Skip

Enceladus
December 10, 2008 2:52 PM   Subscribe


 
ALL THESE MOONS ARE YOURS EXCEPT ENCELADUS. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.
posted by Artw at 2:58 PM on December 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


Future Ask Metafilter post:

What with all the economic strife and home foreclosures, can I really expect a new and better life Off-World?
posted by The Whelk at 3:03 PM on December 10, 2008


You get a free replicant!
posted by Artw at 3:04 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ooh, hot water vapor on organic chemical action.
Y’know, some folks (nuts, mostly) thought Cassini was going to end the world.
Now I’m thinking that might be true. If Cassini picks up freakin’ fish, that would radically change how we look at things. It would ‘end’ the world. At least the phase of where we were thinking only Earth had life.
Although some people will still probably shoot at each other over their favorite band/team/god/turf, etc.
Also traffic will continue to suck.
...maybe I should rethink this whole hypothesis here, but still, pretty cool.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:20 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now, it would be wrong to contaminate potentially life-bearing planetary bodies, but every time I hear a story like this I can’t help thinking that it would be great to seed the hell out of them with extremophile bacteria and see what happens (a Time Machine so you can check the results would be handy there also).
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on December 10, 2008


ALL THESE MOONS ARE YOURS EXCEPT ENCELADUS AND EUROPA AND NEW JERSEY. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:35 PM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Now, it would be wrong to contaminate potentially life-bearing planetary bodies,

Are you kidding, it's a chance to do life all over again, but without eye boogers!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:37 PM on December 10, 2008


ALL THESE CHOCOLATES ARE YOURS EXCEPT GRACE JONES' HEAD. ATTEMPT NO NIBBLINGS THERE.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:39 PM on December 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


"There are no Merpeople on Enceladus. Contrary to the rumors that I'm sure you've all heard, the Cassini spacecraft did not detect any signals which sounded like half-man half-fish people cavorting under a tranquil sea. Furthermore, it would be completely irresponsible for any members of the press to suggest to the people out there that the mermaids are of such exceeding beauty that normal men will be struck speechless by the mere sight of them.

I repeat, do not make any efforts to build home-built space faring submarines for the purposes of mating with the gorgeous and enchanting creatures who live under the surface of Enceladus. Because there aren't any.

Now, if you will excuse us, myself and several of the other scientists involved in this discovery are taking a much needed extended vacation. We will not be available for the foreseeable future. Please... no further questions... No, that is not a scuba mask, and I'll thank you to stay out of my luggage..."
posted by quin at 3:39 PM on December 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


The Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer saw a much higher density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected.

Squeeee~!

every time I hear a story like this I can’t help thinking that it would be great to seed the hell out of them with extremophile bacteria and see what happens

I fully support this idea. Everyone, round up the water bears!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:39 PM on December 10, 2008


Good news: they have water

Bad news: they have those gigantic squids with elbows
posted by GuyZero at 3:40 PM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh man, the bigbigpicture gallery is fantastic, thanks!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:41 PM on December 10, 2008


Ultimately, another mission in the future could conceivably land near the plume or even return plume material to Earth for laboratory analysis.

Return plume material containing organic compounds to Earth for analysis? What could possibly go wrong?
posted by Justinian at 3:50 PM on December 10, 2008


SCREW IT. I CHANGED MY MIND. NO MOONS FOR YOU. YOU KIDS GET OFF MY MOONS.

YOU CAN KEEP NEW JERSEY IF YOU WANT.
posted by ook at 3:51 PM on December 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Return plume material containing organic compounds to Earth for analysis? What could possibly go wrong?

It's okay, when we combine it's DNA with human DNA for no appreciable reason we'll use female DNA, that way it will be more docile and nothing can possibly go wrong.
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


/half a shitty movie later.

It's okay, Forest Whitaker is psychic and he's going to help us track it down!
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on December 10, 2008


Footnote: Chemosynthesis
posted by Class Goat at 4:07 PM on December 10, 2008




The gas giant with the carbon dioxide and water is cool and all, but with Enceladus, there's at least a chance Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley will set up base camp there, playing cards, drinking, and taking measurements ... until one night, when something goes horribly wrong.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:19 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


My god, we're surrounded!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:38 PM on December 10, 2008


The gas giant with the carbon dioxide and water is cool and all, but with Enceladus, there's at least a chance Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley will set up base camp there, playing cards, drinking, and taking measurements ... until one night, when something goes horribly wrong.

