Thursday, March 09, 2006
Finally it is really raining here which means that my garden will get water and the salamanders will run. But my yard is not the only place for water. According to NASA the Cassini probe seems to have detected liquid water in a very unlikely place-Saturn's moon Enceladus. The report claims that images from Cassini show plumes of some substance being ejected from moon's surface and the best physical explanation is that the plumes are liquid water from the Enceladus analog of a cold Old Faithful. Quantities of water has been found in other parts of the solar system but to have it so close to the surface, in what is a presumably a very cold part of the solar system, is unusual.
Perhaps Enceladus is a place to look for life, assuming of course the rest of the chemicals for life are present and the heat source is stable.
Here is how scientists think the water might be produced.
I am not going to get too excited about this but each little discovery of this sort makes it more and more plausible to think that there may be life in other places in the Universe.
Cassini home page
SETI Institute (www.seti.org)