No Big Deal, But There Might be Aliens Living on One of Saturn's Moons

Christina Drill
April 04, 2014

WELL this is pretty intense and amazing and terrifying all at the same time!

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft has reported that the Saturn moon of Enceladus harbors a large body of water under its surface, which furthers NASA's continued suspicion that Enceladus is home to extraterrestrial microbes.

The theory that Enceladus had water beneath its surface traces back to 2005, when the Cassini Spacecraft detected water vapor and bits of ice coming out of vents near the moon's south pole.

The newest information from Cassini shows an approximate measurement of the size and width of the moon's ocean. How can NASA even discover something so exact? Sami Asmar of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena explains a bit in the experiment's brief: "The way we deduce gravity variations is a concept in physics called the Doppler Effect, the same principle used with a speed-measuring radar gun. As the spacecraft flies by Enceladus, its velocity is perturbed by an amount that depends on variations in the gravity field that we're trying to measure. We see the change in velocity as a change in radio frequency, received at our ground stations here all the way across the solar system." Word?

The reports suggest that an ocean about six miles deep and twenty miles wide exists beneath the surface of Enceladus.

Believe it or not this is the nineteenth time Cassini has flown by Enceladus. Since 2010, Cassini has been getting closer and closer to finding approximate measurements, but using gravity as a new measurement has allowed them to reach a more exact number.

Cassini's project scientist at Jet Propsulsion Lab explained, "Material from Enceladus’ south polar jets contains salty water and organic molecules, the basic chemical ingredients for life. Their discovery expanded our view of the 'habitable zone' within our solar system and in planetary systems of other stars. This new validation that an ocean of water underlies the jets furthers understanding about this intriguing environment."

CRAZY! Enceladus for Spring Break 2100?!

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