NASA has reported that its Cassini spacecraft mission discovered interesting scientific results about some of the ice and ocean on moons of both Saturn and Jupiter, which have been the sources of increased scientific research.
This might have applications for knowledge about satellites in orbit among other gas giants or planets in other solar systems. One form of chemical energy has been noted as being able to feed life, which appears to exist on Saturn’s moon called Enceladus.
Associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, said, “This is the closest we’ve come, so far, to identifying a place with some of the ingredients needed for a habitable environment.”
Cassini mission researchers looked into the results from images taken, which found plumes. They found that plumed were bursting or were erupting from Europa, which is a moon of Jupiter.
The research is published a paper in the journal Science and it is noted that hydrogen gas is a potential “chemical energy source for life” and has been found present in the plumes. There is a presence of the hydrogen gas in the oceans of Enceladus.
The energy can be obtained from the combination of hydrogen and carbon dioxide dissolved in water. “This chemical reaction, known as ‘methanogenesis’ because it produces methane as a byproduct, is at the root of the tree of life on Earth, and could even have been critical to the origin of life on our planet.”
If or since hydrogen was found in the oceans of the moon, in the oceans, then this could be a potential source of chemical energy for life that might be found there – if any exists there.
“Life as we know it requires three primary ingredients: liquid water; a source of energy for metabolism; and the right chemical ingredients, primarily carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur.” NASA reported.
It turns out that Enceladus has every single of those ingredients necessary for the creation and maintenance and evolution of life. 90% of the gas found from the plans observed by the Cassini mission, the Cassini spacecraft mission, is water as well as 1% hydrogen with a mix of other elements such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, and methane.
The Cassini project scientist, Linda Spilker, said, “Confirmation that the chemical energy for life exists within the ocean of a small moon of Saturn is an important milestone in our search for habitable worlds beyond Earth.”