There could be alien life on one of Saturn's moons-NASA

14 April 2017 12:14 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Alien life could exist within our solar system as NASA reveals Saturn's moon Enceladus has all of the ingredients for life after discovery of hydrogen gas, the Daily Mail reported a short while ago.

During a news briefing held today, NASA has announced the spacecraft Cassini had found hydrogen as a gas – the form needed to support single-celled organisms in the moon’s ocean.

This hydrogen is now said to be ‘a potential source of chemical energy that could support microbes on the seafloor of Enceladus,’ the researchers revealed during the news briefing.

'We have made the first calorie count in an alien ocean. This is a major step in assessing the moon's habitability,' said Chris Glein, Cassini INMS team associate at the Southwest Research Institute.

The hydrogen, which shoots out of the moon in high-powered ice jets, is the final puzzle piece following the discovery of its liquid ocean and carbon dioxide.

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

 

‘This is the closest we've come, so far, to identifying a place with some of the ingredients needed for a habitable environment,’ said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in Washington.

‘These results demonstrate the interconnected nature of NASA's science missions that are getting us closer to answering whether we are indeed alone or not.’ 

Professor David Rothery, professor of planetary geosciences at The Open University, said: ‘We have now got all the ingredients we need to support life on Enceladus. 
'If we can prove this place where life could exist really does have it, that would be a huge discovery.

Alien life was once only thought possible on habitable planets within the ‘Goldilocks zone’ – far away enough from our sun not to be a fireball, but not so far as to be freezing.

Enceladus, a frozen moon almost 10 times as far from the sun as Earth, at 900 million miles, was one of the least likely candidates.

But in 2005 the unmanned Cassini spacecraft was orbiting Saturn when it picked up plumes of vapour coming from the ‘tiger stripes’, or deep fissures, in the moon’s surface. 

This established that, while Enceladus is freezing on its surface, underneath is a liquid ocean.

The gravity from its parent planet pulls the moon out of shape, wherever it is closest, creating friction which heats the rock to 90C - enough to melt the ice into water.

Cassini, on its final mission before it runs out of fuel and is allowed to burn up its space, was sent diving deep into the jets.

After orbiting Saturn for 13 years, its ‘grand finale’ mission will end in September when it is diverted to crash into Saturn. 

Meanwhile, Dr. David Clements, astrophysicist at Imperial College London, said: ‘This discovery does not mean that life exists on Enceladus, but it is a step on the way to that result.’

He added: ‘We need to know much more about the molecular species coming out of Enceladus and, ideally, that are inside it before we can make such claims.

(TIME)

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  • Roaring Creek Friday, 14 April 2017 09:36 AM

    Is this discovery a result of the satellite launched by our "Space (empty) Engineer". If not, can someone explain as to what happened to that satellite. Never left earth?

    aslam Friday, 14 April 2017 09:54 AM

    its time to open a mathara bath kadey there. via DM Android App

    Bala Friday, 14 April 2017 10:06 AM

    Why not fill up with the doctors and other activists who foul up everything.

    Mandy Friday, 14 April 2017 10:08 AM

    It was no serious attempt to put satellite into space but just to get money laundered.

    Nimal Friday, 14 April 2017 11:38 AM

    a stupid comment I ever seen

    Shelly. Friday, 14 April 2017 11:36 AM

    Dear NASA ..you have better things to think about on human sufferings. And you are answerable one fine day for not doing so. via DM Android App

    Saman Friday, 14 April 2017 12:13 PM

    NASA has done so many discoveries that used to prevent human sufferings. Huge medical advancements sometimes most of the time came from NASA technologies. It's human nature that we are explorers and someday earth will face extinction level catastrophe so we humans needs other options for the survival.

    ceylon Friday, 14 April 2017 12:43 PM

    whats good for people on earth.good for discovery of news but corrupt and violent people on earth will spread the garbage living there too. via DM Android App

    Nadeesha Friday, 14 April 2017 01:55 PM

    45 Years ago, our politicians discovered that rice cultivation was possible in the moon. That was why they promised to provide free rice brought from the moon.

    seqi Saturday, 15 April 2017 08:24 PM

    how can we copy or rob technology when we cant even manage rubbish disposal...we need a brain collective via DM Android App

    Joseph Friday, 14 April 2017 04:13 PM

    Nasa scientists should have sought assistance from our politicians.

    Indika Friday, 14 April 2017 04:19 PM

    We must begin copy or rob technology like certain countries

    annoyed Friday, 14 April 2017 02:10 AM

    NASA's funding is at low level. They keep releasing occassional exciting news to seek attention from fund sources. Utter waste of resources that would have been used on many other problems on our Earth itself.

    Raja Friday, 14 April 2017 03:37 AM

    This is a result of brilliant work by the American Physicsts and Mathematicians but in Sri Lanka our focus is on the Doctors and Engineers.For Sri Lanka Physics and Maths are just two school subjects.

    Citizen Friday, 14 April 2017 05:22 AM

    Pack all our politicos in a spacecraft and send them off to Saturn Moon. Our country will be better off and will develop to the highest level in no time.

    ANTON Friday, 14 April 2017 07:28 AM

    RANIL'S NEXT VISIT WOULD BE SATURN, TO GET OPINIONS FROM ALIENS, HOW TO BE ONE CELLED ANIMALS.

    Punny Pellow Friday, 14 April 2017 07:39 AM

    Who will get there first!!?

    Abi Thiyaga Saturday, 15 April 2017 01:55 PM

    pls send our former president and groups there


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