Saturn is one of the most beautiful planets in the Solar System. Its unique appearance is largely the result of the largest ring system that can only be observed in the solar neighborhood. In addition to its external data, Saturn is famous for a whole entourage of satellites of different shapes and sizes. So, Titan is considered one of the planets potentially suitable for human colonization in the distant future; a small moon Mimas is unique in its giant crater, which is nearly one third that of the moon, and ice moon Enceladus may be hidden beneath its surface the real alien life. According to the official statement of NASA, under the surface of this icy world is really a organic matter. But how could she appear at such a considerable distance from the Sun and that can mean such a discovery for mankind?
Could it support life on Enceladus?
In September 2017 , Cassini spacecraft, studying the surroundings of Saturn, has officially completed its mission. Before burn in the atmosphere of a giant planet, the probe performed three of the last flight around a small satellite of the planet of Enceladus, during which he passed through the water plume coming directly from the surface of this moon. During the flight, the unit managed to gather information on the composition of the plume of Enceladus, which surprised scientists. According to the official data of NASA, the water of Enceladus is rich in a great variety of compounds among which are carbon, nitrogen in form of ammonia and even oxygen. It is known that on Earth, these compounds serve as building blocks that form life itself. If the same earth processes occur on Enceladus, we can safely assume that life exists there.
The analysis of the obtained automatic station Cassini data, researchers from Germany and the USA were able to analyze molecules on grains of ice in the plume of Enceladus, showing that they are oxygen-containing and nitrogen compounds. On Earth these compounds are involved in the production of amino acids, the building blocks of life.
Emissions emanating from Enceladusare the result of what is happening on Saturn’s geological activity. The presence of the satellite powerful hydrothermal vents, sending the material from the core of the moon in space, indicates the presence of an energy source of unknown origin. Researchers believe that such a powerful source, capable of lifting tons of ice and water far into the atmosphere of the satellite, maybe the gravitational pull of Saturn, causing the phenomenon in the scientific community called libration. Largely due to the effect of libration, between the external icy shell and rocky core, Enceladus may be a vast ocean of water, making it one of the most promising targets in the search for alien life in our Solar system.
Due to the fact that on Earth, hydrothermal vents on the seabed teeming with life, there is a strong likelihood that they were responsible for the initial emergence of life on Earth. In this case, chemical reactions occurring inside these sources could be specific building blocks from which evolved all organisms. If so, then the presence of such sources on Enceladus can make this small icy world with one of the most likely candidates for the origin of alien life forms.
In their study, published in the monthly Notes of the Royal astronomical society, the researchers say that the compositional characteristics of organic compounds are almost completely dissolved in the subsurface ocean of Enceladus before it can evaporate and freeze in the crust of Saturn’s moon.