Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/4/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Enceladus overtakes Mars with discovery of ocean.

Astronomers believe they have found proof that Saturn's icy moon Enceladus hosts a deep saltwater ocean. Scientists say that of such an ocean exists, it may be the most likely place in the solar system, rather than on Mars, to find life elsewhere besides Earth.

Jets of water, rich in organic molecules spew over the icy surface of Enceladus.

Jets of water, rich in organic molecules spew over the icy surface of Enceladus.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/4/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Enceladus, Saturn, life, moon, ocean, water


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers studying gravitational measurements of Enceladus say they have found evidence that a deep saltwater ocean may exist under the thick icy surface of Saturn's pearl-white moon.

The measurements were made with the Cassini space probe which has been looping through the Saturn system since 2004. The measurements suggest that a 10km-deep ocean of water exists deep under the ice on Enceladus.

St. Dominic, the patron saint of astronomers.

Gravitational measurements allow scientists to map the interior of planets and moons because different materials of varying densities have an influence on gravity. As the probe swept past the moon on several passes, scientists noticed that it was being slowed or sped up at different times. Measuring this subtle shift in radio waves allowed them to map the interior of the moon.

Scientists also know that water exists on Enceladus because in 2005 they captured jets of water vapor spewing from the moon's south pole.

The jets of water and the gravitational mapping results suggests that an ocean of water may exist beneath the ice, heated by underwater volcanism. The gravitational squeeze exerted on Enceladus as it orbits Saturn keeps the interior of the moon hot which means temperatures beneath the ice are warm enough to allow liquid water to exist.

Enceladus joins Europa, the icy moon of Jupiter as another body with liquid water, yet Enceladus has one distinctive feature that Europa lacks, that is the water on Enceladus is rich with organic molecules.

Wherever water exists, there too could be life. Water in the essential medium, so far as biologists know, where life can evolve. Scientists are keen to answer the question of how common - or rare life is in the universe. It is very likely that the ocean on Enceladus is sterile. Yet being rich in organic molecules, the kind thought to be present before life was created on Earth, makes Enceladus the best possible candidate for life within the solar system, aside from Earth itself.

The next step will be to plan a mission to the icy moon. Such planning could easily take a decade or more. Still, the recent discovery moves Enceladus to the front of the pack for priority simply because scientists are very anxious to know.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Technology

At 11.2 billion years old, oldest planetary system discovered by astronomers Watch

Image of The prehistoric star is considered cool and small when compared to our Sun. The figure only has about 75 percent of Earth's mass

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The oldest planetary system yet discovered consists of a prehistoric star that has five planets orbiting around it. Labeled Kepler 444, scientists say the system is estimated to be around 11.2 billion years of age. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Super thin, inexpensive solar panels may become Godsend to India and Africa Watch

Image of A new generation of solar panels made from a mineral called perovskite has the potential to convert solar energy into household electricity more cheaply than ever before.

By Magdalena Mis, Thomson Reuters Foundation

A new generation of solar panels made from a mineral called perovskite has the potential to convert solar energy into household electricity more cheaply than ever before, according to a study from Britain's Exeter University. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) ... continue reading


This San Francisco based company's one invention will REVOLUTIONIZE the developing world! Watch

Image of Much of the developing world relies on cheap, inefficient and dangerous scooters, as a main form of transportation.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cars are ubiquitous in the Western world, especially in the United States. However, many developing parts of the world lack the infrastructure to support automobile usage on a large scale, and poorer families lack the financial means to purchase a car or gasoline ... continue reading


'Big Brother' is watching you on your iPhone Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on some dubious, privacy robbing practices of the United States government, now thinks that Apple's iPhone has "special software." This gadget, he says, lets authorities remotely gather information ... continue reading


Doomsday is approaching! The symbolic Doomsday Clock moves closer to the fatal end Watch

Image of This is the closest the world has been to Doomsday since 1953.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Doomsday is the closest it's been since 1953, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." The clock now stands at three minutes to midnight. Midnight represents the end of the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Doomsday Clock, created ... continue reading


Search giant, Google, has daring plans to infiltrate the competitive wireless cellphone service market Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The wireless phone game may soon be changing up. Currently there are four major names competing for customers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. However, Google reportedly has plans to enter the business of cellular service. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was ... continue reading


High-tech drug smuggling: Drone found bearing meth near San Ysidro Port of Entry Watch

Image of Plastic webbing and strips of black tape was used to secure the drug packages to the drone, police said. The aircraft itself had six propellers and a lithium battery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drug smuggling has entered the high-tech age. A drone carrying methamphetamine, a stimulant that goes under the street names of "crank" and "Tina," crashed in Mexico near the San Ysidro Port of Entry this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The unmanned ... continue reading


California-based rocket company gets big bucks influx from Google, Fidelity Watch

Image of SpaceX leader Elon Musk says that the revenue generated by the venture could go toward building a city on Mars. This, he says, would further his long-held goal of turning humanity into a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California-based rocket company SpaceX has received a $1 billion investment from Google and Fidelity. The sudden influx of cash now brings the company's worth to more than $10 billion. SpaceX intends to construct a globe-spanning satellite constellation. LOS ... continue reading


Is it world domination? No, it's just Netflix Watch

Image of Netflix, the Internet streaming giant, has posted higher than expected growth and revenue for 2014.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Online streaming giant Netflix has finished 2014 with 57.4 million subscribers, up more than four million from their third quarter figures; making this their largest growth of subscribers all year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Additionally, the company's ... continue reading


Hacker's delight! BAD passwords make it airtight! Watch

Image of Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a few keystrokes, and voila! Your entire life is there for the taking!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the recent attack on Sony Pictures by purported agents from North Korea prove, the more things change - the more they remain the same. Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:32-39
32 Remember the great challenge of the sufferings ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:26-34
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 30th, 2015 Image

St. Aldegunais
January 30: Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter