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NASA hints at new 'ocean worlds' discovery


Posted on Tuesday, 11 April, 2017 | Comment icon 15 comments

The reveal will have something to do with life on ocean worlds. Image Credit: NASA
The space agency will be holding a press briefing on Thursday about 'the search for life beyond Earth'.
The mysterious briefing mirrors other recent events in which NASA has made a significant announcement about a new discovery - often relating to Earth-like extrasolar planets.

In this case however the space agency has hinted that the press conference will "discuss new results about ocean worlds", seemingly in relation to the hunt for extraterrestrial life.

The data is believed to have come from Cassini and the Hubble Space Telescope.

"These new discoveries will help inform future ocean world exploration - including NASA's upcoming Europa Clipper mission planned for launch in the 2020s - and the broader search for life beyond Earth," NASA wrote in a statement about the event.

While it is unlikely that scientists have discovered actual evidence of extraterrestrial life, it seems as though NASA may have found something that will directly aid in the search.

We will have to wait until Thursday however to find out exactly what that might be.

Update: Full details of the announcement can be viewed - here.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (15)

Tags: NASA, Extraterrestrial

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 12 April, 2017, 21:42
After doing a bit of digging on some of the more reputable sites I found a story which I now can't find again (which may mean that it was accidentally published before the embargo was lifted or that I am just rubbish at googling). It seems that what NASA is going to announce tomorrow is that they had discovered that hydrothermal activity on Enceladus is converting carbon dioxide into methane.This implies that there are possible habitable zones in the ocean of Enceladus.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Eldorado on 13 April, 2017, 0:06
This it? http://astrobiology.com/2017/04/hydrothermal-activity-in-the-seas-of-enceladus-implications-for-habitable-zones.html
Comment icon #8 Posted by Sherry Gibson on 13 April, 2017, 5:56
I would think that with technologies help,  we should continue looking ever so carefully.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Timonthy on 13 April, 2017, 11:21
It looks like you're on the money, this has just popped up in the last two hours: http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/200-billion-reasons-why-were-not-alone-and-one-is-coming-tonight/news-story/a474bbd89e9165e0ab4284057a3d0137'NASA is due to announce within hours conditions for life exist on one of Saturn’s 62 moons. That, it turns out, is just the beginning.' Edit: And another quick little quote from the article says; ' Extrapolating that out to the whole universe, this means that there are up to 40 billion trillion potentially habitable planets out there. ' I don't care what anyo... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Merc14 on 13 April, 2017, 18:19
 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Why not on 13 April, 2017, 20:23
I was thinking in regards of finding other worlds with everything needed right there for life as we know it, and not finding any. Just kinda a thought I have about how we would interpret it. I'll go with the statistics, but just a curiosity. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by FateAmeniableToChange on 13 April, 2017, 20:38
Waspie_Dwarf i think i saw same link as you yesterday too, i think it may have been at ScienceDaily?
Comment icon #13 Posted by Merc14 on 15 April, 2017, 2:11
Some more details on the Cassini dive through the plume.  http://www.space.com/36455-saturn-moon-enceladus-energy-source-life.html?utm_source=sp-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170414-sdc This plunge was special in several ways. For one thing, it was Cassini's deepest-ever dive through the plume; the probe got within a mere 30 miles (49 km) of Enceladus' surface. In addition, Cassini's Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) instrument alternated between "open-source" and "closed-source" modes during the encounter, rather than sticking to closed source (the usual routine). ... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Frank Merton on 15 April, 2017, 3:21
I would not be surprised at the finding of life around thermal vents all over the place.  This may even be where life on earth originated, or survived the ice-earth that happened a couple of times.   I'm sure this will be great for the biochemists.  
Comment icon #15 Posted by khol on 15 April, 2017, 3:44
Life abounds around the thermal vents here on Earth. Microbes that have evolved and flourished around these vents through chemosynthesis are thought to be one of the oldest forms of life known. http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-videos/hydrothermal-vent-creatures    


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