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Enceladus: Alien geysers on Saturn’s moon contain all key ingredients for life

Scientists trawling through data from the dead Cassini spacecraft have discovered that icy jets on Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, contains all the basic ingredients required to support life.

The alien seawater which shoots from the moon’s geysers was known to contain a range of interesting ingredients including salt, silica and simple carbon compounds. However, the latest research has revealed that large, carbon-rich molecules are also blasted out from cracks in the moon’s icy surface, indicating that all the ingredients needed for life are present.

The researchers released a statement saying they are “blown away” by the findings. “With complex organic molecules emanating from its liquid water ocean, this moon is the only body besides Earth known to simultaneously satisfy all of the basic requirements for life as we know it,” the paper’s co-author Dr Christopher Glein said.

The discovery is the result of years of investigating data gathered by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft as it flew close by Saturn’s moons. After a mission lasting nearly 20 years, Cassini retired last year when NASA operators deliberately plunged it into Saturn.

Enceladus, which was discovered in 1789, is located 1.27 billion miles away from Earth. The moon is about 500km (310 miles) in diameter and it has a surface temperature below -200 Celsius. Much of the knowledge about the moon has been gleaned from the highly-detailed photographs snapped by Cassini during its fly-bys.


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