Could alien life be hiding in the rings of Saturn or Jupiter?

Jan 25, 2023
13
3
515
Visit site
I know of two SciFi stories that relate to life in Saturn's rings.

The first is Footfall, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, in which the alien Fithps make a fueling stop at Saturn. In the process, their ships' exhaust creates a kink in Saturn's ring, which was seen by Voyager 1 but not understood. The Fithps are from another star system, so in this case the life in Saturn's rings is transient.

The other story appeared (I think) in Analog--unfortunately, I don't recall the title or author(s). Humans are mining the rings of Saturn, and the short story takes place at a bar (of course!) orbiting the planet. The rings are said to have formed from a moon that was torn apart by Roche forces, but before it disintegrated, life evolved to the stage of worms in the moon's ocean. All new miners are subject as part of their initiation to drinking a cocktail made with ring ice, in which there is a frozen worm. As it turns out, while there were worms, they're rare, and the "worm" in the cocktail is a strand of spaghetti.
 
They say there is a lot of ice in Saturn's rings. Ice is mega valuable to spacefarers. Drinking water, fuel, water balloons, etc. Plus they would not have to go down the planet's gravity well so far, the chunks are of manageable size, a great view for a bar or lounge, low taxes. I'm in!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cdr. Shepard
We need two radar networks. One for the Jupiter and one for the Saturn system. We need to 3D plot those many moon systems for a few years. I believe this would have more value than man Mars. You might add some deep space scanners with them. We need powerful scanner technology.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cdr. Shepard
We live in a cosmic shooting gallery, the more warning we have the better chance we have of intercepting something. Some of these bodies come from outside the Solar System, acellerated towards us by unknown forces. They could basically come in with whatever speed they started at. We need powerful radars and telescopes all over the Solar System, relaying back data by laser beam.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cdr. Shepard
Those moon systems have many more orbits than our planetary system. We might find an unusual velocity there too. Only this one we can actually measure and maybe get a clue as to what is going on.

But we need accurate 3D timed tracks.

Roger on the rocks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cdr. Shepard

Catastrophe

"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
There is water, but not very much. Once you get away from Saturn itself, though, the nearby area has plenty of water. Saturn's rings are almost entirely made of water ice, in chunks ranging in size from dust to house-sized boulders. And all of Saturn's moons have large quantities of water ice.
My emphasis.

but

Scientists generally think that an environment that could support life as we know it requires three key components. The first is some kind of energy source: typically, the heat and light from a star, which creatures might tap for photosynthesis. The second is organic material: carbon-containing chemical compounds that might form living things in the first place. The third is liquid water. Everything from the moon to distant comets might have water in frozen form, but the water must be liquid for life to thrive.


Cat :)
 
I think water is the media that life processes can occur in. A cell. Even a cell within a cell within a body. Of course there is always exceptions.

It probably moderates accelerations and velocities and inertias. Slows everything down. Liquid water might control these processes with temperature for a range of adjustment or choice.
 

Catastrophe

"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
"Water is the space of life" copyrighted 2024@ClassicalMotion.

Now I am Published. At last.

Congratulations on being published. Thank you for telling us. I found it quite interesting, though a lot over a dozen pages. I have had a book published as well as many articles, but I am probably a lot older than you.

Cat :)
 
Last edited:

Catastrophe

"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
I think water is the media that life processes can occur in.

You are quite correct in that, but you say "think" and "can" which are not very definite words.
Of course, you are not saying there that life can only occur in (or in contact with) aqueous medium viz., liquid water.

"water is the space of life"

And I did not know what you meant by that. I was just curious. It is not important.
We can drop the subject if you wish.

Cat :)

Addition. I think it is important in any such discussions whether we are considering the surface of Earth only, or more generally, such as in space.
 

Catastrophe

"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
No need to apologise, I didn't notice you off topic. I agree about the moon systems. Our ideas were completely changed when frictional heating was considered. Up until then, solar heating would not have been enough to support liquid water in those moons.

I was previously trying to suggest that there would be no liquid water in the rings.

Water ice does not melt into liquid in a vacuum. It sublimates—goes directly from solid to gas. In fact, liquid water in a vacuum will simultaneously freeze and boil; you can turn water into ice at room temperature just by exposing it to hard vacuum.

Cat :)
 
Last edited:
I agree about ring life. Maybe something possibly dormant. Spores perhaps. I don't think we will find life anywhere.

Can you imagine 60 moons at various sizes, periods and distances, maybe even a slight ring or two? And all the ancient kingdoms with different stories for all the moving cycles and patterns. We would have all those patterns well known by now. Perhaps a different observation of gravity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Catastrophe

Latest posts