APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 2936
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby APOD Robot » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:06 am

Image Potentially Habitable Moons

Explanation: For astrobiologists, these may be the four most tantalizing moons in our Solar System. Shown at the same scale, their exploration by interplanetary spacecraft has launched the idea that moons, not just planets, could have environments supporting life. The Galileo mission to Jupiter discovered Europa's global subsurface ocean of liquid water and indications of Ganymede's interior seas. At Saturn, the Cassini probe detected erupting fountains of water ice from Enceladus indicating warmer subsurface water on even that small moon, while finding surface lakes of frigid but still liquid hydrocarbons beneath the dense atmosphere of large moon Titan. Now looking beyond the Solar System, new research suggests that sizable exomoons, could actually outnumber exoplanets in stellar habitable zones. That would make moons the most common type of habitable world in the Universe.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 8567
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby geckzilla » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:33 am

I appreciate this perspective on the moons. I didn't have a good sense of scale for Enceladus especially prior to this. I know I have seen to-scale images of all the moons before but somehow this one feels like it will leave a greater impression on me.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2020
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby Boomer12k » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:20 am

Endor is a Moon....a habitable Moon...at least in Star Wars.

So, I guess it is possible.

We can't land on a Gas Giant....so it is going to have to be the moons....and that means, after Mars, the for the rest of the Solar System...until you get to the Ort Cloud, and Pluto...but it depends on the direction you wish to go. Plus, it is all out there orbiting the Sun, so...it might not be convenient to always go to Pluto, if you want to go in the opposite direction. As the "window" is a very long time. So....several Ort bases might be necessary.

One solution maybe to use a Comet...to get from HERE to THERE in the solar system...then when you are out far enough....leave the Comet...let the comet do all the work and save some fuel. Like taking the bus. Conserve energy, do some science, and enjoy the view!

I really don't see any of this happening ANY time soon...

:---[===] *

User avatar
Nitpicker
Inverse Square
Posts: 2525
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:39 am
Location: S27 E153

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby Nitpicker » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:00 am

Boomer12k wrote:Endor is a Moon....a habitable Moon...at least in Star Wars.

So, I guess it is possible.

We can't land on a Gas Giant....so it is going to have to be the moons....and that means, after Mars, the for the rest of the Solar System...until you get to the Ort Cloud, and Pluto...but it depends on the direction you wish to go. Plus, it is all out there orbiting the Sun, so...it might not be convenient to always go to Pluto, if you want to go in the opposite direction. As the "window" is a very long time. So....several Ort bases might be necessary.

One solution maybe to use a Comet...to get from HERE to THERE in the solar system...then when you are out far enough....leave the Comet...let the comet do all the work and save some fuel. Like taking the bus. Conserve energy, do some science, and enjoy the view!

I really don't see any of this happening ANY time soon...

:---[===] *


We'll probably have to genetically modify ourselves into electromagnetic radiation signals, before thinking about colonizing beyond the Solar System. :shock:

Another good reference image here:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d9/Moons_of_solar_system_v3.jpg

majer

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby majer » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:02 pm

Hi

I would like to ask, whether the scale shown in the picture is correct? Ganymede and Titan have diameter bigger than 5000 km, so in my opinion this line segment length should be 2000 km at least.

starsurfer
Stellar Cartographer
Posts: 2779
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby starsurfer » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:16 pm

Boomer12k wrote:Endor is a Moon....a habitable Moon...at least in Star Wars.
:---[===] *

Don't forget Yavin IV!

cxd207
Asternaut
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:16 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby cxd207 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:52 pm

All these worlds are yours, except Europa

FloridaMike
Science Officer
Posts: 413
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:21 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby FloridaMike » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:08 pm

cxd207 wrote:All these worlds are yours, except Europa


LIKE
Certainty is an emotion. So follow your spindle neurons.

User avatar
Psnarf
Science Officer
Posts: 282
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby Psnarf » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:36 pm

The term, 'life', does not necessarily imply bipedal humanoids with opposable thumbs and gifts of speech and the written word. Paramecia may be a bit of a stretch, perhaps amoebae or oxygen-breathing flora? The Endorians, for example, may communicate via psychic channels, thus finding us too silly to hold up our end of a conversation.

ta152h0
Schooled
Posts: 1236
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:46 am
Location: Auburn, Washington, USA

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby ta152h0 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:01 pm

I don't want just air and wet water, I want cars ( Hemicuda's are acceptable ), I want milkshakes, toys , a house, green grass, before I jump on that spaceship.
Wolf Kotenberg

p1gnone
Asternaut
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 12:15 am

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby p1gnone » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:38 pm

and what of volcanic IO?

othermoons

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby othermoons » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:58 pm

...maybe if we stop fighting eachother, we'll have more energy and resource to travel to other worlds or even other stars! I can only hope...

