Life, at least as we know it, has not been found anywhere else in space, except Earth. Enceladus could change that.
Saturn's icy moon already has vast subsurface oceans and a source of energy that could provide heat for any hypothetical creature that may be swimming. A study recently published in the journal Nature has just discovered that there is a third ingredient to life in Enceladus that may not prove that there are aquatic aliens, but at least it increases the possibility that we are not alone in this universe.
Cbadini (RIP) left data that has now been used by an international team of scientists to determine that there are complex organic molecules floating in Enceladus. Organic molecules contain carbon and are mandatory for the life forms on our planet to survive, so finding them in Enceladus now makes it the most likely place beyond our planet for exotic species to thrive. That does not necessarily mean that space fish swarm below the icy crust.
The subsurface ocean of Enceladus is a habitable place. The big question is whether it's inhabited, "said Frank Postberg, team scientist and team leader, at NBC MACH.
Researchers believe that these compounds are expelled through cracks in the lunar crust by a cryovolcano that throws vaporous feathers filled with tiny ice grains into space, organic molecules were found in some of these ice grains, and spacecraft do not have to dive for evidence of organic compounds in Enceladus, since they can collect data so that Scientists investigate further by flying over these Plumes.
"Hydrothermal activity is suspected to occur inside the porous core," said Postberg and his team in the study, Think of the hydrothermal vents that emanate hot water in the dark depths of Earth's oceans (and also scientists believe that there are similar vents on the ocean floor of Saturn's moon They expel organic compounds that originate in their nucleus.
While simpler organic compounds such as methane have been shown to exist previously in Enceladus, molecules with only one or two carbon atoms and some hydrogen atoms are nothing compared to these newly unearthed molecules that are formed by rings and chains of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. You know, something like substances found on Earth. No wonder researchers are already eager to send a space probe there.
Although the alien question has not yet been answered, it is never known if the next finding will not be simply a molecule, but a microbe.
(via NBC Mach)