As NASA is currently exploring moons from all over the galaxy we find out more and more about the importance of these small satellites, we cannot help but wonder whether it is possible to live on these amazing objects.
There are more than a hundred moons in our solar system, but one of them caught the attention of space fans from all around the world. It is called Enceladus and is the first space object to show signs of water. Is it possible that life can be present on Saturn’s moon?
NASA’s Cassini spaceship sent evidence for the first time to NASA that Enceladus shows signs of hydrothermal activity similar to that of the deeper parts of the oceans from our Planet. Cassini’s findings have been some of the most interesting data NASA ever collected yet. The scientific possibilities of these implications are unprecedented.
Cassini’s data were carefully analyzed by scientists at NASA, who conclude that there is an ocean laying underneath the crust of Enceladus. Cassini has been orbiting around planet Saturn since 2004.
John Grunsfeld declared: “These findings add to the possibility that Enceladus, which contains a subsurface ocean and displays remarkable geologic activity, could contain environments suitable for living organisms.”
The study was published in the journal Icarus and it shows that a global ocean is present beneath the frozen exterior of the space object. Researchers say that the water reservoir of the moon comes in direct contact with the rocks above. Theoretically, Enceladus allows multiple complex chemical reactions, just like Earth. Yes, the kind of reaction that could lead to the rise of life on a planet.
Luciano Iess, who was the study’s lead author, said that habitable environments come from completely unexpected places from the solar system. He points out that Enceladus’ solid ground is more porous than it appears, and that is why the water has sunk beneath the rocky core of the moon.
Peter Thomas, an imaging expert of the Cassini space project, and professor at the Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, said that these calculations took years of observations, involving dozens of diverse knowledge across many fields, but he is confident that his research team finally got it right.
Indeed, scientists involved in the Cassini project analyzed almost a decade’s worth of pictures and atmospheric data taken by the spaceship. Only one thing remains a mystery, and that is how it was possible for Enceladus’ interior ocean to stay liquid.
Photo Credits wikimedia.org