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NASA Announcement Today


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#16    Cinders

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 07:18 PM

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yep.. and FINALLY NASA reports this on their web site (it was not there earlier today but is now)

Erica Hupp/Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-1237/1726

Carolina Martinez
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
(818) 354-9382


March 9, 2006  
RELEASE: 06-088

NASA's Cassini Discovers Potential Liquid Water on Enceladus

NASA's Cassini spacecraft may have found evidence of liquid water reservoirs that erupt in Yellowstone-like geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The rare occurrence of liquid water so near the surface raises many new questions about the mysterious moon.

"We realize that this is a radical conclusion - that we may have evidence for liquid water within a body so small and so cold," said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. "However, if we are right, we have significantly broadened the diversity of solar system environments where we might possibly have conditions suitable for living organisms."

High-resolution Cassini images show icy jets and towering plumes ejecting large quantities of particles at high speed. Scientists examined several models to explain the process. They ruled out the idea the particles are produced or blown off the moon's surface by vapor created when warm water ice converts to a gas. Instead, scientists have found evidence for a much more exciting possibility. The jets might be erupting from near-surface pockets of liquid water above 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), like cold versions of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone.

"We previously knew of at most three places where active volcanism exists: Jupiter's moon Io, Earth, and possibly Neptune's moon Triton. Cassini changed all that, making Enceladus the latest member of this very exclusive club, and one of the most exciting places in the solar system," said John Spencer, Cassini scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder.

"Other moons in the solar system have liquid-water oceans covered by kilometers of icy crust," said Andrew Ingersoll, imaging team member and atmospheric scientist at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "What's different here is that pockets of liquid water may be no more than tens of meters below the surface."

"As Cassini approached Saturn, we discovered the Saturnian system is filled with oxygen atoms. At the time we had no idea where the oxygen was coming from," said Candy Hansen, Cassini scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. "Now we know Enceladus is spewing out water molecules, which break down into oxygen and hydrogen."

Scientists still have many questions. Why is Enceladus so active? Are other sites on Enceladus active? Might this activity have been continuous enough over the moon's history for life to have had a chance to take hold in the moon's interior?

In the spring of 2008, scientists will get another chance to look at Enceladus when Cassini flies within 350 kilometers (approximately 220 miles), but much work remains after the spacecraft's four-year prime mission is over.

"There's no question, along with the moon Titan, Enceladus should be a very high priority for us. Saturn has given us two exciting worlds to explore," said Jonathan Lunine, Cassini interdisciplinary scientist, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.

Mission scientists report these and other Enceladus findings in this week's issue of Science. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.

For Cassini images and information about the research on the Web, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/cassini

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/home

- end -
Link:
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/mar/H...turns_moon.html

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#17    patstp

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 07:31 PM

This is not really a news, 'cause i've heard about it a while ago, last year i think, when Cassini flew by that moon the first time...

Kind of cool to see this moon besides Saturn in your scope and think that there may be life on it !

Universe is much to vast for us to be alone...don't you think ?

#18    shikon1

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 08:12 PM

yeah i just read this on yahoo...kinda cool hopfully theres life there


mabe they did find life there and the world governments stoped them from saying it and instead they have to say "evidence of water" ohmy.gif


Edited by shikon1, 09 March 2006 - 08:13 PM.

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Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America — there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.

-Barack Obama

#19    JohnnyBoyC

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 08:27 PM

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Saturn moon may have water
By John Kelly, Florida Today
CAPE CANAVERAL — A spacecraft orbiting Saturn may have made a stunning, textbook-altering discovery: liquid water spewing from the surface of one of the planet's frigid moons.

The geysers could be super-cold versions of Earth phenomena such as Yellowstone's Old Faithful.

By NASA
Plumes of icy material extend above the southern polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus as imaged by the Cassini spacecraft in February 2005. The monochrome view is presented along with a color-coded version on the right. The latter reveals a fainter and much more extended plume component.