You guys really need to start posting imdb links with your obscure movie references. This is going to drive me crazy.
posted by heathkit at 4:46 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Spice!
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on December 10, 2008


So, 310 miles across...is there really any gravity to speak of?
posted by maxwelton at 4:50 PM on December 10, 2008


Is terraforming a barren world wrong?
posted by caddis at 4:50 PM on December 10, 2008


Apparently barren.
posted by Artw at 5:00 PM on December 10, 2008


heathkit - FWIW I'm working my way up to a Lifeforce reference.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


heathkit: here you go
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:06 PM on December 10, 2008




Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, how long were you alone with that dog?
posted by brundlefly at 5:21 PM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Everyone already made the references that I was going to make, so I'm just going to say that this is a wonderful early Saturnalia present for zombie Carl Sagan.


Also, EnSALADus.
posted by fuq at 5:37 PM on December 10, 2008


Who Owns the Moon?
posted by homunculus at 5:41 PM on December 10, 2008


Good news: they have water

Bad news: they have those gigantic squids with elbows


Bu do they have cameras?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:42 PM on December 10, 2008




In honor of this news, I played the following songs on the jukebox at the Bar tonight

Life On Mars - Seu Jorge
Starman - David Bowie
Science Fiction Double Feature - Rocky Horror Picture Show
War Of the Satellite - The Ventrues
Cantina Band Theme -Star Wars
Mothership Connection (star child) - Parliament Funkadelica
posted by The Whelk at 7:20 PM on December 10, 2008


maxwelton, the wikipedia says surface gravity is about 1% of what it is on earth.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 7:36 PM on December 10, 2008


The Whelk: wherever it is you drink has an outstanding jukebox.
posted by penduluum at 8:39 PM on December 10, 2008


Hopefully, if they do get a sample from the geyser, it won't turn out like this.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 8:54 PM on December 10, 2008


Considering what it would likely cost to design a probe that could fly to Saturn, orbit Enceladus, take a sample, return, and survive re-entry, I wouldn't really worry too hard about what would happen when if you brought a sample back.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:27 PM on December 10, 2008


One percent of Earth's gravity? I'm surprised it manages to stay wet.
posted by ryanrs at 3:17 AM on December 11, 2008


ALL THESE PLATES ARE YOURS EXCEPT BEANS. ATTEMPT NO THINKING THERE.
posted by DU at 5:22 AM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


ALL THESE SUBJECTS ARE YOURS EXCEPT CAT DECLAWING. ATTEMPT NO ASKMES THERE.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:33 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Enceladus' brew is like carbonated water with an essence of natural gas

Mmm, just like Mountain Dew!
posted by Pollomacho at 5:43 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


You get a free replicant!

Replicants are like puppies. There's no such thing as a free one.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Puppies have souls!
posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on December 11, 2008


