Obviously Europa and Titan are prime candidates for the discovery of alien life forms in this solar system. Humans should make every effort to explore these moons in our quest for understanding the universe.
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Enceladus may be the exception to this, hopefully. Some estimates are as low as 1 km for the crust thickness at the southern pole. It's diameter is only about 500km, and a surface gravity about 1/10th ours, so I'm curious if the water pressure would be too extreme.Drilling though many KM of ice on any ice moon is going to be problematic unless we find a crack near the surface.
ice/water pressure will be crushing if we have to drill 10 km or more to get to water.
Most of the ice moons will have far more than 10k of ice.
I agree it will be one of the few exceptions.Enceladus may be the exception to this, hopefully. Some estimates are as low as 1 km for the crust thickness at the southern pole. It's diameter is only about 500km, and a surface gravity about 1/10th ours, so I'm curious if the water pressure would be too extreme.
That may even be how abiogenesis happened on Earth -- from the ocean's dark thermal vents.Sunlight is, of course, irrelevant. Warmth comes from frictional heat. But primitive life could develop in liquid water oceans.
If there are thermal vents, it's likely they will be regular in flows to produce a long-term stable environment, which is critical for any chance for sustaining life. Chemeicals from these vents I expect will also be a critical part of the life equation as well.Helio, would not the thermal vents depend ultimately on internal heating - either nuclear or frictional or heat of accretion)?
Nicely put, and the "proof is in the putting" (or is it porridge?).Yes, of course, too much heat is destructive - vide Io. But, as you know, heat results from movement of molecules, and molecules need to get around to hook up and make more complex molecules. Too much heat (motion) and they can knock bits off each other - too little and they meet too few potential partners.
Hence we might suggest three phases, better known as Goldilocks and the three bears (who liked porridge).
Phase 1 was too hot and complex molecules could not form.
Phase 2 was just right and primitive life could form.
Phase 3 was too cold and no new complex molecules could form.
Fortunately, Phase 2 quite often lasted a long time and life got a chance to develop and take hold.