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Space & Astronomy

Astronomers discover methanol on Enceladus

By T.K. Randall
July 5, 2017 · Comment icon 11 comments

Enceladus appears to be shrouded in methanol. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
An unexpectedly high amount of the organic molecule has been found coming from Saturn's icy moon.
Often regarded as one of the most promising places to look for signs of extraterrestrial life, Enceladus, which is thought to be home to a vast ocean of liquid water, has remained a popular topic of study among scientists ever since NASA's two Voyager spacecraft first began to unravel its secrets.

Now a team of researchers at Cardiff University have discovered an "unexpectedly large" methanol signature in one of Saturn's outermost rings - a signature that they have traced back to Enceladus.
It is believed that the moon's icy plumes may have been 'feeding' the rings over a long period of time.

"Recent discoveries that icy moons in our outer Solar System could host oceans of liquid water and ingredients for life have sparked exciting possibilities for their habitability," said Cardiff University's Emily Drabek-Maunder who presented the findings earlier this week.

"But in this case, our findings suggest that that methanol is being created by further chemical reactions once the plume is ejected into space, making it unlikely it is an indication for life on Enceladus."

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (11)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by khol 7 years ago
just shows how organic molecules will be prevalent throughout the cosmos    cool stuff!
Comment icon #3 Posted by BeastieRunner 7 years ago
Is this a bit of an update on Saturn's Ring Theory? It kind of read that way.
Comment icon #4 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
Shame they didn't find ethanol.  A few tankers of OJ and I'd be set for like! Great find regardless.
Comment icon #5 Posted by atom2084 7 years ago
I no longer believe anything NASA has to say, nor do I care. Once they started editing photos and suppressing the truth, I stopped paying attention to them.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
This discovery was made by researchers at Cardiff University, which I think you will find is in Wales and thus have nothing whatsoever to do with NASA, but knowing that would require you to actually read the article. Could you give an example of NASA suppressing the truth ?  NASA have editted photos to bring out more detail, but you can allways find the original if you actually care to try.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
Yeah but you kinda need an oxydizer too and that seems to be in very short supply.
Comment icon #8 Posted by atom2084 7 years ago
 You've been a member of this site how long?      Your profile shows 4,687 posts, so it's clear to me you have the time on your hands. Why don't you research who's theory the researchers at Cardiff were working on and also research proof that NASA has been editing photos for many years. Even some of NASA's own astronauts have been quoted stating that NASA edits photos. 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
How is that relevant to the question of NASA's supposed lies ? They were using a ground based telescope to study Enceladus, not a NASA spacecraft. So if you read the artcle you would find that yes they were expanding on information from the Cassini space crafts (which is a joint project with ESA by the way, not just NASA), but they used a different method, independent of NASA, to obtain this new information. So we now have to include ESA and Cardiff University in the conspiracy too ? If you read the post you were responding to I actually agreed that NASA have editted images. They do this to ... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by atom2084 7 years ago
You do not believe that NASA edits photos for purposes other than making them better? 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
I have no reason to believe that they change any of the actual content of the images, only that they use editting to bring out details. So in short: No.

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