Enceladus, Saturn’s moon, appears to contain some compounds necessary for the existence of life in the water, according to NASA. Scientists succeeded in discovering some primary organic ingredients in the icy plumes of Enceladus.
How Did the Scientists Develop Their Exploration
Scientists began analyzing the chemical matter of seawater and ice. These things are usually released from the moon’s icy shell through rifts. Then, they took the samples with the help of spacecraft Cassini as a probe. Moreover, planetologists succeeded in finding solutes with a nitrogen composition and oxygen atoms. These are significant in the creation process of amino acids. Also, the compounds can reach into deep-sea chemical reactions, giving “building material” for living organisms. What scientists realized is the fact that what happened on Earth with these processes may occur in the depths of Enceladus, as well. The process is detailed as a part of seawater, which is mixed with magma, resulting in hydrothermal springs with temperatures of approximately 370 degrees Celsius.
What happens next to the organic compounds? As scientists explained, under those conditions, the compounds are turned into amino acids. Further, the mineral matters let the living organisms to expand and engage in a multiplying process — all of that without the help of sunlight.
Dr. Nozair Khawaja, an astrobiologist, gave some essential details, along with explanations. He stated, “[…] these molecules originated from hydrothermal vents inside Enceladus. Such a hydrothermal system also exists in the Earth’s ocean, where microbial life exists.” Dr. Khawaja also supports the idea that the sources of those molecules are still uncertain, but “they have astrobiological potential.”
What We Know About Enceladus So Far
Enceladus is the sixth-most massive moon of Saturn. Its dimensions are approximately 500 kilometers in diameter, and it does reach Titan’s proportions, another Saturn’s largest moon. William Herschel discovered Enceladus in 1789, and we had the first close details about it in 2005 from the Cassini spacecraft.