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Keep watch for the signs, readers! All news and views welcome. Email Zendexor at email@example.com.
2023 May 16th:
LIFE MAY EXIST ON URANIAN MOONS
Recently I read an article in the Daily Telegraph - "Aliens could be hiding on four moons of Uranus" - which reported some conclusion reached among scientists at JPL who had re-examined the Voyager 2 probe results.
Their findings suggest that (to quote from the article):
...Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon, could all hold vast oceans, dozens of miles deep, beneath their icy crusts.
Crucially, the moons appear to have enough inner heat to stop the water from freezing, giving hope that alien life could be thriving 1.7 billion miles from Earth.
The oceans also appear to contain salts and ammonia which would act as an anti-freeze, helping to keep the liquid in a watery state...
Interestingly, it appears that these moons' inner heat cannot be fully explained by tidal forces which warm the interiors of Jovian and Saturnian satellites, since Uranus isn't big enough to have that effect.
Well, what are we OSS fans to make of all this? Being fed crumbs is better than nothing. But it's still a far cry from the Wollheim classic, The Man From Ariel.
By the way the above illustration, the beautiful Mirandan moonscape, is here because I couldn't resist it, though I know that Miranda wasn't included in the article's possible life-sites. Still, who knows? The evidently violent origin of that moon might have kick-started some biota; or at any rate one might use that as an excuse in fiction... A flimsy excuse is still an excuse.
2018 November 26th:
CANDIDATE FOR MARTIAN MOSS
From Dylan Jeninga:
...I was reading an old NPR article, and it discussed the Mysterious Black Blotches of Mars, as I'm calling them. Weird, spidery black shapes that appear on the sunward side of some dunes in the spring and grow all summer, until they vanish in the winter. The next spring, they appear in the same spots around 70% of the time.
Now, the commonly proposed, though uninvestigated, hypothesis is that these blotches are formed by outgassing CO2 that spits up basaltic dust with it. But a group of Hungarian scientists also suggested that they might be some kind of photosynthetic lifeforms, which I thought you might appreciate (I know I did). If true, it would turn out OSS predictions of Martian moss weren't so far off the mark.
Reply from Zendexor:
This is somewhat better than micro-organisms! I
suppose those little wrinkles in the surface are lesser dunes, which helps give
an idea of the scale.
The discovery of Martian moss, or the equivalent, would immediately lead to the next question: if there's moss, what else could there be?
The more I look at that picture, the harder I find it to believe in a non-organic explanation... Much more convincing, to me, than the "Face" in Cydonia ever was. What do our other readers think, I wonder?
Let's all keep our fingers crossed.
See also The good guesses of yore.