Fascinating Clues to Concealed Life in the Asteroid Belt #poem #poetry #science #space

Ceres in natural color, as imaged by the spacecraft Dawn

Ceres in natural color, as imaged by the spacecraft Dawn

Between Mars and Jupiter,
Scattered asteroids
Orbit in a frozen belt
Of atmosphere devoid.

We found organic molecules,
The building blocks of life,
A tar-like concentration
Within a crater rife.

It’s Ceres, a dwarf planet,
With brightened crater bowls,
Where water ice is common
Beneath its axis poles.

This rock retains internal heat
From the dawn of time
To power unseen chemistry
Beneath its blackened grime.

Wherever’s liquid water
And heat for energy,
Where chemistry is active
To battle entropy,
There could be life abundant
In briny buried seas,
Beneath thick crusts of ice
On Callisto
or Ganymede.

Or Titan, or Europa.
Perhaps Enceladus.
High in Venusian air,
Or under Martian dust.

Ceres now has joined the list
Of where we must explore
To seek our solar system kin
Upon outlandish shores.

By Kate Rauner

Thanks to space.com and NASA’s spacecraft Dawn.

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#NASA ponders sending #spaceship to icy moons: Enceladus – What Tell Ya Us? #poetry #science #poem

Enceladus orbits i Saturn's E Ring - it's water geysers may have created the ring. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute PIA08321

Enceladus orbits in Saturn’s E Ring – it’s water geysers may have created the ring. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute PIA08321

Wrenched by Saturn’s gravity,
By tides within its core,
Or radioactive isotopes
Releasing heat galore.

A water ocean circulates
Beneath an icy shell
That blocks the solar photons.
Here living things could dwell.

Consider near-bacteria,
Imagine pseudo-fish.
Chemosynthesis
Supporting life like this.

Oceans are revealed, by geysers
Blasting through the cold.
Cryovolcanism,
Jets from the southern pole.

Mostly water vapor,
Some nitrogen, organics.
A sample thrown into the sky
If we can just collect it.

What may have surfed its boiling plumes?
What from the depths might rise?
A pseudo-fish’s brethren
On Saturn’s rings may ride.

By Kate Rauner

R&R 1 2nd edition ebook cover

2nd edition now available! Expanded!

Visit space.com for possible missions to Europa and Enceladus, two moons that may harbor life in their liquid water oceans. See more on Enceladus at wikipedia.

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