Enceladus is Saturn’s sixth largest moon and one of the primary targets in the search for life in our solar system.
Observations by NASA’s Cassini space probe show that this small moon of Saturn has an ocean of ice-covered water that erupts into space, forming an environment that contains almost all of the basic requirements for life on earth. In the new study, scientists from the United States, Australia, China and Germany performed geochemical modeling to predict the amount of biologically potential elemental phosphorus that might be present in the Enceladus Ocean.
Phosphorus in the form of orthophosphate could be abundant in Enceladus’ underground ocean
Phosphorus is in the form of orthophosphate may be abundant in the subsurface ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus; The model indicates that this interaction promotes the dissolution of phosphate minerals, making orthophosphate available for possible life in the ocean; Since phosphorus is an essential ingredient for life, this discovery strengthens the evidence for the habitability of Saturn’s small moon.
The search for habitable planets is often linked to the presence of liquid water.
In addition to Earth, oceans of water also exist in the subterranean regions of several icy bodies – such as Enceladus, Europa and Titan – in the outer solar system.
According to these reasons, Enceladus is considered a place containing elements suitable for life on Earth, This moon has water-rich clouds that bubble up from an underground ocean.
Enceladus is the 6th largest satellite of Saturn.
Enceladus is the 6th largest satellite of Saturn. It was discovered by astronomer William Herschel in 1789. Enceladus has a diameter of about 500 km, or 1/10 the size of Titan, Saturn’s largest satellite. It is the star that reflects the most light in the solar system (almost 100%). Before the 1980s (when two Voyager spacecraft flew by Enceladus), little was known about Enceladus other than that there was water on the surface of this satellite.
Dr. Christopher Glein, chief scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, said: “What we learned is that these clouds contain almost all of the basic needs of life as we know it.”
“Although phosphorus, a biologically potential element, has not yet been directly identified, our team has discovered evidence of its presence in the ocean beneath this Moon’s icy crust.”
Phosphorus in the form of phosphates is vital for all life on Earth. This element is necessary for the creation of DNA and RNA, energy-carrying molecules, cell membranes, bones and teeth in humans and animals, and even marine plankton.
Scientists discovered water fountains in the south polar region of Saturn’s moon in 2005, during the first phase of exploration of the Cassini-Huygens space probe, a joint project of NASA and the Space Agency European. The fountains help create new material for the ring surrounding Saturn, coming from a roughly 9.7 km-thick ocean beneath a 31- to 40-km-thick shell of ice above the core rocky. They burst from a series The crack is called “tiger stripes” near the south pole of Enceladus.
In their research, Dr. Glein and his colleagues performed kinetic and thermodynamic modeling to simulate phosphorus geochemistry drawing on Cassini’s knowledge of Enceladus’ ocean floor system.
It is the most detailed geochemical model yet of how seafloor minerals dissolve in Enceladus’ ocean, and it predicts that phosphate minerals there will be unusually soluble.
Dr. Glein said: “This new study shows the presence of dissolved phosphorus on Saturn’s 6th Moon, which can reach levels close to, or even higher than, those in modern Earth’s seawater.”.
In late 2008, scientists detected water vapor rising from the surface of Enceladus.
In late 2008, scientists discovered water vapor rising from the surface of Enceladus. This proves that there is water on this satellite and that from there there can be life. Candice Hansen, a scientist at NASA Rocket Lab in California, led a team of scientists to study the gas plume on Enceladus. Previously, they calculated that the injection speed of the gas dust cloud was around 2,189 km/h. This speed is unusually high and may be related to water. They decided to carefully study the composition of the gas dust cloud.
Enceladus started as a ball of ice and rock mixed together
The high starting temperature model suggests that Enceladus began as a ball of mixed ice and rock and contained radioactive isotopes of rapidly decaying aluminum and iron atoms. The decay of these isotopes took place over about 7 million years, producing an enormous amount of heat. As a result, the rock material is hardened at its core and surrounded by a shell of ice. According to this hypothesis, the slowly decaying remains of the core, along with tidal forces due to Saturn’s gravitational pull, could continue to heat and melt its inner core for billions of years. Evidence from the Cassini space probe indicates that beneath the surface of Enceladus’ ice may lie an ocean that covers the entire satellite. Ice crystals analyzed by the Cassini probe showed that it was salt water ice. According to estimates, this salty water can only appear in a very large volume of water. Therefore, Enceladus becomes a suitable place for the appearance of extraterrestrial life. There is also a hypothesis that the water source above comes from an extremely large ocean located beneath the surface of Enceladus.
Article source: Fatherland
If there is an error in the article New research shows Moon Enceladus has almost all the basic requirements for life!, or if the content is incorrect, please contact us so we can correct it.
Enceladus is Saturn’s sixth largest moon and is currently one of the primary targets in the search for life in our solar system.