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NASA Finds Food Source for Possible Extraterrestrial Life

The vapor plumes emitted by a moon of Saturn contain molecular hydrogen

(Newser) - Scientists have found a potential food source for microbes on one of Saturn's tiny moons—and that could dramatically increase the chance of finding life beyond Earth, CBC reports. In a research paper published Thursday in Science , NASA reveals its Cassini spacecraft discovered molecular hydrogen in the plumes of... More »

Top Contender for Life Outside Earth: a Saturn Moon

Enceladus has a warm ocean, hydrothermal activity

(Newser) - Thanks to the Cassini spacecraft, we already knew that one of Saturn's moons has a big ocean . Now things have gotten more interesting on Enceladus. It turns out that the ocean is not only warm, it seems to have the same kind of hydrothermal activity going on as oceans... More »

Saturn Moon Now 'Best Bet' for Finding Life

Probe finds new signs of underground Enceladus ocean

(Newser) - Saturn's sixth-largest moon holds an underground ocean with at least as much water as Lake Superior, according to exciting new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft that makes some scientists believe Enceladus is now the place in our solar system where we're most likely to find extraterrestrial life.... More »

Unidentified Life Form Found in Antarctic Lake

Isolated for millions of years, bacteria could hold clues about life beyond Earth

(Newser) - It looks like drilling through 2.3 miles of ice may have paid off: The Russian scientists who did just that last year at Antarctica's Lake Vostok say the samples they recovered contain an "unclassified and unidentified" life form, reports the BBC .The bacteria's DNA measured less... More »

Saturn Moon May Hide Underground Ocean

Salt water ice spewing out from under the surface

(Newser) - Saturn’s moon Enceladus is spewing what appears to be chunks of ice composed of salt-water vapor out of fractures in its southern pole, leading scientists to believe there may be a massive ocean lurking beneath its surface. The plumes were first discovered by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft some time ago,... More »

Saturn's Moon Hints at Water

High speeds strongly hint at liquid water's presence

(Newser) - Plumes of gas and dust firing off one of Saturn's moons are moving at speeds “hard to do without liquids,” astronomers say, strongly suggesting the presence of water and raising the possibility of the moon supporting life. As Enceladus continues “helpfully spewing out its innards,” evidence... More »

Saturn Moon Holds Recipe for Life

Life's 'building blocks' found in massive geysers

(Newser) - Basic components of life like heat, organic chemicals, and water have been found on a Saturn moon, Reuters reports. A spacecraft flying over Enceladus this month spotted 500-mile-high geysers spouting off its surface, containing water vapor and the organic molecules found in living things. Though no one’s saying there’... More »

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