Geysers 101 #enceladus #IceMoon

http://www.ciclops.org/view_event/202?js=1

Old Faithful has nothing on his on. Yellowstone may be impressive, but it turns out that Enceladus is covered with geysers. Enceladus, one of Saturn’s many moons, has a strange fractured surface, with large ‘tiger’ stripes running the width of the planet. We’ve long suspected that here stripes are fractures in the icy crust of the moon, but never suspected they would be the source of quite so much activity.

Then, back in 2005, we saw the first geysers on Enceladus. These were vast plumes of water ice stretching far above the surface of the moon, and led to the the new train of thought that these moons could harbor a liquid pool under the surface.

Now, we’ve got enough data to show that the geysers do in fact come directly from these fractures. Turns out these must be powered from deep down inside the moon. 101 geysers were viewed in total, and they each lie along one of the main 4 stripes. Discovery of the geysers has excited astrobiologists, who see water as a crucial ingredient for alien life. Next up has to be a lander to sample the geyser plumes.

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8 comments on “Geysers 101 #enceladus #IceMoon

  1. The confirmation of water covering this moon entirely is a great discovery. The fact that alien life is being taken into consideration is extraordinary! Especially because this is a moon and not a planet. I think aliens do exist, but I am not sure if they exist this close to Earth. I guess only time will tell…

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  2. I find this article to be really cool, the discovery of water on one of Saturn’s moon is really exciting. the part that I found to be most interesting is the section where it says that astrobiologists are excited, because this water could be the key sign of alien life forms.

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  3. I have always thought there is life outside earth. Earth is only a planet in a huge and constantly expanding universe. It will be naive to think we are the only form of life. There might not be other forms of life that resemble us, but it has to be some form of life out there.Water is a vital element for life to exist. Finding geysers = water in Saturn moon is a great discovery indeed. I am looking forward to finding out what the samples show.

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  4. I never thought of the idea of finding water and possible conditions of life in moons. Scientists usually look for these in planets. So, the fact that they have found source of water in this moon is pretty interesting.

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  5. Thinking of the surface of this moon, I imagine it being straight out of a science fiction novel, film, or even a video game. Does the force of the geyser keep opening the cracks?

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  6. Another cool discovery in our solar system! It will be interesting to someday send a lander to Enceladus to see if there is indeed some form of life on Saturn’s moon. What might it discover as it samples one of the 100 + geysers, time will tell.

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  7. I hope sometime in my lifetime we can find some sort of evidence of life beyond Earth, even just a micro organism. At the rate that we are always learning and discovering new things this idea doesn’t sound as far fetch as it used too in the past.

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  8. It is incredible how much water could possibly be on another object besides Earth.These fractures extend over the entire surface so it is possible that it is completely covered. It presents an entirely different view on moons and the organisms that could exist there. It also displays how temperature and the large gravitational pull from Saturn can cause more activities for its moons.

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