NASA Just Revealed There Could Be Life On Saturn's Moon, Enceladus

Here's what you need to know.

This week NASA held a live event to reveal it's latest findings about Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons.

Scientists announced that the Cassini space probe has detected hydrogen gas coming from cracks in the icy crust, indicating that the moon's subsurface oceans might be able to support life as we know it.

Finding hydrogen is a big deal because, it's a chemical we think is essential for life to form, the other's being carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur. We have now detected all of those on Enceladus except phosphorus and sulfur, but we suspect those elements are present in its rocky core as well.

To detect the hydrogen, Cassini passed through a plume of mostly water vapor coming out of the cracks - or "tiger stripes"- in Enceladus's ice crust. Enceladus is too small to keep hydrogen in its atmosphere, so the hydrogen must have come from the ocean inside the crust. The plumes of vapor spring up above hot spots, indicating that hydrothermal activity exists on Enceladus's seafloor.


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