The moment is here. The moment we get one step closer to knowledge of ‘future ocean world exploration’.
The announcement, made at 7pm BST this evening, came as a result of new findings from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and Hubble Space Telescope made this week.
So wasting no more time – here’s what the big news was. There may well be alien life in our own solar system, according to NASA. Yep, you heard that right.
Enceladus, an icy white moon which orbits Saturn, has chemicals that when found on Earth indicate life, suggesting that there might be living things under its icy shell.
Not only does Enceladus have an icy shell, incredibly similar to our own ozone layer, but it is also thought to have a full ocean on it.
NASA scientists went onto explain that they found hydrogen molecules on the moon suggesting there could be underwater hot spots in this subsurface ocean which would be the perfect place for small organisms — bacteria, for instance — to exist.
Hunter Waite, leader of the Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer team at the Southwest Research Institute, said:
Now, Enceladus is high on the list in the solar system for showing habitable conditions.
The presence of hydrogen established another reference point saying there is hydrothermal activity inside this body, and that’s interesting because we know in our own oceans, those are very important places that are teeming with life, and they are probably one of the earliest places where life happened on Earth.
These groundbreaking findings came as a result of the Cassini mission which took place 12 years ago.
The Cassini probe has also captured the most detailed images of Saturn.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.