Enceladus: the search for life on Saturn’s moon

Enceladus: the search for life on Saturn’s moon

Enceladus:
the search for life on Saturn’s moon

Vol. 2, no. 2, pages 20-25
Author: 
Nour Khairi
University College Utrecht

Abstract

This paper reviews and synthesizes various studies into the geologically active moon Enceladus in Saturn’s diverse satellite system. Data from the Cassini mission are the main source for these studies as they provide the chemical composition of Enceladus’ famous plumes or jets which can indicate the extent of Enceladus’ habitability. The hydrothermal vents responsible for Enceladus’ jets are possibly analogous to early Earth as well as current examples of Earth ecosystems. Along with providing models for origins of life on Earth, the habitability of Enceladus is one of the many ways astrobiologists are exploring extra-terrestrial life. Along with that, the possibility of the survival of Earthly life, including humans, on other planets and moons in our celestial neighbourhood is one of the implications of this investigation.

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