The human race has always been fascinated by whether there is extraterrestrial life out there in the universe – and this time, researchers are travelling farther afield in their investigations…
Scientists are sending a probe to one of Saturn’s moons in hopes of discovering whether life exists there, or if it has the right conditions to support life, as it is thought to be hiding a gigantic ocean underneath its icy shell.
The Cassini space probe will be ‘divebombed’ into a plume of vapour from Enceladus tonight at 10pm UK time, before the instruments take samples and analyse the compounds to find the signs of living organisms.
At a media breifing, program scientist on the space mission Dr Curt Niebur said:
This incredible plunge through the Enceladus plume is an amazing opportunity for NASA and its international partners on the Cassini mission to ask, ‘Can any icy ocean world host the ingredients for life?Advertisement
At 310 miles across, Enceladus is about a seventh of the size of our own Moon and it’s thought to contain geysers similar to our hydrothermal vents on Earth, which can contain life in some of the deepest, darkest and coldest parts of the world’s oceans.