Several interesting articles in Tech Times explore the possibility of alien life on other planets. Jim Algar reports on data released by NASA’s Messenger spacecraft.
The magnetic field of Mercury, closest planet to the sun, is almost 4 billion years old and may once have been almost as strong as Earth’s, scientists say.
Data from Messenger gathered in 2014 and early this year, when it approached to within 90 miles of Mercury’s surface, indicated trace signs of magnetization of the planet’s crust, scientists reported in the journal Science.
Although relatively weak now, Mercury’s magnetic field may have once been as much as 100 times as strong, equivalent to the Earth’s magnetic field today, she says.
Summit Passary relays the latest findings on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus:
Scientists believe that Enceladus is one of the best places in our solar system that may support alien life.
Enceladus is covered with ice but scientists suggest it is very active geologically. Scientists also believe that there may be liquid water underneath the icy surface of the celestial object. Previous studies about Enceladus have revealed that the oceans under the surface of the moon may also be in contact with the mantle, which makes chemical reactions possible. The geyser like plumes spews water on the moon.
Scientists have found that the oceans on Enceladus are likely to be salty as well as quite basis with pH of 11 or 12. This pH level can also be tolerated by some living organisms on the Earth. Glein explains that high pH is caused by a geochemical process, which is called serpentinization.“This process is central to the emerging science of astrobiology, because molecular hydrogen can both drive the formation of organic compounds like amino acids that may lead to the origin of life, and serve as food for microbial life such as methane-producing organisms,” says Glein. “As such, serpentinization provides a link between geological processes and biological processes. The discovery of serpentinization makes Enceladus an even more promising candidate for a separate genesis of life.”