A New study suggests that life might exist on one of Saturn’s moons without a spacecraft touching down. Scientists believe a robot spacecraft may sample plumes erupting from the liquid innards of the ice moon Enceladus to look for signs of life. Enceladus is one of the planet’s 83 moons, and scientists have long hypothesized that alien microbes may inhabit it. However, they lacked concrete evidence for their theories.
According to a recent study, it may support life because it emits methane. When NASA first observed it in 1980, it appeared in the sky like a snowball. It is thick coating of ice conceals an immense, warm saltwater ocean that is emitting methane. This gas generally originates from bacteria on Earth, according to a second NASA mission between 2005 and 2017.
The methane was found as the Cassini spacecraft of the expedition passed over enormous water plumes erupting from Enceladu’s surface. Saturn’s massive gravitational field pulls and squeezes the small moon as it orbits the ringed gas giant, heating its innards through friction.
As a result, stunning water jets shoot into space from Enceladu’s icy surface fissures and cracks. Scientists from the University of Arizona in the US and Universite Paris Sciences et Lettres in France determined last year that Enceladus’s methane burps may be explained if life has developed there. Although there wouldn’t be a lot of micro organisms in its ocean, all it would require is a visit from a robot spaceship to find them.
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