Thursday, September 22, 2016

Jupiter's Europa: NASA Press Conference From Hubble Team, Come Monday; Glitch Repaired -- Back Online

Ahem. As often happens, the pending news from/of Europa has put me in mind of a moldingly old poet, from my catechetical youth. [Trivially, it also seems we are fully back in the saddle, with the live updating (and a mobile enabled) stats interface. Sweet.]

To the mold, then: Edgar Allen Poe doth writ, and read quite well (grin!): "I gazed awhile, on her cold smile" and realized I "more admire thy distant [sienna-hued, golden flecked] fire, than the colder, [closer] lowly light. . . ."

Where was I? Oh. Right. NASA's Hubble team will hold a press conference webcast Monday, about developments observed by the great space telescope -- at Europa. It is widely thought that -- due to the unimaginably immense, completely irresistible and constantly pulling, twisting, mashing and crushing tidal forces of Jupiter's behemoth gravity, tugging on the little shepherd moon -- her moon Europa may in fact be very, very warm, underneath that darkly ruddy-sienna ice shelled exterior. Grin. In fact, it likely supports an undulating, rotating, hot water vented ocean. And all of that is not at all unlike what we expect primordial Earth's oceans were once like.

If you cannot already tell, I am going to be glued to that web-cast -- for any hint of primordial microbes, off-planet. But we will take a deep breath, and take one space science step, at a time.

Until Monday, at 2 PM EDT, then -- here is Poe -- in full (imaged, at right).

And so, we do draw -- day by day -- and mission by mission, inexorably closer to proof that at least microbial life exists off-planet. Even right here, in our local neighborhood. Ever onward we drift -- forward, admiring that fire, from afar. . . a fire driven by the laws of attraction. . . on a celestial scale. Smile. Be excellent to one another. The Goddesses would want it that way.


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