Saturn moon ‘able to support life’

Apr 14, 2017

By Jonathan Amos

Saturn’s ice-crusted moon Enceladus may now be the single best place to go to look for life beyond Earth.

The assessment comes on the heels of new observations at the 500km-wide world made by the Cassini probe.

It has flown through and sampled the waters from a subsurface ocean that is being jetted into space.

Cassini’s chemistry analysis strongly suggests the Enceladean seafloor has hot fluid vents – places that on Earth are known to teem with life.

To be clear: the existence of such hydrothermal systems is not a guarantee that organisms are present on the little moon; its environment may still be sterile. But the new results make a compelling case to return to this world with more sophisticated instrumentation – technologies that can re-sample the ejected water for clear evidence that biology is also at play.

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One comment on “Saturn moon ‘able to support life’”

  • @OP- Saturn moon ‘able to support life’

    . . .another sensationalist headline!

    Saturn moon MAY BE ‘able to support life’.

    . . . Which of course does not mean that it does, OR has a geological history which would allow abiogenesis or evolution of life!

    It “let’s look here” information, as a basis for scientific enquiry!

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