Midnight In The Desert — moons

Boost for odds of life? Jupiter moon Europa may have plate tectonics

Posted by K R on

Boost for odds of life? Jupiter moon Europa may have plate tectonics

The case for plate tectonics on Jupiter's ocean-harboring moon Europa keeps getting stronger. Scientists had already spotted geological signs that plates within the moon's ice shell may be diving beneath one another toward the moon's buried ocean. Now, a new study suggests that such "subduction" is indeed possible on Europa and shows how the phenomenon might be happening. The new results should intrigue astrobiologists and anyone else who hopes that Earth isn't the only inhabited world in the solar system. "If, indeed, there's life in that ocean, subduction offers a way to supply the nutrients it would need," study lead...

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Russian billionaire to fund alien-hunting mission to Saturn moon

Posted by K R on

Russian billionaire to fund alien-hunting mission to Saturn moon

Russian tech billionaire-turned-ET explorer Yuri Milner says he plans to beat NASA to a mission to the Saturn moon Enceladus in search of alien lifeforms. “The one overarching question we are asking at our foundation is: ‘Are we alone in the universe?’” said Milner, who has pledged over $200 million to the Breakthrough Initiative, an organization he founded in 2015 that observes space, and develops new means of cosmic travel. Speaking at a Seattle conference, ‘A New Space Age', Milner said his science team believes there are three potential locations for extra-terrestrial lifeforms in our solar system: under the surface...

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NASA Thinks Alien Life on Jupiter’s Moon Europa is Likely

Posted by K R on

NASA Thinks Alien Life on Jupiter’s Moon Europa is Likely

While Mars was the favorite candidate for alien life for decades, the rover-led search for life on Mars has turned up a disappointing lack of evidence. If there was ever life on Mars, it has likely been gone for millions of years. As a result, NASA has turned its attention instead to some of the moons of distant planets in our solar system. Tantalizing geological evidence of subsurface oceans on Saturn’s moon Titan has some NASA scientists convinced that the conditions necessary to create and sustain alien life could be present on the frozen moon. More exciting is the news...

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NASA Says Alien Life Is Out There And It’s Going To Find It: The Four Search Targets

Posted by K R on

NASA Says Alien Life Is Out There And It’s Going To Find It: The Four Search Targets

For all the dancing around the subject the space agency has undertaken for decades, NASA now acknowledges it is committed to finding alien life — and they’re going to do it in the next 10 years. In a recent TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) lecture, a key NASA official admitted that the agency wasn’t taking the search for extraterrestrials seriously, until now. In fact, NASA isn’t simply going to mount a vigorous search for alien life, it has already pinpointed where it will direct its primary efforts. The Daily Star reported last week that NASA’s planetary director James Green revealed at...

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The Life Non-Aquatic: Alien Life on Distant Moons May Not Require Water

Posted by K R on

The Life Non-Aquatic: Alien Life on Distant Moons May Not Require Water

The search for life elsewhere in our universe has long been a challenge to scientists. Part of the problem is our reliance, as Earthlings, on what we might expect life to be like in other parts of the universe. Often, our ideas are colored by our expectations, which we draw from observation of “life as we know it” here on our home planet. But could life evolve and manage to thrive in other ways, and under vastly different conditions than Earth life has grown used to, if found elsewhere in space? There are many places throughout our own solar system...

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