Saturday, 27 May, 2017

NASA Announcement: Saturn's Moon 'Enceladus' Can Host Alien Life!

Heather Davidson | 20 April, 2017, 09:44

They found that there is a plume coming from the moon's surface in an area that had shown plumes in the past, NASA specialists speculated that this may mean the same thing is happening on Europa as is happening on Enceladus.

"With this finding, Cassini has shown that Enceladus - a small, icy moon a billion miles farther from the sun than Earth - has almost all of these ingredients for habitability", NASA said in a statement announcing the findings.

For life to persist on any planet, it needs three vital energy sources: liquid water, right chemical ingredients (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, carbon, and phosphorus), and an energy source for metabolism.

They described their findings in the journal Science.

"This finding does not mean that life exists there, but it makes life more plausible and potentially quite abundant if a fraction of the hydrogen is used to drive biology", Jeffrey Kargel, a professor at the University of Arizona, told The Guardian.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected hydrogen molecules in the geysers shooting off the moon Enceladus, possibly the result of deep-sea chemical reactions between water and rock that could spark microbial life.

Results from the agency's Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope indicate hydrogen exists in the form of hydrogen plumes on Europa - one of the moons of Jupiter and Enceladas, one of the moons associated with Saturn.

The hydrogen and the methanogenesis could well provide a food source for microbes, experts think, in the same way it does on Earth.

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On its last deep dive past the moon in October 2015, the spacecraft measured the chemical composition of one of the vapour plumes using its Mass Spectrometer (INMS) instrument - which sniffs gases to determine their make-up.

The hydrogen found in the icy plumes erupting from the moon's surface have nearly all the necessary ingredients to support life on Earth, said Linda Spilker, one of the scientists working with the unmanned Cassini mission, which has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, said at a press conference.

Cassini has not yet shown phosphorus and sulfur are present in the ocean of Enceladus, but according to NASA, scientists suspect them to be, since its rocky core is thought to be chemically similar to meteorites that contain the two elements.

A tremendous ocean swirls under the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus, and now, NASA scientists say its waters may possess life-sustaining features previously seen only on Earth.

"We have detected hydrogen in the plume on Enceladus".

NASA will soon research Europa through its Europa Clipper Mission, set to launch sometime in the 2020s.

It's a part of NASA's investigation into "Ocean Worlds" in the solar system, says NASA's Planetary Sciences Division Director Jim Green, where scientists hope to find signs of life.

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