NASA finds ALIEN life possibility on Saturn's moon Enceladus

22 April, 2017, 01:38 | Author: Cecelia Webb

Now, this new detection along with a further revelation that Hubble has also just found additional evidence of plumes erupting from Jupiter's moon Europa, these results are tantalising close to answering whether we are indeed alone in the Universe or not.

Cassini has found that nearly all of these ingredients are there on Enceladus, a tiny icy moon at a distance of a billion miles away from Saturn.

The research published Thursday in the journal Science was conducted by NASA, Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University.

The researchers have yet to find phosphorus and sulfur in the ocean, but they suspect them to be there because the rocky core of Enceladus is thought to be chemically similar to meteorites that contain the two elements.

As the lead author Hunter Waite put it, the reaction would basically provide a "candy store for microbes".

This artist's rendering shows Cassini diving through the Enceladus plume in 2015.

The hydrogen, which shoots out of the moon in high-powered ice jets, is the final puzzle piece following the discovery of its liquid ocean and carbon dioxide.

If or since hydrogen was found in the oceans of the moon, in the oceans, then this could be a potential source of chemical energy for life that might be found there - if any exists there.

NASA says the plumes of water on the moons show, "some of the ingredients needed for a habitable environment".

Later this month, Cassini will begin a journey that will place it between Saturn and its rings for 22 orbits before its mission finally ends.

NASA scientists working on the Cassini mission, which is a joint endeavour of NASA, European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) to study Saturn's system, announced that "a form of chemical energy that life can feed on appears to exist" on Enceladus.

"The next time we go back. you're going to take something that not only picks up on the habitability story, but it starts looking for evidence for life".

This enhanced-color image of Enceladus by NASA's Cassini spacecraft features the "tiger stripe" fractures, from which geysers blast water ice and other material from the Saturn moon's subsurface ocean out into space. These were observed at the same location where Hubble saw evidence of a plume in 2014.

Meanwhile, Dr. David Clements, astrophysicist at Imperial College London, said: 'This discovery does not mean that life exists on Enceladus, but it is a step on the way to that result'. Both plumes were found above a region of unusual warmth and cracks in Europa's crust spotted by the Galileo probe in the 1990s.



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