fill Saturn’s diffuse [...]

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The Countdown

Top 5 Places to Look for Alien Life – The Countdown, Episode 28


More to explore: Is There Life on Venus? (Scitable) Venus May Have Had Continents and Oceans (Nature News) (Scientific American is part of the Nature Publishing Group) Was Venus Alive? ‘The Signs Are Probably There’ ( Tiny Saturn Moon ID’d As Good Candidate For Alien Life (Wired) Planet Profile of Titan (ESA) The Europa Report: [...]

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