Tomorrow is the NASA Announcement, that many speculate will be about the discovery of alien life, evidence of bacteria. Did NASA discover life at Saturn’s moons? Not really, but Saturn’s second largest moon, Rhea, has a very thin oxygen atmosphere and complex chemistry, says Cassini Project scientist Linda Spilker of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA recently woke up the Cassini Spacecraft from it’s ’safe mode’ to repair a computer glitch in time for a close fly-by of the Saturian moon, Enceladeus on Nov. 25th. The glitch prevented observations to be made of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, on Nov. 11th. Scientific data stored onboard was able to be retrieved. When compared with data from previous observations of the moon Rhea, evidence of the very thin oxygen atmosphere seems confirmed Cassini scientists like Ben Teolis of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and James Elser from Arizona State University believe the discovery may be as important as any made in our Solar System by any probe, even by the Hubble Space Telescope. The speculation began by a blogger, Jason Kottke, who saw a press release from the space agency.
The press release tells of a news conference to be held this Thursday. NASA says it will be to “discuss an astrobiological finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” The NASA press release adds, “Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.” That covers a lot of ground.
Tomorrow is the NASA Announcement, that many speculate will be about the discovery of alien life, evidence of bacteria. So, the speculation builds. Does this big announcement have anything to do with a very thin oxygen atmosphere being found on the icy moon Rhea? Did NASA discover life on Saturn’s moons? Or does it have to do with a discovery of life on Mars? We’ve recently had some return-sample missions from comets, too. Could the Thursday press conference be about life being distributed about our Solar System by comets or even asteroids? Stay tuned, folks, it might be worth watching NASA TV!