Tech & Science : The hunt for life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus just got a big boost - - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science The hunt for life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus just got a big boost

08:11  03 october  2019
08:11  03 october  2019 Source:   bgr.com

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Of all the worlds in our solar system that may harbor some form of life , Saturn ’ s moon Enceladus may be the most exciting. The moon is a vast water ocean covered with a thick sheet of ice, and we know that liquid water is trapped below because cracks in the surface allow that water to spew into space.

In the context of space exploration, the term "rover" conjures images of multi-wheeled robots with big , bulky bodies covered in scientific instruments. The hunt for life on Saturn ’ s moon Enceladus just got a big boost .

a close up of a stone wall: enceladus © Provided by Penske Media Corporation enceladus

Of all the worlds in our solar system that may harbour some form of life, Saturn’s moon Enceladus may be the most exciting. The moon is a vast water ocean covered with a thick sheet of ice, and we know that liquid water is trapped below because cracks in the surface allow that water to spew into space.

Now, data from NASA’s Cassini mission has revealed that ice crystals originating from Enceladus include organic compounds that could offer a clue as to whether life is hiding deep within the planet. The discovery is the subject of a new paper published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Since NASA's Cassini spacecraft detected gaseous hydrogen spouting from Saturn ' s Enceladus , scientists have hypothesized that the moon may have hydrothermal

Enceladus is incredibly special. It’ s tiny orb, much smaller than the Earth, but it’ s covered in a thick Deep within the planet, the water is warm, and that’ s a pretty big deal when it comes to searching This makes Enceladus the only other body in the known universe with all the prerequisites for life , as

Without actually visiting Enceladus it’s incredibly difficult to identify the presence of life below the surface. So, scientists have to look for the tiniest clues that hint that life is possible, and organic compounds that make up amino acids are part of that complex puzzle.

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NASA’s Cassini probe was able to study some of the material ejected from the moon’s ice cracks using its Cosmic Dust Analyser. Last year, an examination of the data returned by the probe revealed the presence of large organic molecules in material from the moon, which was a tantalizing glimpse into a potentially life-sustaining system at work in the massive ocean beneath the ice.

This latest discovery is an extension of that work, revealing the smaller components that could serve as the foundation for amino acid formation which is vital to life as we understand it.

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Could Life on Saturn ’ s Moon Be Possible? Space scientist, Dr. Christopher Glein, commented on these findings and said that this cosmic body was the Study of samples from the dead spacecraft, Cassini, indicates that Saturn ’ s moon , Enceladus maybe “most promising” place to search for life

Enceladus is incredibly special. It’ s tiny orb, much smaller than the Earth, but it’ s covered in a thick Deep within the planet, the water is warm, and that’ s a pretty big deal when it comes to searching This makes Enceladus the only other body in the known universe with all the prerequisites for life , as

“Here we are finding smaller and soluble organic building blocks — potential precursors for amino acids and other ingredients required for life on Earth,” study co-author Jon Hillier said in a statement.

Deep within Earth’s oceans, life is sustained in a complete absence of sunlight. It’s cold down there, but many species have evolved to withstand it. Others tend to favour areas near hydrothermal vents, where incredibly hot water spews from fissures in the seafloor. Life, as it turns out, doesn’t need light to survive, and with warm water deep within Enceladus, it’s entirely possible that there’s something — or perhaps many different somethings — down there. We just have to go find it.

Whoa, Astronomers Just Found 20 New Moons Around Saturn .
A survey of Saturn’s outer reaches has resulted in the discovery of 20 new moons. With 82 known natural satellites, Saturn now boasts the most moons of any planet in the solar system, surpassing Jupiter’s 79 known moons. It’s always special when astronomers spot new moons, but this latest discovery is extreme — 20 new moons confirmed all at once, as announced Tuesday by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre. The team behind the discovery includes Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institution for Science, David Jewitt of UCLA, and Jan Kleyna from the University of Hawaii.

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