The public may be excited to know if there is life on Mars, but there’s also a possibility that alien life exists in Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Conditions In Saturn’s Moon
A study published in Nature corroborates with the facts Spiker hinted at. According to the study, Enceladus, the icy moon of Saturn, is getting much interest from researchers because the dust particles are rich in silica and there are organic molecules and water in the natural satellite.
Possible organisms that could be present in Enceladus includes methanogenic archaea. The paper concludes that some of the methane found in the satellite might have been produced by methanogens. These organisms can produce methane even without oxygen, and they are the only knows life forms capable of this.
The study recommends that future Saturn space missions should look into the biosignature of methanogens.
What Saturn Missions Reveal So Far
Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spiker who has been closely monitoring Saturn for 30 years or equivalent to one year in the Ringed Planet. In a Forbes interview, she talked about the main discoveries in Saturn under the mission.
She explained that the Cassini project’s contribution to the public’s understanding of the planet is mainly about the composition of the planet and its rings including Saturn’s moons, Titan and Enceladus.
Spiker further detailed that Enceladus is a small world, just 300 miles in diameter. The Voyager mission revealed with an icy and bright white surface.
Based on the particle samples they tested, they found that water on the planet is salty and there were organic materials including carbon dioxide.
As for the possibility of life in Saturn’s moon, Spiker revealed that the conditions on the satellite are just right to support life forms. However, there is the question of what it takes for life to start. She hinted at the possible existence of microbes being shot into space through the jets. She revealed the possibility for them to find alien life in geysers. If there’s no living creature on the planet, there might be something else required to support living organisms. According to her, the answer remains to be profound.
“If we find life on Enceladus, if these ocean worlds support life, then the opportunities for life on other planets on other stars just go up tremendously.”
As for Titan, Spiker revealed hat Methane plays the same role as water does on Earth. While life it possible, it will be a different organism which thrives in a sea of liquid methane.
As yet, there are clues hinting its possible for alien life to exist on Enceladus, Saturn’s moon and this will most likely be explored by future missions.