NASA Scientists Discover Nearby Ocean Worlds That Could Mean Life Beyond Earth

Share

Cassini detected some of the chemical elements needed for life in plumes of gas and particles erupting from the moon's surface.

However, the moon of Saturn has "almost all of the ingredients that you need to support life as we know it on Earth", said NASA scientist Linda Spilker.

The findings were presented in papers published by researchers with NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn and work on the Hubble Space Telescope.

The vapor or gas contains hydrogen, one of the essential components of life. One form of chemical energy has been noted as being able to feed life, which appears to exist on Saturn's moon called Enceladus.

Kapanen scores double OT winner as Leafs beat Capitals 4-3
Based on the first period, it looked as if the Leafs' penalty kill strategy was going to be to park a man right on Ovechkin. The Maple Leafs are averaging three goals per game and are scoring on 23.8 percent of their power play opportunities.

On Thursday, NASA scientists said they have detected evidence that this kind of chemical reaction is likely occurring under the surface of Enceladus.

"This is the closest we've come, so far, to identifying a place with some of the ingredients needed for a habitable environment", shared Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in Washington.

NASA's Planetary Science Division Director, James Green, said: "We're pushing the frontiers". Researchers speculate that, as with Enceladus, this could be evidence of water erupting from the moon's interior.

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.

Watch The Official 'Star Wars Battlefront 2' Game Trailer
We've also got some details on changes and additions to the game's multiplayer mode, along with information about offline co-op. The poster harkens back to the poster for the first Star Wars film in 1977 in which Skywalker similarly pointed the beam up.

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'.

The Cassini spacecraft found hydrogen in the plume of gas and icy material spraying from Enceladus during its last, and deepest, dive through the plume on October 28, 2015. The plumes include 1 percent hydrogen and the remainder is a combination of molecules such as ammonia, carbon di oxide, and methane.

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.

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.

North Korean missile test fails, South Korea says
The U.S. military estimated it to be an extended-range Scud missile that is known to be capable of traveling as far as 1,000 km. It is thought to have a small arsenal of atomic bombs and an impressive array of short- and medium-range missiles.

Europa is potentially billions of years older than Enceladus, and life takes time to emerge. The Europa Clipper mission is set to launch to Europa in the 2020s.

Share