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Enceladus floating in space beneath Saturn's rings with a larger moon, Titan, in the background. Scientists first discovered that Enceladus was spewing jets of water vapor and ice back in 2005. This discovery rocked the scientific community because it indicated that Enceladus hosted liquid water underneath its surface. That was the first time astrobiologists began looking at Enceladus as a possible place to harbor alien life.
Then, in 2009, scientists discovered that not only was there an ocean, but it was salty, like the oceans on Earth.
And now there's compelling evidence that deep beneath the moon's icy surface, these salty oceans contain active hydrothermal vents like the vents of the Lost City.
"The Lost City is a field of hydrothermal vents that was first discovered in the mid-Atlantic ocean in the year 2000. Unlike other hydrothermal vents on Earth, this unique environment has basic, non-acidic, waters that clock in at comfortable temperatures between 100 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Other vents can reach up to a scorching 860 degrees Fahrenheit."
originally posted by: mikeone718
Pretty cool all right, but I want to hear more about your ouija board findings
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists the first clear evidence that Saturn’s moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal activity which may resemble that seen in the deep oceans on Earth. The implications of such activity on a world other than our planet open up unprecedented scientific possibilities.
“These findings add to the possibility that Enceladus, which contains a subsurface ocean and displays remarkable geologic activity, could contain environments suitable for living organisms,” said John Grunsfeld astronaut and associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “The locations in our solar system where extreme environments occur in which life might exist may bring us closer to answering the question: are we alone in the Universe.”
Hydrothermal activity occurs when seawater infiltrates and reacts with a rocky crust and emerges as a heated, mineral-laden solution, a natural occurrence in Earth’s oceans. According to two science papers, the results are the first clear indications an icy moon may have similar ongoing active processes.