Thursday, March 09, 2006

Liquid water on Saturn moon could support life

Cassini spacecraft sees signs of geysers on icy Enceladus

By Alan Boyle
Science editor
MSNBC
Updated: 7:22 p.m. ET March 9, 2006

Scientists have found evidence that cold, Yellowstone-like geysers of water are issuing from a moon of Saturn called Enceladus, apparently fueled by liquid reservoirs that may lie just tens of yards beneath the moon's icy surface.

The surprising discovery, detailed in Friday's issue of the journal Science, could shoot Enceladus to the top of the list in the search for life elsewhere in our solar system. Scientists described it as the most important discovery in planetary science in a quarter-century.

8 comments:

Tommykey said...

My favorite Saturn moon is Mimas. It looks like the Death Star from "Star Wars"!

Stardust said...

Wikipedia states that when the Saturnian moon Mimas was photographed in 1980, it was discovered that it had a giant crater which made the moon coincidentally have a strong resemblence to the Death Star, which was quickly noted in popular culture.

That is really a STRANGE coincidence!

Stardust said...

Here is the link to a Mimas/Death Star comparison.

Death Star and Mimas

tommykey said...

"That's no moon. That's a space station."

JustinOther said...

haha tommykey

Stardust said...

Is this evidence that Star Wars is REAL?? LOL!

Anonymous said...

Liquid water? As opposed to what other kind of water.

I can understand liquid h2o, but liquid water? bit redundant.

Stardust said...

anonymous--

FYI - Water can exist in a frozen state as well. Water takes many different shapes on Earth: water vapor and clouds in the sky, waves and icebergs in the sea, glaciers in the mountain, aquifers in the ground, to name but a few.

From a biological standpoint, water has many distinct properties that are critical for the proliferation of life that set it apart from other substances.

This is something we learn in elementary school science.