There could be alien life on one of Saturn's moons

Share

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. Enceladus is known as "ocean world" due to the global ocean that lies beneath its icy crust.

The paper published by the Cassini researchers indicate "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", NASA wrote in a press release.

This chemical reaction, known as "metanogenesis", is a form of anaerobic respiration and is one of the steps in the development of life on Earth billions of years ago.

But that's what a team of scientists from NASA thinks, following new findings gathered by the Cassini probe.

One ingredient found that led to the groundbreaking theory is hydrogen gas, which is abundantly spewed from a plume.

Australia to add 'values' test to citizenship exam
Candidates for citizenship will be required to be permanent residents for four years against the current one-year period. The majority of the visa holders under this category were from India, accounting nearly a quarter of the intake.

A liquid ocean exists beneath the icy surface of Enceladus, which is barely 300 miles (500 kilometers) across.

"This distant moon now joins Mars and Europa as the best potential locations for life beyond Earth in our solar system", said Andrew Coates, a professor of physics at University College London.

"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", he said in a statement.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, called Saturn's moon Enceladus "the closest we've come" to identifying a planet with the necessary ingredients for a habitable planet.

Sunlight doesn't reach all hydrothermal vents here on our planet yet despite the lack of light, it's not uncommon to find a thriving community of life near such vents.

Russia Vetoes United Nations Probe of the Syria Gas Attack
The Kremlin had previously declined to confirm Putin would meet Tillerson, reflecting tensions over the USA strike on Syria. More than 100 were killed in the attack and around 500 others, majority children, were wounded.

Scientists at the Goddard Space Center compared ultraviolet photos the Hubble space telescope took of Europa in 2014, when it first saw the gaseous spray emanating from the moon, and found it again in a 2016 picture.

As per reports, Cassini is not able to detect life, and has found no evidence that Enceladus is inhabited.

Like Enceladus, Jupiter's moon Europa also has ocean plumes erupting.

The energy can be obtained from the combination of hydrogen and carbon dioxide dissolved in water. The Europa Clipper mission is set to launch to Europa in the 2020s.

"Most of us would be excited with any life", Voytek said.

April the giraffe and her calf: 6 things to know about
Patch said the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process was a huge factor in drawing crowds. The zoo's owner says the newborn will stay with April until he is weaned, which can take six months or longer.

Share