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#1 2023-03-19 11:27:56

Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 6,244

Life on Ariel and/or Miranda?

Could Astrobiology exist in Ice-Giants?

Two of Uranus’ Moons May Harbor Active Oceans, Radiation Data Suggests … cean-moons

The team suspects the particles arise from Ariel and/or Miranda through either a vapor plume similar to that seen on Enceladus or through sputtering — a process where high-energy particles hit a surface, ejecting other particles into space. “Right now, it’s about 50-50 whether it’s just one or the other,” Cohen said.

Regardless, modeling suggests the energizing mechanism would be the same: A constant stream of particles flows from the moons into space, where they create electromagnetic waves. Those waves accelerate some small fraction of the particles to energies that LECP could detect. This process, the team believes, kept the particles seen by LECP so narrowly trapped.

However, with only a single observation of the region and no data about the composition of the plasma or measurements of the full range of electromagnetic waves within it, Cohen noted, there’s no way to definitively determine the source of the particles.

Yet scientists have already suspected Uranus’ five largest moons — Ariel and Miranda included — may have subsurface oceans. Voyager 2 images of both moons show physical signs of geologic resurfacing, including possible eruptions of water that froze on the surface.

“The data are consistent with the very exciting potential of there being an active ocean moon there,” Cohen said. “We can always do more comprehensive modeling, but until we have new data, the conclusion will always be limited.”

Triton of Neptune is also of interest to scientists, no Ocean but it is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, an orbit in the direction opposite to its planet's rotation on its surface a world of Frozen Nitrogen, water-ice crust, an icy mantle with metals underneath, few craters, an active world but cryovolcanic and tectonic terrains. Triton is thought to be too cold but Ariel and Miranda might be active? Uranus and Neptune are now often classified in the separate category of ice giants look at exoplanets we have other categories like Moons which might harbor life, Super-Earths smaller than Neptune,  the super-Neptune category a planet that is more massive than the planet Neptune, exoplanets described as being around 5–7 times as large as Earth with estimated masses of 20–80 Earth but smaller than Gas-Giants or 'Hot Jupiters'. Due to Uranus's near-sideways orientation, only Miranda's southern hemisphere was visible to Voyager 2 when it arrived, it is believed to have a viscous, lava-like mix of water and ammonia, which freezes at 176 K (−97 °C), or perhaps ethanol. During its flyby of Neptune's Moon Triton, Voyager found surface temperatures of 38 K (−235 °C). The super-Earth exoplanet category is an extrasolar planet with a mass higher than Earth's, but below those of the Solar System's ice giants.

Some other past discussion on newmars

'Moons of the solar system'
NASA eyes nuclear-powered rocket
Neptune Trojans
unmanned probes to Uranus & Neptune?

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2023-03-19 11:36:13)


#2 2023-05-12 10:53:54

Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 6,244

Re: Life on Ariel and/or Miranda?

New NASA research suggests four of Uranus’ largest moons, some named for Shakespeare characters, likely contain an ocean layer between their cores and icy crusts. … 7365644288


#3 2023-05-15 11:38:39

From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 2,619

Re: Life on Ariel and/or Miranda?

B4, that is an interesting discovery.  It is also worth noting that at the time that the solar system formed, common rocks had much higher abundance of potassium-40 and uranium-235 and these bodies would have retained some heat from their accretion.  Liquid water oceans may have been possible on much smaller bodies in the distant past.  If we go poking around in the frozen mud of most KBOs, we may find micro-fossils of long extinct micro-organisms.  Worlds like Mimas, Dione, Tethys, etc, may be lifeless today but may have evolved life earlier in the history of the sol system. In other star systems, with higher initial abundant of radionucludes, life could evolve in much smaller bodies.

One interesting question.  If intelligent life had evolved on a KBO or moon earlier in the solar systems history and become space faring, only to die out later or colonise the stars, would we find evidence of them today?

We have talked about creating ice covered oceans on KBOs on the terraforming board.  If an artificial fusion or fission based power source can provide a source of heat and light, even quite small bodies down to 50km is diameter could be provided with habitable oceans.  It is a convenient place to dump waste heat as well.  In the future, human habitats on the surface of KBOs couod be provided with food from oceans beneath KBO icy shells.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-05-15 11:46:48)

"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."


#4 2023-05-15 12:32:54

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 5,823

Re: Life on Ariel and/or Miranda?

I am currently more interested in the inner solar system, but this has shown up. … nationally.

Microsoft and Helion want to build the world’s first fusion plant and seize energy’s ‘Holy Grail’
BY LISA STIFFLER on May 10, 2023 at 6:00 am

Something like the above, might work out.  I have seen one opinion that solar could be cheaper in the future, but for places where solar does not make sense, developing the outer solar system and the "Way out", may become real.

And I guess that might give eventual answers about alien life or panspermia.


Last edited by Void (2023-05-15 12:36:39)



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