New organic molecules discovered on Saturn moon Enceladus

New kinds of organic compounds’ found on alien moon Enceladus says Nasa

New kinds of organic compounds’ found on alien moon Enceladus says Nasa

Of all the worlds in our solar system that may harbor some form of life, Saturn's moon Enceladus may be the most exciting.

Scientists have discovered organic molecules containing nitrogen and oxygen on Saturn's moon Enceladus, according to a new study. So, scientists have to look for the tiniest clues that hint that life is possible, and organic compounds that make up amino acids are part of that complex puzzle.

Notably, Dr. Khawaja's team was leading research on data gathered from the moon's hydrothermal core, which was earlier assembled by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Cassini spacecraft.

But before its demise, it flew through the plumes that burst out of Encaladus's surface, sending data about them back to Earth.

From here, the grains were blasted into space by erupting plumes where they accumulated in Saturn's so-called E-ring, which is around 186,000 (300,000 kilometres) wide and comprised of such tiny particles of water ice. And, scientists think, if the hydrothermal vents on Enceladus work the same way as they do on Earth, then they could spur these compounds into becoming amino acids. According to scientists, Enceladus' hydrothermal vents may operate in the same way, supplying energy that leads to the production of amino acids.

Despite NASA's Cassini spacecraft, launched in 1997, completed its research mission in 2017, scientists still haven't studied all the research material during the spacecraft's important mission.

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"If the conditions are right, these molecules coming from the deep ocean of Enceladus could be on the same reaction pathway as we see here on Earth". NASA notes that it doesn't know yet if amino acids are needed for life beyond Earth.

The organic compounds are first dissolved in Enceladus' ocean.

Now, a new study by researchers from the Free University of Berlin have found probable evidence of life on Saturn's icy moon.

These findings were published October 2 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Enceladus, which is Saturn's sixth-largest moon and about 310 miles in diameter, is an icy orb believed to contain a deep subsurface ocean underneath its icy crust. It's cold down there, but many species have evolved to withstand it. Others tend to favor areas near hydrothermal vents, where incredibly hot water spews from fissures in the seafloor.

Another co-author, Frank Postberg, said of the study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: "This work shows that Enceladus' ocean has reactive building blocks in abundance, and it's another green light in the investigation of the habitability of Enceladus".

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