Guest

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:03 pm

I don't see any reason why moons (exo-moons) could not be habitable. But how could we (humans, or our distance ancestors who survive the trip) survive the radiation emanating from planets like Jupiter & Saturn? For sure, if we find life in those (local) environments, it must have evolved some means of coping with the high levels of radiation that it is exposed to.

gmPhil
Ensign
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:15 am

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby gmPhil » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:23 pm

majer wrote:Hi

I would like to ask, whether the scale shown in the picture is correct? Ganymede and Titan have diameter bigger than 5000 km, so in my opinion this line segment length should be 2000 km at least.


I think it should be miles, not kilometres

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 8567
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby geckzilla » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:31 pm

I think you're right, Phil.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2020
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby Boomer12k » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:36 pm

starsurfer wrote:
Boomer12k wrote:Endor is a Moon....a habitable Moon...at least in Star Wars.
:---[===] *

Don't forget Yavin IV!


And Yavin IV as well...you are correct... :D

:---[===] *

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2020
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby Boomer12k » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Nitpicker wrote:We'll probably have to genetically modify ourselves into electromagnetic radiation signals, before thinking about colonizing beyond the Solar System. :shock:

Another good reference image here:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d9/Moons_of_solar_system_v3.jpg


That...or ALLOT of shielding....Jupiter's Magnetosphere is very energetic, I hear....plus, just being out there for ages just to get somewhere, even Earth Orbit poses radiation dangers...the whole environment is hostile to us.
A LEAD hollow core ship, and living inside that while traveling I suppose is one answer....as well as a good Faraday Cage, but I don't know how feasible that all is...

:---[===] *

User avatar
BMAONE23
Commentator Model 1.23
Posts: 4076
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby BMAONE23 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:15 pm

Boomer12k wrote:Endor is a Moon....a habitable Moon...at least in Star Wars.

So, I guess it is possible.

We can't land on a Gas Giant....so it is going to have to be the moons....and that means, after Mars, the for the rest of the Solar System...until you get to the Ort Cloud, and Pluto...but it depends on the direction you wish to go. Plus, it is all out there orbiting the Sun, so...it might not be convenient to always go to Pluto, if you want to go in the opposite direction. As the "window" is a very long time. So....several Ort bases might be necessary.

One solution maybe to use a Comet...to get from HERE to THERE in the solar system...then when you are out far enough....leave the Comet...let the comet do all the work and save some fuel. Like taking the bus. Conserve energy, do some science, and enjoy the view!

I really don't see any of this happening ANY time soon...

:---[===] *


Let’s not forget Pandora also. Avatar reintroduced the idea of habitable moons surrounding Gas Giants. The only problem I saw was the apparent fact that while All animal life on Pandora has 6 limbs (4 forelimbs and 2 rear 4 wings and 2 legs for the fliers) the Na’vi only had 2 arms and 2 legs. I think the Na’vi should have had 4 arms similar to the Tharks in Edgar Burroughs books

User avatar
Astronymus
Ensign
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:26 pm
AKA: Astro
Location: Astroplanet

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby Astronymus » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:08 pm

Boomer12k wrote:
That...or ALLOT of shielding....Jupiter's Magnetosphere is very energetic, I hear....plus, just being out there for ages just to get somewhere, even Earth Orbit poses radiation dangers...the whole environment is hostile to us.
A LEAD hollow core ship, and living inside that while traveling I suppose is one answer....as well as a good Faraday Cage, but I don't know how feasible that all is...

:---[===] *


Electromagnetic shielding should help against particle radiation. Biggest problem are the damn gamma rays.

Image

Shields up! Red Alert!

User avatar
Nitpicker
Inverse Square
Posts: 2525
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:39 am
Location: S27 E153

Re: APOD: Potentially Habitable Moons (2014 Sep 19)

Postby Nitpicker » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:57 am

gmPhil wrote:
majer wrote:Hi

I would like to ask, whether the scale shown in the picture is correct? Ganymede and Titan have diameter bigger than 5000 km, so in my opinion this line segment length should be 2000 km at least.


I think it should be miles, not kilometres


I wonder if some of the images were taken from close enough to show measurably less than a full 180 degrees of disc. Regardless, assuming the images have been scaled to their full disc size (and using my scale ruler against my monitor) I think the scale bar should say 2000 km. The bar is a little too long for 1000 miles (1000 statute miles = 1609 km, 1000 nautical miles = 1852 km).


Return to “The Bridge: Discuss an Astronomy Picture of the Day”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: RJN and 5 guests