Saturn's Moon 'Enceladus' Can Host Alien Life — NASA Announcement

A paper presented by researchers with NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn and Hubble Space Telescope reveal that Saturn's moon Enceladus possesses a form of chemical energy which can habitat life.

Water is known to exist on this moon of saturn.

The ingredients required for life are liquid water, energy sources and chemicals such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus.

Importance of hydrogen gas:The study indicates that hydrogen gas, which could potentially provide a chemical energy source for life, is pouring into the subsurface ocean of Enceladus from hydrothermal activity on the seafloor.

"Although we can't detect life, we've found that there's a food source there for it".

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But in 2005 the unmanned Cassini spacecraft was orbiting Saturn when it picked up plumes of vapour coming from the "tiger stripes", or deep fissures, in the moon's surface.

According to a report from Phys Org, scientists from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) discovered hydrogen erupting from the surface of Enceladus.

The consequent chemical reaction known as methanogenesis, which creates methane as a byproduct, is "at the root of the tree of life" on our planet and could have been crucial to the origin of life on Earth.

Zurbuchen added that the missions were getting humans closer to understanding whether they were "indeed alone or not".

"We now know that Enceladus has nearly all of the ingredients you would need for life here on Earth", Spilker added. However, NASA scientists suspect these two ingredients to be present on Enceladus because the moon's rocky core is thought to be chemically similar to meteorites that contain phosphorous and sulfur.

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This illustration shows Cassini diving through the Enceladus plume in 2015.

Cassini mission researchers looked into the results from images taken, which found plumes. The plumes include 1 percent hydrogen and the remainder is a combination of molecules such as ammonia, carbon di oxide, and methane. But our planet's mostly liquid surface appears to be an outlier among our system's oceans-most large reservoirs of water exist on planets and moons far from the sun's heat and therefore can exist only beneath a frozen solid crust.

Cassini's INMS was devised to sample the upper atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.

NASA and others are quick to point out this latest discovery does not mean there's life on Enceladus, but that there may be conditions favorable for life.

Older results have suggested that the hot water is intermingling with the rock underneath the sea.

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