Another smoking gun in the search for life in Enceladus’ ocean
Published 4/13/2017 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Today, NASA-funded scientists announced a major new step in the search for life on Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth-largest moon, thanks to new data collected by the NASA/ESA Cassini mission. Enceladus has attracted a lot of interest because it has an active pole that spews jets of material into outer space. During its last flyby over that pole, an instrument on board the Cassini spacecraft detected the presence of a biomarker—molecular hydrogen. This suggests that the ocean we know lies beneath the moon’s surface could indeed contain an ecosystem similar to the ones we find in deep-sea hydrothermal vents on Earth. [caption id="attachment_1938" align="aligncenter"... read more ❯

Quiescent volcanic activity on Io in November 2010
Published 12/8/2010 in Franck Marchis Blog Author itops
On the first half-nights of November 29 and 30 UT, telescope time with the W.M. Keck II telescope and its Adaptive Optics (AO) was granted to us. The goal of this observation program was to search and study multiple asteroids. Since Jupiter was close to its opposition and observable at the beginning of the night, we spent a short amount of time to observe Io, innermost Galilean satellite of Jupiter, well-known for its exotic and spectacular volcanism. An adaptive otics system (AO in short) removes in real time the effect of the atmospheric turbulences which blur the images collected from the... read more ❯

Venus: Another volcanically active world?
Published 4/21/2010 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Dear Planetary enthusiasts, Over the past week, we may have heard a lot about a famous volcano in Iceland, named Eyjafjallajokull, which forced more than 64,000 flights between Europe and the rest of the world to be canceled and affected the vacation and business trips of several millions of people. But have you heard about the Idunn Mons, Hathor and Innini Montes and Mielikki Mons? These are other exotic names for volcanoes located on another planet,  a world that we suspected for a long time to be volcanically active as well. A recent discovery may have confirmed the existence of active volcanoes on Venus. Venus, often... read more ❯

Cryovolcanism on Titan? - Un volcanism cryogenic sur Titan?
Published 1/3/2009 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
I attended the AGU Fall conference in San Francisco 2 weeks ago. I must admit that it is a delight to be able to attend such reputed conference without having to deal with airport, jet-lag and other inconveniences which comes when traveling. The AGU Fall conference is organized in the gigantic the Moscone Center, just 30 min away from my house. Additionally, because I organized a workshop about Io Volcanism just before the AGU (see the website on this link) which took me a lot of time, I did not present anything during this conference. I therefore had the pleasure to wander... read more ❯