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Saturn’s Moon Has Signs of Life

VIVA – Subsurface methane flows in the Month belong Saturn, Enceladus, may be a sign of life, a new study reports. In 2005, NASA’s Cassini Saturn orbiter discovered a geyser that blasted ice particles into space from the ‘tiger line’ fracture near the South Pole of Enceladus.

The material is thought to have come from a large ocean flowing under the Moon’s icy shell. Not just ice water. During a close flight with 313 miles (504 kilometers) wide Enceladus, Cassini also spotted many other compounds. For example dihydrogen (H2) and various organic compounds containing carbon including methane (CH4).

Dihydrogen and methane are of great interest to astrobiologists. The H2 likely generated by the interaction of rock and hot water on the seafloor of Enceladus suggests that the Moon has deep-sea hydrothermal vents, the same type of environment that may have been the cradle of life on Earth.

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