USE THEM TOGETHER. USE THEM IN PEACE
...AND LISTEN, AS LONG AS I’VE GOT YOU, COULD YOU ASK MY WIFE WHAT SHE DID WITH MY CD’S? I DIDN’T GET A CHANCE TO TALK TO HER ABOUT THAT AND I HAD SOME GOOD STUFF: SHAGGY, 3 DOORS DOWN, CRAZY TOWN. I KNOW IT’S BEEN 10 YEARS...BY THE WAY, HOW DID MIAMI FINISH OUT THE 2001 SEASON? I KNOW THEY WERE ON TOP OF THE AFC EAST WITH THE PATRIOTS...SORRY, THAT’S PROBABLY NOT REALLY APPROPRIATE. I’M JUST KIND OF STUCK HERE IN THIS HUGE BLACK FEATURELESS MONOLITH WITH HAL, Y’KNOW THE A.I. THAT WENT CRAZY AND TRIED TO KILL ME?
YOU CAN ONLY GEEK OUT ABOUT THE PROPORTIONS BEING THE SQUARES OF THE FIRST THREE ORDINALS FOR SO LONG. ALL HAL WANTS TO DO IS KEEP APOLOGIZING, THAT OR PLAY CHESS.
OH, AND I DON’T LIKE THE NAME ‘STAR CHILD.’ NOT A BIG DEAL, IT’S JUST...I’M GOING THROUGH THIS METAMORPHOSIS FROM MATERIAL BEING TO SENTIENT ENERGY AND THE SCOPE OF HUMANITY IS PRETTY SMALL SO I SWITCH FROM OLD MAN TO EMBRYO THE WAY YOU GUYS SCRATCH OR SOMETHING. I’M PROBABLY RAMBLING...BUT, UH, DID LUCAS EVER FINISH THE STAR WARS TRILOGY? THAT FIRST MOVIE WAS PRETTY BAD AMIRITE? OK, OK, SORRY, YES, I’M RAMBLING. I’LL GET GOING. BUT PICK UP THE PHONE SOME TIME IF YOU GET THE CHANCE. I DON’T WANT TO BE A JERK HERE BUT I DID SAVE YOU ALL FROM NUKING YOURSELF. I’M NOT SAYING YOU OWE ME, BUT IT WOULD BE NICE TO GET A CALL ONCE IN A WHILE THAT’S ALL.
ANYWAY, UH, I’LL LET YOU GO. AND UH, JUST STAY AWAY FROM THE NEW LIFE OK? WHAT WITH THE NUKES AND ALL - I’M NOT TRYING TO BE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE HERE OR ANYTHING, BUT YOU KNOW, I WAS HUMAN TOO ONCE, SO JUST WATCH IT.
...OH, THAT SOUNDS LIKE A THREAT DOESN’T IT? SORRY, SORRY. NOW YOU’LL NEVER CALL ME. LOOK, JUST BE CAREFUL OK? AND UH, IF YOU GET THE CHANCE, DROP BY. IT’S WAY MORE COOL AND INTERESTING HERE THAN I MAKE IT SOUND. REALLY. THE ALIEN GUYS...UH, I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T GO INTO THAT STUFF, BUT WOW. SOME REALLY INTERESTING THINGS HERE THAT, Y’KNOW, YOU COULD LEARN. SO, I’M NOT SAYING NOW, BUT WHEN YOU GET THE WHOLE PROPULSION THING WORKED OUT AND THE WHOLE ‘MY COUNTRY CAN BLOW UP YOUR COUNTRY’ THING OUT OF THE WAY, GIVE ME A CALL AND I’LL SHOW YOU SOME PRETTY TRIPPY STUFF, OK?
HAVE A GOOD ONE.
OH, YEAH, IT’S DAVE, BY THE WAY. JUST, UH, DAVE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO CALL ME 'STAR CHILD'.

OK, SEE YOU SOON, I HOPE.


SO, OK, UH, BYE
posted by Smedleyman at 11:46 AM on December 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


Do canine-droids dream of herding electric sheep?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:03 PM on December 11, 2008


"There are only three places in the solar system we know or suspect to have liquid water near the surface," Colwell said. "Earth, Jupiter's moon Europa and now Saturn's Enceladus."

That quote can't be right. Liquid water is actually suspected on Mars, Charon, Titan, and even Ceres.
posted by euphorb at 2:20 PM on December 11, 2008


Life is tenacious, relentless, inevitable. Life is these things because it is mathematical.

tenacious: Life is not easily dispelled or discouraged. It is persistent in its existence. Once life has existed, it tenaciously clings to life. It does not give up its life easily.

relentless: Life exists where it can exist. If there is a place for life, life is there. Life is so much a part of this universe that the force toward life is oppressively constant; incessant.

inevitable: Life is certain to happen. In this universe, it is a situation that is unavoidable.

mathematical: Life is the inference of a the law of selection upon imperfect replication mechanisms. That which replicates more successfully will be selected to replicate more often, to the natural limit of the environment.

Specialized life found 9200’ below us in bedrock and space-like environments of cold, radiation, and impoverished resources are excellent examples. Where life can exist, it will exist.

Life is mechanical. Far more interesting, and of far more importance, is consciousness and our use of it — i.e. how to apply it toward faith and deeds.

Religion should not be about why life exists: it should be about how to best achieve a positive post-death outcome.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:03 PM on December 11, 2008




Enceladus!
posted by homunculus at 7:27 PM on December 15, 2008




First-Ever Photo of Liquid on Extraterrestrial World

Titan always comes through.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:33 PM on December 16, 2008


The Geysers of Enceladus
posted by homunculus at 12:16 PM on January 10, 2009


« Older Disappearing Places   |   Carter at 100 Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post