On Thursday, April 14, NASA shared that "chemical energy", existed on Enceladus, which may support life on Staurn's icy moon.
Cassini has detected hydrogen molecules in vapor plumes emanating from cracks in the surface of Enceladus, a small ocean moon coated in a thick layer of ice, the USA space agency said. If there are any microbes on Enceladus they could draw energy from this hydrogen through a process called methanogenesis that provides the basis of life in some instances.
This is the closest scientists have come to identifying a place having the ingredients for life, said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of the NASA Science Mission Directorate.
The latest findings that Enceladus could support life forms evidences that hydrothermal activities are occurring in its ocean.
NASA stresses the findings, that were announced in the journal Science, do not mean that there is life on either moon, but that there may be favourable conditions to harbour life.
Enceladus is an icy moon a billion miles farther away from the sun than Earth is.
While some ingredients for life were found on Enceladus, the scientists made clear that the discovery didn't confirm life on the planet, but merely confirmed favorable conditions.
Child abuse prevention highlighted in Holyoke
SAYS is celebrating 28 years of serving children in St Johns County and three years in the Hutson Family Campus facility. The district attorney's office will be making appointments for picture opportunities on April 21 or April 28.
"This [molecular hydrogen] is just like the icing on the cake", said Hunter Waite of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, who was study lead on the Encephalus plume observation. The team suggests that this phenomenon is a chemical effect of interactions between the rocky core and warm water from the underground ocean of the moon. The Cassini craft actually descended into the plume and sampled its makeup, finding chemical mix that included 98 percent water and 1 percent hydrogen, as well as traces of other gases like Carbon dioxide and methane.
One of Saturn's moons has almost all the ingredients it needs to sustain alien life - though living organisms have yet to be found, NASA scientists announced Thursday.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft detected the presence of molecular hydrogen in water plumes erupting from Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, the USA space agency announced Thursday, suggesting that the distant world has nearly all the conditions necessary for life. David Rothery, professor of planetary geosciences at the Open University, said: "At present, we know of only one genesis of life, the one that led to us".
Cassini uncovered the hydrogen during its final close flyby of Enceladus in 2015, when it dove deeper than ever through the moon's clouds of vapor and particles.
So which moon offers more possibility of life, Europa or Enceladus?
Scientists observed similar plumes on Jupiter's moon Europa.
Scientists believe there is an ocean of tidally heated liquid water beneath Enceladus' surface - making it a prime target in the search for extra-terrestrial life.