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Could moons like Pandora really exist ?


Posted on Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 | Comment icon 21 comments


Image credit: ESO/L. Calcada

 
Exotic alien life could potentially thrive on habitable moons around distant planets, say scientists.

Even in our own solar system, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn are proving to be some of the most promising places to look for signs of alien life. Extrasolar planets could also be home to their own set of moons, some of which with the potential to be more earth-like than their terrestrial counterparts. The concept is not dissimilar to the ideas explored in James Cameron's film 'Avatar' in which a world thriving with life is actually a moon orbiting a distant star.

"Jupiter has several large water-rich moons," said Astronomer Dr Chris Lintott. "Imaging dragging that system into the comfortably warm region where the Earth is. If such a planet had Earth-size moons, we'd see not Europa and Callisto but worlds with rivers, lakes and all sorts of habitats: a surprising scenario that might just be common."

"Moons like the one depicted in the film Avatar may be among the most common places to find alien life, scientists believe."

  View: Full article |  Source: Independent

  Discuss: View comments (21)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by R4z3rsPar4d0x on 9 January, 2013, 23:52
True Timonthy..... but the probability increases with quantity. With an estimated 100 Billion planets in our galaxy alone, and over 100 billion galaxies believed to be within our visible range...... that is potentially 10,000 quadrillion planets or (10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) within our galaxies view. If only 0.00000000000001% of those planets had optimal life conditions that is still 1 million planets that could hold life. And if each of those planets were identical to Earth and contained a similar number of human-like creatures..... that would potentially be 7000 trillion intelligent li... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Erikl on 11 January, 2013, 13:18
Could you imagine life on Europa? Let's assume that current theories about large level of oxygen culminating inside Europe's huge ocean are correct. Let's even allow ourselves to dream that there are some sort of intelligent life forms there, although aquatic. They would never know that there is a universe above. For them, that idea would be as alien as other dimensions are to use right now. They're world would resolve around two "lands" - the outer shell, that is Europa's ice crust, as thick as perhaps tens of kilometres, and perhaps covered with land from it's inner side as a result of volca... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 11 January, 2013, 13:45
As a result of their aquatic environment they would also be unable to detect Jupiter's immense gravity, without some sort of devices. Here in lies a problem for us. We are likely to be able to explore Europa in the coming decades (and the other moons within our solar system). We will know for sure whether life exists on them or not, but the universe could be teeming with life as you have described it, countless millions of ice covered worlds with intelligent, aquatic life forms, and just as they know nothing about the universe above the ice, we will never know of their existence below it.
Comment icon #15 Posted by bison on 12 January, 2013, 0:32
Such aquatic beings, lacking the distractions of a complex material culture, might become the spiritual masters of the universe. A star-faring race might discover them, and offer to transport them wherever they might wish to go, carrying their wisdom with them.
Comment icon #16 Posted by CrimsonKing on 23 January, 2013, 12:35
I cant believe questions like this are still being asked by scientist,in a infinite universe everything is possible in millions of different combinations.We just need to work on getting our technology up to interstellar abilities then we can start to blow our own minds with what all we will find!
Comment icon #17 Posted by Frank Merton on 23 January, 2013, 13:12
There is a bias in the discovery of exo-planets in favor of large planets close to the star. As time passes this bias will decrease and we will find more and more earth-sized planets. There is every reason to think that they should be more common in the habitable zones of stars. Unless for some reason they migrate inward, the big planets tend to form further out; that we have found so many close in is just a result of the bias mentioned above. The majority are going to turn out, if the statistics we have now prove out, to be much more similar to our own system. Therefore while satellites orbit... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by Frank Merton on 23 January, 2013, 13:18
I cant believe questions like this are still being asked by scientist,in a infinite universe everything is possible in millions of different combinations.We just need to work on getting our technology up to interstellar abilities then we can start to blow our own minds with what all we will find! This is clearly true except that although the universe may be infinite (I think it almost certainly is in several ways), our abilities are limited. We are not infinite beings, and at some point our technology may just simply run out of things to manipulate. We already see hints of this in our physics ... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by CrimsonKing on 23 January, 2013, 13:34
If only we could take the funding for militaries around the world and put it to expanding our presence galactically we could be much more advanced,much further along as a species
Comment icon #20 Posted by Frank Merton on 23 January, 2013, 14:00
If only we could take the funding for militaries around the world and put it to expanding our presence galactically we could be much more advanced,much further along as a species I don't know. Of course we want to see the military funding reduced, but the money would go to other things, with only maybe a little extra going to space exploration. In fact, it may be military things that has gotten us to do as much as we have.I think we will require a major stimulus, such as a clear demonstration that "they" exist, to get things really going.
Comment icon #21 Posted by CrimsonKing on 23 January, 2013, 14:16
Agreed frank,and maybe its best we are stuck here for awhile till we can learn to better ourselves so we dont go out and pollute the galaxy with insanity lol


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