Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dollfaces / Alien Life in the Solar System (part 1)

Today's outfit is nothing special - just what I wore around and about on Monday. I totally have a brand new trick with my tights though - layering patterned fishnet tights over opaque tights. I bought heaps of these fishnet-style tights about two years ago, then got a bit sick of them after over-wearing them, so this is a great way of refreshing them and pretending I have a whole lot of new tights.

dress - c/o Romwe
necklace - Claire's
cardigan - c/o Sheinside
white tights - c/o Oasap
patterned tights - Ebay
shoes - Asos

So, Europa is awesome. One of Jupiter's moons, Europa is a really interesting place. Firstly because it has an atmosphere made up of oxygen, secondly because although the surface is a solid sheet of ice, it probably has a huge ocean made of liquid water underneath the layer of ice, and thirdly, it is one of the best candidates for alien life in our solar system.
(Image credit)
The subsurface ocean
Scientists think that Europa has a layer of liquid water underneath its outer icy surface. While the surface is frozen, the water can remain liquid underneath because of something called "tidal flexing". This is due to Europa's orbit around the giant and very dense Jupiter - gravitational pull from Jupiter, and another moon Io, keeps the interior water moving about, creating enough energy to keep it warm and in a liquid state. And the ocean is huge - estimates put the volume of the ocean at about twice that of Earth's ocean.

Alien Life
Warm, liquid, moving water is a good place for life to start up. But if the water is sterile, no amount of sloshing around will produce life. However, just recently more evidence for the moon being a good place for life has emerged. The surface was just found to have salt on it, which indicates a possible ocean of sodium chloride - yep - that's salt water just like in our own oceans on Earth! And very recent research also suggests that hydrogen peroxide - an important energy supply that could be used to support life - exists on the surface of Europa as well. If the hydrogen peroxide is also in the oceans, this would provide a great way for life to start up, if it hasn't already. Research done in the 1970s found that life doesn't need sunlight to develop - using chemosynthesis, life is able to exist at the very depths of our own oceans, using thermal vents to produce their own food-cycle which doesn't require any photosynthesis at all. So life could very well use a similar mechanism to develop and survive in pitch-black water underneath the icy exterior of Europa as well. Ships and robotic probes that are scheduled for Europa in the '20s and '30s will be able to tell us a lot more. I can't wait!







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14 comments:

  1. What do you reckon that any life on Europa would look like? Perhaps, if like us, it has already been developing for millions of years.

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    Replies
    1. If it was complex, multicellular life, I guess it would probably look like worms or even fish, or something like the terrifying things that you get when you look up "deep sea creatures" like i did just then, haha.

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  2. I have been eyeing that doll dress (in several different versions) on various websites, and it's adorable on you. I love the tights trick, too!

    xox Sammi
    www.thesoubrettebrunette.blogspot.com

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  3. You need to stop wearing such cute dresses! I have serious dress envy!

    Becky
    xx

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    1. You have the cutest clothes too, miss! I am always jealous of your polka dot pinafores and printed skirts and the like ;) we can both be envious :)

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  4. I love your little contrast pocket cardigan!
    And I always get real excited reading your astronomy posts haha.

    Rachel

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  5. Europa's subterranean ocean is interesting for life, for a water supply for Kardashev I humanity, all kinds of things. Also, Tidal locking/flexing fascinates me to no end as well, what a wild place. I wish JUICE was going to do more flybys of it.

    I was thinking about Mars One the other day. These people are gonna get so nutso, even in arctic regions on earth you can go outside and breathe the air. This is going to be some claustrophobic stuff, small living areas, the vast red wastes outside, no grass, no trees, no wind, whew, yea. This makes me think of The Abyss or Sphere more than a fun little round of golf on the moon. The journey is the journey, I think it'd be exciting and inspiring every day, then you get there, great new stuff to do...then you're stuck inside suits or little units doing very little, this is like prison after a certain point, and you're never ever going home. Intense stuff.

    Excited for part II!

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    1. I just read a rad sci fi book which had Kardashev ideas in it! So interesting.
      I thought JUICE was going to do heaps of flybys of Europa? Or don't you think it's doing enough?

      I've actually had such a long think about whether or not I would go on a one-way trip to Mars for the good of science, haha. I have decided no, I wouldn't, UNLESS I was given 20 years to live OR was about 60 years old, haha. It would be amazing amazing amazing without a doubt, but also basically the scariest thing you could ever do to yourself. I wonder what kind of people will sign up?

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    2. All the things I've read say a measly TWO flybys of Europa, disappointing. Still, any exploration of the Jovian system is cool with me; I just wish we were doing tons more of this stuff.
      There's a recent XKCD that made me laugh out loud http://xkcd.com/1202/ (don't forget to roll over), especially because I read it yesterday after reading your post and doing tons of research on Europa and the other moons of Jupiter.


      The first time I saw Hubble deep field pictures I immediately got so inspired and full of awe and perhaps even a twinge of fear. I immediately began researching things like number of stars and galaxies in the universe, which is just...staggering and unbelievable and amazing. Just craziness out there, a completely full universe, and at the same time everything is SOOOOOOO far away. We are hanging out by one star in a galaxy of 300Billion and IC1101 has 100Trillion, and we know there's probably more than 176Billion galaxies out there, just madness.

      As for the type of people that will sign up for Mars One, I have no clue, a lot of different people I'm sure, the complications of social interaction on a different planet is mindboggling in itself. Married couples, single people, people having children, all that kind of stuff. Need doctors, like five kinds of engineers, biologists, geologists, whew, a pretty big deal, and I think it's safe to say the most intense thing humans have ever done.

      Can't wait for part III! (really glad there's more to come)

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    3. Only two?! Yeah I'm mad too now! That's pathetic, haha.
      I had the exact same reaction with the hubble deep-field photographs. That one where they just pointed it at what they thought was an empty part of sky and saw back to the beginnings of the universe. Not only is the size of the universe entirely incomprehensibly huge, but so it the time it's existed for. It's hard enough to try and think about how much universe exists right at this moment, let alone what has existed and what will exist in the future. I can't even. Ahh I love your comments, they always make me think.

      I posted about Mars One a while back but I'll definitely be following it as we hear more about it! I really hope that it gets off the ground. And I'm glad you're enjoying these posts :)

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  6. Wow really interesting how your mix science with a beautiful outfit!
    I really like it you outfit and your blog is really cute!
    Now I´m following you in GFC, FB and Bloglovin´
    I hope your follow me back.

    xoxo

    www.sakuranko.com

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  7. You look gorgeous. I wish I can find that dress though; Romwe unfortunately doesn't have it anymore. :( Do you know of any other websites that might sell this dress?

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    1. :( No, I don't, I'm sorry. Maybe you could try ebay, but other than that, I am out of ideas.

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