Life Beneath Enceladus’ Ice?

Q: What did we know about Enceladus before Cassini?

A: We knew nothing. We didn’t know anything about a vents. We didn’t know
anything about a tellurian ocean. We knew it was a small, icy moon in the
Saturn system. But a Saturn complement is full of small, icy moons.

Q: What would it be like drifting along with Cassini over Enceladus?

A: The movement happens flattering quick since you’re roving during 7 or 8
kilometers per second. And [Enceladus] is flattering tiny — it’s like a size
of Arizona.

You’re removing pummeled by these small ice grains. As you’re drifting over,
you’ll see these geological features, these scars — small channels,
basically — what we call a “tiger stripes.” Within those tiger stripes
are a vents, true from a tellurian ocean. And above a aspect of the
ocean, a dash comes adult — we can suppose a dash from a call — that will
instantly freeze. That’s what creates these grains. These have information
about a salt calm of a sea and some of a organics that are
present there.

Q: How tighten did Cassini get?

We went unequivocally close. It was about 50 kilometers — a closest flyby over
the tiger stripes. We could demeanour during a chemical change and establish that
the [hydrogen] we saw was sufficient to yield food for microbes. The
obvious summary is let’s go behind and try to find life.

Q: At this point, would we be astounded if we didn’t find life on

A: we would be a bit surprised, yes. But we would be happy to find a answer
one approach or a other since we consider both — either we find it or not —
will lead to a improved bargain of how life arose on Earth and what it
really means.

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Posted by on Jan 25 2018. Filed under Space & Physics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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