Science Sunday: Jupiter’s Moon Houses Salty Ocean

Jupiter’s Moon Houses a Salty Ocean?

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have found that Ganymede, Jupiter’s moon, has a salt ocean with more water than the Earth. Scientists believe the ocean is 60 miles thick, which is about 10 times the depth of Earth’s oceans. If this doesn’t get Jules Verne-ians excited, I don’t know what will. In addition to pictures of the moon from Hubble, scientists have measure the magnetic field of the moon, which provides even stronger evidence of such a body of water underneath the surface potentially caused by Cryo-Volcanoes. What’s more,scientists are looking beyond Ganymede to Europa and Callisto as other icy moons with likely sources of water and, thus, the potential for life whether past or present.

But why, Trevor? Why should I care?

This means that our solar system is a wet place, where oceans and salt water are not confined to Earth, but rather, exist in abundance. If there are oceans on moons as well as Earth here in the Sol System, then it can be extrapolated that there are oceans on planets outside of our solar system. Generally, life as we know it requires water to survive. Going further, this could mean life on other planets or moons outside of our solar system.

In my opinion we would be silly to believe there is not life somewhere else in the universe, whether it exists presently, or at some point in the past or will exist at some time in the future. Astronomers estimate that there are more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe and our own galaxy, The Milky Way, is home to over 300 billion stars. Now, math is not my strong suit, but even I know that the odds are against being alone in the universe. Heck, maybe Jupiter’s moon Ganymede or another candidate within our Solar System will house some microbial life if nothing else.

What do you think? Are we alone? Or are there super-intelligent plant-people out there somewhere? Leave a response in the space below, the wackier the better.

Don’t forget to download a free copy of my Sci-Fi Thriller Symbiote, which deals with one possible form of life arriving on Earth via meteorite.

How Far Can You See?

How Far Can You See?

I recently came across the Webb Space Telescope on which NASA is currently working.  When it’s launched in 2018, it will have 100x the power of the Hubble telescope, the telescope responsible for images like the one at right.  It’s amazing how inspiring the photos from Hubble were and are and I can’t imagine what we’ll be able to see with the Webb Space Telescope.  NASA is hoping to see the end of the universe, looking back through time to when the universe began.  Heavy stuff.

The new telescope will be positioned about 1,000,000 miles from Earth, a little more than four times the distance to the moon.  Being that far away, it will have capabilities that the Hubble doesn’t.  There shouldn’t be any period of time when the Webb telescope wouldn’t be able to capture images.  With that advantage, it should be able to get better images than the Hubble.  What I’m hoping for is a closeup of an Earth-like planet in another solar system.  NASA has already found thousands of other planets, but I think it will be different if people could see those planets clearly and up close.  Images like the one above make me wonder just what’s out there.  That’s why I choose to write science fiction novels.  I choose a star out of that crowded picture and imagine intelligent life searching the stars as we do.

My upcoming science fiction series asks a lot of these same questions, and answers the question, “Are we alone in the universe?” with a resounding “NO!”  It’s action-packed and sure to please fans of Space Operas, Space Westerns, and fans of movies like Blade Runner and Alien.  Keep a lookout this December for the first of many in this new series.