Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life, the Universe and Everything

Saturn Moon's Ice Shows Signs of Salty Sea

This is very exciting news for anyone interested in extraterrestrial life out there in the universe. Obviously being a moon made of ice, Enceladus had shown promise for oceans and life, but now scientists have been able to detect salt in the ice plumes from giant geysers erupting on the southern hemisphere. Because the moon is so far from the sun, as soon as the water erupts from the surface, it is immediately turned into ice crystals, freezing whatever elements may be contained as pristine as they were on the surface. The amount of salt present in these geysers shows the very real possibility of giant oceans under the surface, and where there is water, there may be life. The other cool bit about this news is that since these pristine salty water vapor crystals are shot out into space around the moon, a mere orbiter could go and collect very important data on the makeup of those crystals without having to land on the surface or drill. We may be able to detect bacterial life in this fashion.

Multicellular Life Arises in a Test Tube

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