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, [...]
Enceladus, Europa, Ganymede, Titan, Triton, Pluto, Eris…they may all have, or have had, large oceans of liquid water trapped beneath a frozen crust.
Probably not, but just possibly yes. One of the reasons that the search for life elsewhere in the universe is so exciting is that it would take only one chance discovery, one lucky break, for all the walls to come tumbling down.
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?
Ever since 2005, when NASA’s Cassini orbiter found plumes of water vapor spilling out of cracks in the south pole of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus, researchers have sought to learn more about the moon’s mysterious interior as a possible abode for extraterrestrial life.Repeated flybys of Enceladus have revealed wonders, including organic molecules and salts in the vaporous plumes that hint at hydrothermal activity deep within the moon, beneath what must be a sizeable reservoir of water.Despite these discoveries, researchers have struggled to determine the dimensions of Enceladus’s watery depths.
Reading the scientific headlines recently one would be forgiven for thinking that we’re experiencing a bout of interplanetary gastrointestinal distress.
The Cassini mission's third-from-last flyby of the icy moon Enceladus reveals that a highly complex network of thin cracks covering the surface extend all the way into the northern polar region
This week brings a video reconstructed from images of the Philae lander's approach to a comet, and a major new analysis of data from the Cassini mission that bolsters the case for a global, not just local, ocean beneath the icy crust of Enceladus
Newly released images from the Cassini mission's final close flyby of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus reveal further exquisite details of the surface terrain
If I lived elsewhere in the multiverse, this is the news and cool space stuff I’d have been covering this week. Unfortunately, in this universe I didn’t have the time.
Two new studies hint at a richer picture of what’s happening on Saturn’s extraordinary icy moon Enceladus. At about 500 kilometers in diameter, Enceladus is a diminutive natural satellite.
Scientists are finding liquid water, the cornerstone for life as we know it, in surprising nooks and crannies of the solar system. Following Wednesday's news that there seem to be hydrothermal vents churning away in the warm, alkaline seas inside Saturn's moon Enceladus, researchers announced airtight evidence yesterday that Jupiter's moon Ganymede also has a [...]
It's summer in the northern hemisphere of a small, damp, planet orbiting a middle-aged star in a spiral galaxy of matter enjoying a brief heyday before colliding with another galaxy in some 4 billion orbits of the same small, damp, planet.