Apr 16, 2017 06:03 PM EDT
NASA reported that its Cassini spacecraft had discovered a huge breakthrough on its flyby through Saturn’s moon, Enceladus. The scientists then stated that the possibility of alien life could be possible there as they discover hydrogen coming from the ringed planet's ocean.
According to Big Think, the Cassini spacecraft discovered the presence of molecular hydrogen in water plumes on Saturn’s Enceladus’ icy surface. The event was mentioned to possibly be caused by methanogenesis, which happens between the moon’s ocean and its center.
Saturn’s Enceladus was then considered to feature habitable conditions through the Cassini’s discovery. As hydrogen was discovered on Enceladus, it was pointed that the icy moon could have hydrothermal vents which were considered by scientists as something that the Earth originated from as well.
The study’s lead author Hunter Waite of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio stated that there might be no clear proof of life yet on Saturn’s Enceladus, but a food source for microbes was indeed found. He also concluded that Saturn’s Enceladus is considered to be top of the list for showing habitable conditions.
“If we knew that life had started independently in two places in our solar system, then we could be pretty confident that life also got started on some of the tens of billions of planets and moons around other stars in our galaxy,” David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences at The Open University stated per The Inertia.
NASA also discovered something that could help them discover life on other planets aside from Saturn’s Enceladus. The Hubble Space Telescope program was mentioned to have found some water vapor on Jupiter’s moon, Europa as well. Since Europa is billions of year’s older than Saturn’s Enceladus, it was believed that potential for life had been greater there compared to Enceladus.
Yet, NASA’s Cassini was reported to end its journey as it is being decommissioned on Sept. 15 through a “collision” with the ringed planet. The reason was identified to be the spacecraft’s possible fuel loss and the contamination of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus as Nature World News reported.
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