There may be an alien life in solar system

The evidence was collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which has been examining Saturn and its satellites since 2004, providing Earth-bound researchers with important data.

The paper from researchers with the Cassini mission was published Thursday in the journal Science.

In fact, Enceladus may have methane breathing alien life already there.

Cassini has found that nearly all of these ingredients are there on Enceladus, a tiny icy moon at a distance of a billion miles away from Saturn.

The discovery means that microbes - if any exist there - could obtain energy by combining the hydrogen with carbon dioxide dissolved in the water.

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.

During a news briefing held today, NASA has announced the spacecraft Cassini had found hydrogen as a gas - the form needed to support single-celled organisms in the moon's ocean.

The detection of hydrogen gas in the plumes of Enceladus is suggestive that like Earth, hydrogen is pouring into the Moon's subsurface ocean from hydrothermal activity on the seafloor.

Hydrogen was detected by Cassini in the gas plumes and icy material that was spotted spraying from Enceladus while it was having a close flyby in October 2015.

The primary ingredients required to sustain life include liquid water; a source of energy for metabolism; and the right chemical ingredients, primarily carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Cassini also sampled the plume's composition during flybys earlier in the mission.

From these observations scientists were able to find that almost 98 percent of the gas in the plume is water, about 1 percent is hydrogen and the remaining is a mixture of other molecules including carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia.

The scientists measured the gases using the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer instrument belonging to the space craft.

If the plumes and the warm spot are linked, it could be indicative of water being vented from beneath the moon's icy crust and warming the surrounding surface.

On Earth, such hydrothermal vents support thriving communities of life in complete isolation from sunlight.

Meanwhile, Dr. David Clements, astrophysicist at Imperial College London, said: 'This discovery does not mean that life exists on Enceladus, but it is a step on the way to that result'. The latest findings support this assertion and note that the rock is likely creating chemical reactions, which lead to the production of hydrogen.

  • Carolyn Briggs