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A Moon of Saturn Has a Sea, Scientists Say

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#1 Turk.

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 22:51

By KENNETH CHANGAPRIL 3, 2014
2dvmqsx.jpg
A view of Saturn's fourth-largest moon, Enceladus, as seen from the Cassini spacecraft. Credit NASA

Inside a moon of Saturn, beneath its icy veneer and above its rocky core, is a sea of water the size of Lake Superior, scientists announced on Thursday.

The findings, published in the journal Science, confirm what planetary scientists have suspected about the moon, Enceladus, ever since they were astonished in 2005 by photographs showing geysers of ice crystals shooting out of its south pole.

“What we’ve done is put forth a strong case for an ocean,” said David J. Stevenson, a professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology and an author of the Science paper.

For many researchers, this tiny, shiny cueball of a moon, just over 300 miles wide, is now the most promising place to look for life elsewhere in the solar system, even more than Mars.
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#2 Raa

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 23:03

I see.



#3 DocM

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 23:56

There really needs to be a set of major missions to all of the Jovian icy moons. Much to learn there, unless we get a message to leave them alone ;)

#4 Hum

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 03:30

The fishing is good on Enceladus.

#5 OP Turk.

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 03:48

I see you see from much closer NSW. :)

#6 68k

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 04:05

Earth's moon is solid cheese. Saturn's are mozzarella.



#7 AMPSV

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 04:47

There really needs to be a set of major missions to all of the Jovian icy moons. Much to learn there, unless we get a message to leave them alone ;)

"message to leave them alone" from AKA the Black Monolith from 2001 A space Odyssey :alien:



#8 Kriz

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 14:00

I thought we already knew this? Or was it all theories?



#9 Kravex

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 14:20

If they need funding to explore, just say there's oil there as well.  :D

 

But seriously, could an eco system really evolve and survive on a planetary body just 300 miles wide? Water is just one of the many things needed for life, would there be enough of the others?



#10 DocM

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 14:22

Strongly suspected, both it and Europa. This and geysers are evidence.

Even more water on Ceres, and it's closer.

#11 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 15:02

Even if we sent something there to explore, it would need an insanely complicated means of drilling to get to that water.  Drilling 20-25 miles deep is something that's incredibly difficult to do even here on Earth.



#12 DocM

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 15:08

You don't drill, you melt. The probes business end gets a radioisotope heating unit and heat pipes in its shell to melt its way through. Thermoelectric converters give you your power for LED lights, comms, lasers or whatever. KISS.

#13 +Nik L

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 15:16

All these so-called "scientists".  Sea?  Show me a sea, and then I'll believe.  But no you can't can you - because we know that sea's are entirely unproven.



#14 spacer

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 15:18

Pretty cool stuff. I know they suspected water before, but I guess now they have enough evidence to be almost 100% certain.

 

I agree with Doc. NASA really needs to plan a mission to one of these moons. We need to see what's swimming in those waters.  :|

 

EuropaReport.jpg



#15 Jason S.

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 19:17

Pretty cool stuff. I know they suspected water before, but I guess now they have enough evidence to be almost 100% certain.

 

I agree with Doc. NASA really needs to plan a mission to one of these moons. We need to see what's swimming in those waters.  :|

 

horrible movie.