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Thread: Subice oceans

  1. #1
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    Subice oceans

    How many ice bodies in the Solar System have subsurface oceans? I've long known Europa is believed to, but Enceladus is puny and not nearly as subject to tides. Are there dozens of oceans orbiting Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, plus hundreds (or thousands?) in the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  2. #2
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    Life?

    An interesting question. Once past Mars, there seem to be a lot of ice worlds.

  3. #3
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    Speculative interiors for several moons which may have liquid water layers

    Callisto

    Ganymede

    Titan


    Triton


    Some of these oceans may be pretty quiet, and may not even exist.

  4. #4
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    What about finding liquid water beyond our solar system? It may indicate the existence of extraterrestrial life. Using data collected by NASA's Kepler spacecraft and the W.M. Keck Observatory, scientists have determined that 22 percent of solar-type stars in our galaxy have Earth-sized planets in their habitable zone and could host life. Some of these planets are a mere 12 light years away and can be seen with the naked eye in the night's sky.

  5. #5
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    Some of these planets are a mere 12 light years away and can be seen with the naked eye in the night's sky.

    You mean the planet's sun, right?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  6. #6
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    Oh, of course Tom! I meant stars, not planets, sorry Maybe such exoplanets are even closer? Near Alfa Centauri A and B, Proxima Centauri? In 2016, scientists discovered a world about the size of Earth orbiting Proxima Centauri. This planet was named Proxima b. It revolves in the "habitable zone" and until now was considered the most likely contender for the title of a planet with habitable conditions. However, NEAR researchers have found that a potentially habitable planet could orbit the star Alpha Centauri A. They made their conclusions based on observations made with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Moreover, for this, several new technologies were used, including a thermal coronagraph. This tool is designed to block out starlight, allowing it to detect the thermal signatures of planets orbiting around them. After analyzing data from 100 hours of observations made back in May-June 2019, scientists found a kind of thermal imprint in the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri A. Examination of the received signal showed that it could come from an object about the size of Neptune.

  7. #7
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    If our Solar System is any indication ice moons are more common than Goldilocks Terrestrials. So, if the sub-ice oceans have life, there's probably more of "them" than "us."

    Ice moons exposed to sunlight might also contain dissolved oxygen in their oceans, photodissociated from water ice. This means complex multicelled life might be supported.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  8. #8
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    Ice moons exposed to sunlight might also contain dissolved oxygen in their oceans, photodissociated from water ice. This means complex multicelled life might be supported.

    How far would sunlight get through ice, noclevername (or anyone else)?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
    Ice moons exposed to sunlight might also contain dissolved oxygen in their oceans, photodissociated from water ice. This means complex multicelled life might be supported.

    How far would sunlight get through ice, noclevername (or anyone else)?
    On worlds like Enceladus and Europa, the surface ice is not stable. It cracks and jumbles and gets back into the water beneath it. So any dissolved oxygen could go down into the liquid water. Thicker ice would be a more significant barrier.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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