“Trail from Hydrogen Could Lead to Life” –Saturn’s Enceladus (LISTEN –NPR Science)

 

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New NASA research from the Cassini mission has found new excitement on one of Saturn’s moons: plumes of vapor emerging from Enceladus contain large amounts of molecular hydrogen. More importantly, this hydrogen seems to be the product of hydrothermal activity in the moon’s ocean…and is a strong hint that the moon has conditions favorable to microbial life.

Scott Bolton, a co-investigator for the Cassini mission and co-author on the research, explains why the trail from hydrogen could lead to life, and his hopes for future missions to ocean worlds like Enceladus and Jupiter’s Europa.

 

LISTEN HERE

This graphic illustrates how scientists on NASA’s Cassini mission think water interacts with rock at the bottom of the ocean of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus, producing hydrogen gas. Credit: NASA

 

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