Huge Saltwater Ocean Found on Jupiter Moon Ganymede


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Artistic Impression of Ganymede (Largest Moon in the Solar System)

NASA has confirmed that Ganymede, one of the moons orbiting Jupiter, has a saltwater ocean lying below its icy exterior, making it a viable location for life to flourish.

The scientists studying the planet and its outlier moons through the Hubble Telescope shared the news in a statement Thursday, saying that the ocean may bear more liquid than all the water on Earth combined.

Ganymede is an anomaly among moons. It is the largest known moon in our solar system, and the only one that generates its own magnetic field. This attribute produces a phenomenon called aurorae—strips of radiant electrified gas that circle Ganymede’s poles. Because Ganymede is situated so close to its mother planet, any changes to Jupiter’s magnetic field directly affect that of its moon. So when Jupiter’s magnetic field shifts due to the planet’s rotation, Ganymede’s aurorae “rock” back and forth in a sort of cosmic mating dance.

Observing the interplay between the planet and its moon, scientists surmised that an ocean works against Jupiter’s magnetic pull, causing Ganymede to rock less violently than they had anticipated. Once they had observed the planet with the Hubble Telescope, the researchers built computer models that supported speculation that Ganymede has a salty ocean.

Researchers believe the subterranean ocean is 10 times as deep as Earth’s oceans.

Since water is necessary to sustain life, it’s possible that these oceans may confirm the long-suspected presence of life on other planets, or on moons such as Titan and Enceladus.

NASA has speculated since the 1970s that there was water on Ganymede. A 2002 Galileo mission confirmed that the moon had its own magnetic field, but the findings weren’t concrete enough to corroborate suspicion that Ganymede had a vast ocean beneath its outer crust—until now. In a statement, an assistant administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, John Grunseld, said, “A deep ocean under the icy crust of Ganymede opens up further exciting possibilities for life beyond Earth.”

Source:Newsweek.com

You can soon bury your DNA on Moon!


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A British space consultant will charge people 50 pounds or so to place a sample of their DNA in an archive to be buried on the Moon. Called Lunar Mission One, the archive is the brainchild of David Iron, who has worked on Skynet, the UK spy satellite network, and Galileo, the European Union’s global positioning system. He will offer people a chance to place a sample of their DNA, in the form of a strand of hair, in an archive to be buried on the Moon, alongside a digital history of as much of their lives as they want to record.

However, Iron needs at least 10 million people to do this if he is to generate the 500 million pounds the moon shot will need, ‘New Scientist’ reported.

Iron and his colleagues have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the initial 600,000 pounds of seed funding needed to set up the company to commission designs for the spacecraft, which it is hoped will blast off in 2024. Iron is working with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell, UK.Lunar Mission One plans to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon’s south pole. It will then drill at least 20 metres into the lunar crust, extracting core samples to be analysed on the craft. “No lunar or planetary mission of any kind has ever drilled to a significant depth below the surface. The deepest Apollo drill core was only 3 metres long,” said Ian Crawford at Birkbeck College, London, Lunar Mission One’s chief planetary scientist.

“The drill will enable the geothermal gradient, and thus lunar heatflow, to be measured for the first time,” Crawford said.

After about six months, capsules containing the DNA and digital data will be injected into the borehole, which will then be sealed.

Source : Deccan herald