NASA finds ALIEN life possibility on Saturn's moon Enceladus

The hydrogen was identified on Enceladus when the Cassini spacecraft dived into a gas plume on the moon back in 2015.

Nasa's findings, which have been published in the journal Science, said the only plausible source for the hydrogen found was that there have been chemical reactions between the warm water and rocks on the ocean floor. The instrument, acting as a human nose, has the ability to detect the composition of gases in its environment and picked up hydrogen in the spray.

SwRI's Dr Christopher Glein, who is a co-author in the recent study, added that the molecular hydrogen found in Enceladus is enough to support microbes similar to the ones found in the hydrothermal vents on Earth. "So we're going to start with bacteria and if we get lucky, maybe there's something that's larger", NASA astrobiology senior scientist Mary Voytek said at a news conference. Could life exist out there, in our solar system? This instrument was created to examine the upper atmosphere of Titan, another of Saturn's 62 known moons. This reaction involves combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide dissolved in water to produce methane. Cassini also looked into the plume composition during its flybys.

It is already known that three crucial ingredients are required for life to exist - water, right chemical matters which are the building blocks of life like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur and a source of energy for metabolism.

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.

Not only that, but the plumes on Enceladus are associated with hotter regions on the moon.

The latest findings that Enceladus could support life forms evidences that hydrothermal activities are occurring in its ocean.

"Although we can't detect life, we've found that there's a food source there for it".

"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", says Linda Spilker, a Cassini project scientist.

Meanwhile, scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope observed a warm jet of water shooting out of the warmest part of Europa, one of Saturn's moons that is composed of an icy layer over a salty liquid ocean of water.

Zurbuchen and his colleagues are not the only NASA scientists looking for evidence of extra-terrestrial life.

Leader of the Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Hunter Waite, said: "Now, Enceladus is high on the list in the solar system for showing habitable conditions".

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