NASA finds conditions for life on Saturn's moon

"That hydrogen is coming from a hydrothermal vent on the sea floor of Enceladus going out into space through the plume", said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Life requires three main ingredients: liquid water, source of energy and the right chemical ingredients.

They described their findings in the journal Science. The agency also reports that the world has numerous "ingredients needed for a habitable environment".

On its deepest dive through the spray that shoots up from Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, NASA's Cassini spacecraft picked up signs of molecular hydrogen and carbon dioxide - two ingredients that feed many microbes living around hydrothermal vents on Earth. The presence of ample hydrogen in the ocean of Enceladus implies that microbes, if they do exist on Saturn's moon, could use it to gain energy by combining it with carbon dioxide dissolved in water. Such a chemical reaction produces methane as a byproduct, and forms the root of Earth's own tree of life.

"This is the closest we've come, so far, to identifying a place with some of the ingredients needed for a habitable environment", said NASA administrator Thomas Zurbuchen.


United States space agency NASA published the findings obtained by the Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope, indicating that conditions in which life may develop have been discovered on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen have been found on the planet, and are part of the core chemical makeup necessary for life.

During Cassini's close flyby of Enceladus on October 28, 2015, INMS detected molecular hydrogen as the spacecraft flew through the plume of gas and ice grains spewing from cracks on the surface. Scientists determined the gas in the plume almost 98 percent water, about 1 percent of which is hydrogen, with the rest being a mixture of carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia. Like Enceladus, both plumes correspond to the location of an unusually warm region that is marked by features that could be cracks in the moon's icy crust.

How Did The Cassini Spacecraft Detect Hydrogen?

"We haven't discovered evidence of microorganisms on Enceladus, but I'm encouraged by chemical data that could allow for this possibility", Chris Glein, one of the authors of the new Science paper, announced at the NASA press conference. This moon of Saturn likely has a global subsurface ocean. "We're finding new environments", said NASA's Planetary Science Division director, James Green. The future Europa Clipper mission, expected to launch in the 2020's, will head to Europa to gather more information.

Related News:

  • Venezuela crisis: Opposition holds 'mother of all protests'

    Venezuela crisis: Opposition holds 'mother of all protests'

    Opposition leaders urged demonstrators to remain out on the streets despite the heavy police tear gas assault against them. Maduro rejected the statement, saying the State Department had, in essence, announced a coup against Venezuela.
    4-game losing streak by the numbers

    4-game losing streak by the numbers

    RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 5.73 ERA) picked up the win against the Brewers on April 8 and will go for his second against Milwaukee. Nationals 14, Braves 4 • Bryce Harper had two homers, including a grand slam, among his four hits as visiting Washington rolled.

    Christians celebrate Easter with religious fervour

    Originating from the German word "Oster" (New Life Renewal), Easter is the culmination of over two months of dedicated worship. Thousands of Christians flocked to churches across the country as part of their Easter Sunday celebrations.
  • Princes William and Harry commemorate Vimy Ridge Battle centenary in France

    And we must believe it: "Never again". "Let's renew our commitment to remember their heroism in the face of suffering and fear". The centre of the poppy is formed by a newly-unveiled sculpture of pairs of soldiers' feet by New Zealand artist Helen Pollock.
    Gorillaz announce first North American tour in 7 years

    Gorillaz announce first North American tour in 7 years

    Gorillaz announced tour dates this morning, six years after the release of their last studio album, The Fall . July 12 - Boston MA - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion +. 7/13 - Philadelphia, PA, Festival Pier at Penn's Landing +.
    Trump claims immunity as president from protesters' lawsuit

    Trump claims immunity as president from protesters' lawsuit

    A criminal summons is signed by a judge and states the crime the person has been accused of and orders them to appear in court. Alvin Bamberger, a 75-year-old Trump supporter who was captured on video pushing Nwanguma, filed a suit Friday against Trump.
  • Tiger hits a few shots, but unsure of comeback

    Tiger hits a few shots, but unsure of comeback

    Woods got his start golfing on a par-3 course. "But I grew up playing public golf". "That's where I learned how to play". For those wondering why Tiger Woods has been rumored to be hanging out in Branson, Missouri, the wait is over.
    Crystal Palace can not  sign Mamadou Sakho, says Klopp

    Crystal Palace can not sign Mamadou Sakho, says Klopp

    Lallana, he said, is scheduled to return to training after next weekend's meeting with Crystal Palace. Last two or three results they didn't score but nothing we should think about.
    B Sai Praneeth wins Singapore Open Super Series

