Saturn’s biggest moon could harbor life

NASA has announced that the ‘Enceladus’ satellite that orbits the planet Saturn could have the necessary conditions for the development of life.

The Cassini mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched in 1997 has been one of the great milestones of the space agency for its discoveries on the planet Saturn and its satellites. Although the probe no longer exists, Cassini, along with the Huygens probe, has been studying this planet and its satellite system for 13 years.

During the mission, the probe discovered seven new moons orbiting Saturn and confirmed in 2008 that ‘Enceladus’, the largest moon, is covered by an ocean hidden beneath an outer layer of ice.


Essential conditions for life
NASA has just given a momentous news of this mission: the moon ‘Enceladus’ could have the necessary conditions to house life. This satellite is the largest that orbits Saturn and its characteristics could be ideal for the development of life.

How is it possible? Thanks to the sampling of soluble organic molecules discovered in the ocean hidden beneath the ice surface that we have commented previously. The Cassini probe took images of this ice surface in ‘Enceladus’ in 2008 but so far they have not been analyzed.

However, these images have revealed an important milestone: this moon of Saturn has an ocean of liquid water under that thick ice surface of approximately 10 kilometers.

The ice surface that covers this hidden ocean of ‘Enceladus’ has the most solar radiation but that there is liquid inside and hydrothermal activity indicates that there is also an internal energy source. “If the conditions are correct, these molecules that come from the deep ocean of Enceladus could be in the same reaction path that we have seen here on Earth,” the researchers themselves said.

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