PacSci-Doku: “Post Pluto Goal”

By Dennis Schatz – Senior Advisor

 

Do you Sudoku? It’s one of the hottest number games around! Well, here’s a twist we think you’ll love. We call it PacSci-Doku. Can you guess why? Here’s how it works. Instead of filling in the blanks with numbers, we use letters. Hidden in one of the columns or rows is the answer to a science question. You’ll find information about the answer on the answer tab below.

The question in this edition is:

Now that we’ve reached Pluto, what might be the next goal for space exploration?

To find the answer, complete this PacSci-Doku using the following nine letters:

e  E  A  U  L  S  C  D  N

 

PacSci-Doku: Post Pluto Goal

Puzzle Difficulty: Medium

The Answer

PacSci-Doku: Post Pluto Goal Answer

The question in this edition is:

Now that we’ve reached Pluto, what might be the next goal for space exploration?

The answer: Enceladus

The New York Times asked a number of experts and Times reader where NASA should send its next interplanetary probe. There were many suggestions, which were shared in an August 28, 2015 New York Times article. One of the objects on the list is Saturn’s moon, Enceladus. Enceladus has similarities to Jupiter’s moon, Europa. It likely has vast oceans under an ice covered surface and may harbor alien life forms. Some scientists think the ice cap is thinner than on Europa, so it would be easier to send a probe into the ocean below. The radiation levels around Saturn are also lower than around Jupiter, so the spacecraft could more easily survive the trip. Learn more about Enceladus, its oceans and the possibility of life on what could be the next priority for NASA.

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