logo 
spacer
  

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

If you have an opinion, you should share it! Register Now!

America's Debate hosts the best in news, government, and political debate. Register now to take part in the most civil and constructive debate on the Internet. Join the community, and get ready to be challenged!

Click here to start

> Sponsored Links

Register to remove these ads!

> Welcome to the America's Debate Archive!

Topics that have had no new replies in the last 180 days are moved to the archive.

New replies are not accepted once a topic is moved to the archive, and new topics cannot be started in the archive.

> A Moon Of Saturn Has Liquid Water, Next Stop: Enceladus
Victoria Silverw...
post Mar 10 2006, 10:26 AM
Post #1


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,601
Member No.: 608
Joined: March-16-03

From: Chattanooga Tennessee USA
Gender: Female
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: Green Party



Here's the story:

Link

QUOTE
Scientists have found evidence that cold, Yellowstone-like geysers of water are issuing from a moon of Saturn called Enceladus, apparently fueled by liquid reservoirs that may lie just tens of yards beneath the moon's icy surface.

The surprising discovery, detailed in Friday's issue of the journal Science, could shoot Enceladus to the top of the list in the search for life elsewhere in our solar system. Scientists described it as the most important discovery in planetary science in a quarter-century.


Here's an editorial about this discovery which suggests a possible follow-up project:

Link

QUOTE
We can go out there to Enceladus and pick up the samples in deep space, delivered conveniently by the geyser system that appears to be driven by the same heating process gravitational flexing that created the Enceladus liquid water pools in the first place.


To be debated:

1. Is the discovery of liquid water elsewhere in the Solar System as important as these articles suggest? Why or why not?

2. Is it important enough to begin planning a difficult and expensive mission to gather samples from the geysers of Enceladus? If so, should this be a national or international project?

3. Imagine that life is discovered on Enceladus, or elsewhere in the Solar System. How important a discovery would this be? Would it be purely of scientific interest, or would it have some kind of profound effect on humanity?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
 
Start new topic
Replies (1 - 1)
Vermillion
post Mar 10 2006, 11:49 AM
Post #2


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 2,547
Member No.: 2,065
Joined: December-23-03

From: Canada
Gender: Male
Politics: Slightly Liberal
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



QUOTE(Victoria Silverwolf @ Mar 10 2006, 10:26 AM)
1.  Is the discovery of liquid water elsewhere in the Solar System as important as these articles suggest?  Why or why not?


Life as we understand it cannot develop withoput water. The presence of water does not mean life, but the preence of life means water, 100%

The important caviat of liquid water means something as well. It means through a combination of extrnal or internal sources of heat, presure and/or light, the water is kept at a moderate temperature. Several planets in the solar system have ice, but liquid water now means not only does water exist, but temperature ranges capable of easily supporting life also exist. In other words, this is huge.


QUOTE
  Is it important enough to begin planning a difficult and expensive mission to gather samples from the geysers of Enceladus?  If so, should this be a national or international project?


This is not the first water found in the solar system Apart from yet as unknown past water on mars, there is subsurface water on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. Certainly this is IMPORTANT enough to explore, but in the end the scientific importance is not really the issue. Billions have been spent (and in some cases lost) on recent explorations to Mars. Saturn is 45 times further away on average than Mars is. The cost for any serious, in depth probe would be exceptional. We have already sent relatively simple probes (compared to the Mars probes) to some of the outer planets, and they have always cost an awful lot. Still, especially if there is international co-opration, it does not have to be prohibitive.

QUOTE
Imagine that life is discovered on Enceladus, or elsewhere in the Solar System.  How important a discovery would this be?  Would it be purely of scientific interest, or would it have some kind of profound effect on humanity?


I cannot imagine a discovery that would more alter our fundamental view on existence. At the moment, some people think we are alone in the universe because, frankly we only have evidence of one bit of life in the cosmos. But if life developed independently TWICE in the SAME SOLAR SYSTEM, that would mean that the galaxy is by definition literally teeming with life, evolving and growing out there on its own.

Given that, the odds of highly evolved life out there also grow to a near certainty. That is a very interesting thought.


I think there might be a serious problem with this realisation among some of the more fundamentalist religious groups, who firstly, refuse to believe in evolution, and secondly have a world view that depnds on their being unique and special, as opposed to just one among many... But to be honest those people would be a small minority.

Frankly, I think the biggest thing would be a large scale revival of space exploration, lots more funding and co-operation. I like to think it would have the same effect on earth as the effect on Europe of being told there was a 'new world' just across the sea: massive investment and exploration... though hopefully with less greed. (and diseases...)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

  
Go to the top of the page - Simple Version Time is now: December 4th, 2021 - 08:37 AM
©2002-2010 America's Debate, Inc.  All rights reserved.