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Liquid oceans in outer solar system may last longer, says study

Liquid oceans in outer solar system may last longer, says study

New Delhi: In a significant discovery that may boost the search for alien life, scientists at NASA have found that oceans lying beneath the icy surface of distant worlds at the edge of our solar system may sustain liquid water for far longer than previously believed.

According to the Daily Mail, distant objects known to exist beyond Neptune’s orbit are known to be too cold to host liquid water at the surface, with temperatures dropping more than 350 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (below minus 200 Celsius).

But, there is evidence to suggest an interior liquid water layer exists beneath the crust.

NASA research has suggested that heat generated by the gravitational pull of moons formed from massive collisions could extend the lifetimes of liquid water oceans beneath the surface of large icy worlds lying beyond the orbits of Neptune and Pluto and their moons.

“These objects need to be considered as potential reservoirs of water and life,” said Prabal Saxena of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in the US.

“If our study is correct, we now may have more places in our solar system that possess some of the critical elements for extraterrestrial life,” said Mr Saxena, lead author of the research published in the journal Icarus.

The search for extraterrestrial life has been going on for years and those involved in alien hunting or UFO hunting have on many occasions, come close enough to provide evidence justifying their presence.

PTI