PIA16636: Simulating a Submarine Hydrothermal Vent

Simulating a Submarine Hydrothermal Vent


A team of scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is testing whether organic molecules can be brewed in a simulated ocean vent. Lauren White, a member of the NASA Astrobiology Icy Worlds team, is turning on the valve that will send ocean water through a sample of material mimicking volcanic crust to see if organic molecules can be detected in the outflow. Scientists will be alternating flows of ocean water with alkaline fluid (that comes from inside hydrothermal vents) to create conditions similar to the circulation found at the bottom of an ocean on the early Earth or icy moons orbiting Jupiter or Saturn.

Background Info:

For more information on the NASA Astrobiology Icy Worlds see http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Europa, Enceladus
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite
Instrument Host
Host Type
Extra Keywords Color, Thermal, Volcano, Water
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2013-01-16
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16636
Identifier PIA16636