Enceladus has the ingredients needed for life, NASA has discovered
Two NASA missions have new evidence of ocean worlds in our solar system, which were presented in an announcement at NASA’s headquarters in Washington yesterday, Thursday April 13.
It is the closest the missions have come to identifying a place with the ingredients needed for a habitable environment, where there could be alien life.
The Cassini spacecraft discovered hydrogen molecules in water plumes rising from the the stripe fractures in Enceladus’ icy surface.
Enceladus is the sixth largest moon of Saturn
We’re looking in a way that we never thought possible before for environments in our solar system which may harbour life today
NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director, James Green
Leader of the Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Hunter Waite, said: “Now, Enceladus is high on the list in the solar system for showing habitable conditions.
"The presence of hydrogen established another reference point saying there is hydrothermal activity inside this body, and that's interesting because we know in our own oceans, those are very important places that are teeming with life, and they are probably one of the earliest places where life happened on Earth."
The Cassini spacecraft left Earth twenty years ago and has been orbiting Saturn for the last 13 years.
NASA's Saturn Cassani Mission
Thu, March 16, 2017
NASA's Cassani mission have released these amazing unseen photos of Saturn and it's many moons. These incredible images show close up photographs of Saturn and and it's orbiting moons taken from approximately 1.4 million miles away.
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Titan and Saturn are seen in this image taken 1.42 million miles away
Jupiter's moon Europa could also harbour life outside Earth
If life is present, it could resemble single-celled extremophiles that have lived in hydrothermal vents for billions of years.
There is not only a warm, wet environment, there is also food for life on Enceladus as there is fuel for an ecosystem there.
Associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Tomas Zurbuchen, said: “These results demonstrate the interconnected nature of NASA’s science missions that are getting us closer to answering whether we are indeed alone or not.”
NASA is on a mission to discover if we are alone or not
The ingredients required for life are liquid water, energy sources and chemicals such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus.
Nasa’s findings, which have been published in the journal Science, said the only plausible source for the hydrogen found was that there have been chemical reactions between the warm water and rocks on the ocean floor.
Enceladus is the sixth largest moon of Saturn.
NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director, James Green, said: “We’re pushing the frontiers. We’re finding new environments.
‘We’re looking in a way that we never thought possible before for environments in our solar system which may harbour life today.”