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Large organic molecules found on Enceladus

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pallidin

Honestly, this sounds potentially significant.

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UFOwatcher

"Large organic molecules found"

I just wanna see a bug.

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Seti42

Remember, "organic" doesn't mean life. Methane is an organic chemical. So is any compound carbon in it, technically. "Organic" means a different thing to a chemist than it does to a Whole Foods shopper.

Edited by Seti42
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John Allanson

Since the first pictures of the Tiger Stripes along woth the suspition of liquid intrior, I convinced myself they were signs organic material. Brilliant news!

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pallidin
12 hours ago, Seti42 said:

Remember, "organic" doesn't mean life. Methane is an organic chemical. So is any compound carbon in it, technically. "Organic" means a different thing to a chemist than it does to a Whole Foods shopper.

Very true, and NASA along with other agencies that deal with hardcore astrophysics are apparently attempting to address this issue of organic molecules----  with respect to the potential for the development of life.

Where it might lead I don't know, but I do know that I'm grateful that very professional people are addressing this issue.

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Noxasa
Quote

Saturn's icy moon has 'all of the basic requirements for life as we know it'.

Except scientists don't know what the basic requirements for life are because they've never progressed any organic assembly of compounds to a state of "life."  For all they know these compounds are light years away from life and aren't even close to that of a living biologic structure.  Science should never make claims that put organic chemicals and life as being closely related because the truth is they just don't know yet, and they may never know.  When science can make a living organism from chemicals, then and only then, can they show a quantification of organic matter being close to life.

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Merc14
10 hours ago, Noxasa said:

Except scientists don't know what the basic requirements for life are because they've never progressed any organic assembly of compounds to a state of "life."  For all they know these compounds are light years away from life and aren't even close to that of a living biologic structure.  Science should never make claims that put organic chemicals and life as being closely related because the truth is they just don't know yet, and they may never know.  When science can make a living organism from chemicals, then and only then, can they show a quantification of organic matter being close to life.

Well, you can't have life as we know it without those organic materials so all this is saying is the building blocks are there.  I don't think anything more was suggested but tyey did say that they could send another probe through those geysers that could detect life. 

“Complex organic molecules do not necessarily provide a habitable environment, but on the other hand they are a necessary precursor for life,” Dr Frank Postberg from the University of Heidelberg, who led the research, told The Independent.  

“Previously it was unknown whether complex organic chemistry happens on Enceladus – and now we know.”

Dr Christopher Glein, a space scientist specialising in extraterrestrial chemical oceanography, said the new findings mean the distant moon is the only body besides Earth known to “simultaneously satisfy all of the basic requirements for life as we know it”.

He added: “We are, yet again, blown away by Enceladus. Previously we’d only identified the simplest organic molecules containing a few carbon atoms, but even that was very intriguing.”

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paperdyer

Well unless we can thaw out the moon, there's little chases of seeing what the organic material can develop into.

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bison

It's already thawed out, in its interior. Flexing of Enceladus' core by Saturn's gravity causes friction, thus heat.  Beneath an icy crust is a deep ocean of liquid water. Organic material there may interact with the chemistry of the core/ocean boundary to produce life. 

The icy plumes that escape through cracks in the ice crust afford us the opportunity to examine the organic material. A mission to Enceladus, intended to detect life, could tell us if the organic material is connected to living things.   

Edited by bison
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