Miércoles, 14 Noviembre, 2018

Saturn's moon Enceladus has flawless conditions for life

Sensational! NASA scientists reveal alien life may EXIST in our solar system give solid proof Sensational! NASA scientists reveal alien life may EXIST in our solar system, give solid proof
Ramiro Mantilla | 18 Abril, 2017, 16:09

"It really represents a capstone finding for the mission", said Cassini's project scientist, Linda Spilker, noting that the spacecraft has been circling Saturn for more than a decade. The finding adds to the idea that the moon might harbor life in its subsurface ocean, as microbes could dine on the gas, along with carbon dioxide dissolved in the water to create energy, through a process known as methanogenesis.

Although researchers have not actually found life on the planet, the hydrogen discovery proves there is a "food source" to support it.

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.

Hydrogen was detected by Cassini in the gas plumes and icy material that was spotted spraying from Enceladus while it was having a close flyby in October 2015. Says Jim Green director of planetary science at NASA.

This graphic illustrates how Cassini scientists think water interacts with rock at the bottom of the ocean of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, producing hydrogen gas.

Analysis has shown the water plumes coming off the moon mainly consist of tiny particles of water ice, with traces of methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide, salts, and simple organic molecules.

Enceladus has been the talk of the scientific community for quite some time because it, along with Jupiter's moon Europa, is considered one of the most likely candidates in our solar system for finding life.

New discoveries by NASA provide evidence of ocean worlds beyond earth.

It means Enceladus may have the same single-celled organisms which began life on Earth, or more complex life still.

"Now, Enceladus is high on the list in the solar system for showing habitable conditions", said Hunter Waite, leader of the Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer team at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and lead author of the Enceladus paper, according to the release. A plume of water had already been observed in the same spot, which is how scientists knew to be watching for it.

The agency's Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Saturn for almost 13 years, discovered high levels of hydrogen in a water plume on Enceladus, the planet's sixth largest moon.

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. New observations from NASA's Galileo spacecraft suggests Europa's plume, like the plumes on Enceladus, is associated with warmer temperature readings.