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A Plausible Path for Life on Enceladus

2 Mar 2018, 19:02 UTC
A Plausible Path for Life on Enceladus NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Cassini has shown us that the plumes of Enceladus are laden not just with ammonia and carbon dioxide but also traces of methane. Scientists at the University of Vienna (Austria) are not claiming this finding as evidence for life, but they have produced laboratory work showing that at least one kind of microbe could survive in conditions like those within the moon. Couple this with the presence of molecular hydrogen (H2), also found within the plumes, and the existence of microorganisms deep within Enceladus appears at least plausible. Some of the methane found in the Enceladus plumes may turn out to be produced by methanogens.

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