    B Sai Praneeth wins Singapore Open Super Series

    In another quarter-final match , Praneeth defeated eigth seeded Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 15-21, 21-14, 21-19. But all that now seems to be the thing of the past as he played with fluency and exhibited good temperament.
  • McDavid, Kassian score short-handed, Oilers beat Sharks 2-0

    Joonas Donskoi collected a puck behind the Oilers; net that had been rimmed around the boards by Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The result was a sharp contrast from Game 1 , when the Oilers were outshot 44-19 en route to a 3-2 overtime loss.
    Apple receives permit to test autonomous cars in California

    Apple receives permit to test autonomous cars in California

    The company was "excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation", it said at the time. The team still has about 1,000 people, although Apple isn't confirming anything-including that there even is a Project Titan .
    Billie Lourd Makes First Public Appearance Since Carrie Fisher Death

    Billie Lourd Makes First Public Appearance Since Carrie Fisher Death

    She did not hesitate one bit! Secondly, she taught me that if life isn't amusing , then it's just true, and that is unacceptable. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend.


Most liked

At F8 Conference, Facebook Talks of Building Community through AR
The company also launched the "Places Graph", providing free access to data on more than 140 million places around the world. The workplace also opened its platform for developers to make custom bots specific to their organization's needs.

Daniel Cormier: Weight Cut "Very Tough", But Something He'll Get Better At
Cormier's most recent disclosed payday was $500,000 for a nontitle fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 200 last July in Las Vegas. UFC 210 was full of controversy and head scratchers in different areas, and Twitter was all over every aspect of the night.

Lukaku subscribes to Chelsea, Man U TV to 'learn how they train'
Everton would prefer to sell Lukaku to United after a nasty transfer war with Chelsea over John Stones two years ago. Tottenham's star forward has 20 goals in the Premier League, while Everton's Belgian ace leads the charts with 24.

Japan says differences with US on economic talks
CNN's Dana Bash reported from on board the USS Ronald Reagan, while CNN's Joshua Berlinger reported and wrote from Hong Kong. South Korean government officials said Pence's statement did not necessarily mean a complete overhaul of the agreement.

Sens. Moran and McCain: A great day for veterans and Veterans Choice
Congresswoman Stefanik recently reintroduced her legislation, the Support Our Military Caregivers Act, to reform the U.S. Trump and Tester say the bill makes it less hard for veterans to get care.

Shanghai Auto Show: Volkswagen adds crossover ID Crozz to electric concept fleet
Connected Community - Volkswagen will in future interconnect humans, cars and the environment via a Volkswagen User-ID. On Tuesday, Volkwagen AG announced plans to launch a pure-electric auto in China next year with a state-owned partner.

Dubnyk, Wild beat Blues 2-0 to avoid elimination
Only four teams in National Hockey League history have come back to win a playoff series after losing the first three games. You can't go out there and think, 'I'm going to score.' We've got to play the same way defensively.

Facebook Is Working on Some Brainy Technology
These dreams are still far from reality and Facebook's success isn't certain although Dugan said she was optimistic. Another innovation Facebook's working on is the ability to "hear through your skin ", says Ms Dugan.

Home sales hit record high, says real estate association
CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal said it looks like the Vancouver market has hit bottom and started to recover. Guleph, Ontario recorded a 1.4% home price increase month over month, and Oshawa, Ontario recorded a 1.2% increase.

Third Star Wars spinoff could be announced this summer
Not only will you be doing a good deed today, but you'll also be entered to win a trip to the set of the Young Han Solo movie. On Tuesday, a new promotion for Omaze's Force For Change charity initiative was published on the Star War YouTube Channel.

Silence on triple talaq like Draupadi episode : UP CM Yogi Adityanath
Politics should be done within the limits of the nation and constitution". "I will take up the issue with CM", he said. But the Muslim personal law board maintain that the issue of triple talaq remains outside the realms of the judiciary.

Most Americans think corporations, wealthy pay too little tax
The results represent a significant turnaround from February, when 62% said they saw Trump as someone who keeps his promises. United States President Donald Trump has shared a report of Rasmussen poll showing his approval rating at 50 percent.

President Buhari congratulates Turkey on successful referendum
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also suggested holding a referendum on whether to bring back capital punishment. We are invited by the Turkish authorities to observe. "We share our report and we completed our mandate".

Rian Johnson debuts teaser trailer for 'The Last Jedi'
Last December 16, Carrie Fisher tragically died of heart attack at the age of 60 while on a flight from London to Los Angeles. While the " Star Wars " universe continues to expand on the big screen, one of its popular TV show is coming to an end.

Syrian President Assad's allies say US attack crosses 'red lines'
Boris Johnson cancelled the visit, scheduled for 10 April, on Saturday, saying events in Syria had changed priorities. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said "terrorists are celebrating" the United States strikes on the air base.