The Cassini spacecraft, launched from Cape Canaveral in 1997, captured evidence of the geysers during a fly-by of the moon Enceladus late last year.

The team of scientists studying the images and data from the nuclear-powered spaceship speculate in Thursday's edition of the journal Science that the geysers may be liquid water gushing from a sort of subsurface volcano beneath the otherwise frozen moon. (NASA audio: Scientists discuss findings)

Enceladus' surface appears to be made purely of water ice. The presence of liquid water would dramatically change scientists' understanding of what places in our solar system could support life.

"We realize that this is a radical conclusion, that we may have evidence for liquid water within a body so small and so cold," Cassini imaging team leader Carolyn Porco said in a written statement.

"However, if we are right, we have significantly broadened the diversity of solar system environments where we might possibly have conditions suitable for living organisms," said Porco, of the Space Science Institute in Colorado.

Until now, scientists had proof such activity took place in only three places in the solar system: Earth, Jupiter's moon Io and Neptune's moon Triton, according to the Cassini team. (Photo gallery: This week in space)

The science team says the water theory would explain why Cassini measured lots of oxygen atoms in the Saturn system.

"At the time we had no idea where the oxygen was coming from," Cassini scientist Candy Hansen of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement. "Now we know that Enceladus is spewing out water molecules, which break down into oxygen and hydrogen."

Scientists will get another up-close look at Enceladus in spring 2008, when Cassini whizzes to within 220 miles.



Pictures here

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Enceladus' surface appears to be made purely of water ice.



What do you guys think?

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#20    Stellar

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:22 PM

What do I think... I think you're jumping to conclusions. The title is "Saturn's moon *may* have water", then you claim liquid water has been found...

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#21    patstp

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:23 PM

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yeah i just read this on yahoo...kinda cool hopfully theres life there
mabe they did find life there and the world governments stoped them from saying it and instead they have to say "evidence of water" ohmy.gif


Without landing a rover or spacecraft there it would be very difficult to tell if there's in fact lifeforms of any kind under the surface of Enceladus...

Edited by patstp, 09 March 2006 - 09:25 PM.

Universe is much to vast for us to be alone...don't you think ?

#22    frogfish

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:27 PM

Europa has ice sheets that harbor a ocean. The ice shows signs of floating and cracking. They do indeed drift.

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#23    DR. YO

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:31 PM

Interesting..................  thumbsup.gif  thumbsup.gif

It has been said that there are three types of people:

1. Those who make things happen.
2. Those who watch things happen
3. Those who wonder what happened.

The vast majority of mankind find themselves in the last two categories. Most have "eyes to see" but don't "see" what is happening. Most have "ears that hear" but don't "understand" what IS happening --

#24    Michelle

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:35 PM

Stellar, the article is from NASA reported in USAToday. Johnny didn't jump to any conclusion he simply posted the article.


#25    Rykster

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:37 PM

That Enceladus has water is known.  The key, is whether it has liquid water.
Also, if there is enough energy in the system for metabolism of nutrients.

The exciting bit is that everywhere we find those conditions on Earth, we find biology.

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#26    frogfish

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:48 PM

Exactly

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#27    Pax Unum

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:59 PM

exciting news! and good for the future of space exploration too. water is a critical element for space expansion


#28    PadawanOsswe

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 10:10 PM

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exciting news! and good for the future of space exploration too. water is a critical element for space expansion


this is even more significant than space exploration! this means that the chances of  Life in other neiborhoods in the universe are greatly increased! grin2.gif

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#29    Carl Butters

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 11:46 PM

wow , absolutely fascinating!!! thumbsup.gif thnx for the info gyz. it appears the mysteries of life have just gotten more profound, one solar body at a time  w00t.gif  wink2.gif


#30    Cinders

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 11:57 PM

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Its posted on a local news affiliate...has something to do with jobs or a new plant opening i'm sure...


HUH?? where did you get this information from?? WAY off on this one..

"We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it's forever." ~Carl Sagan





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