Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Space Science

Signs of Water Found On Saturnian Moon Enceladus 79

Matt_dk writes "Scientists working on the Cassini space mission have found negatively charged water ions in the ice plume of Enceladus. Their findings, based on analysis from data taken in plume fly-throughs in 2008 and reported in the journal Icarus, provide evidence for the presence of liquid water, which suggests the ingredients for life inside the icy moon. The Cassini plasma spectrometer, used to gather this data, also found other species of negatively charged ions including hydrocarbons."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Signs of Water Found On Saturnian Moon Enceladus

Comments Filter:
  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @12:29PM (#31073352) Homepage
    In the 19th and early 20th century, the prevailing view was that life, even intelligent life, was common in the solar system. Then as time progressed, we realized how hostile most of the world is. The moon had a vacuum, liquid water was rare, Venus was hundreds of degrees too hot. Now it seems the pendulum swings in the opposite direction as we realize how common liquid water and other precursors to life are. We now have liquid water on Mars, and circumstances on multiple moons of Jupiter and Saturn that could be conducive to life. It seems pretty clear that we aren't going to find much in the way of advance life (the only possibility for it is maybe Europa, but I'm probably overestimating the probability there just out of love for 2001) but it seems more and more likely that we will find life in the solar system on bodies other than Earth. What will find from that, who knows. But I'm willing to bet that we will find such life in the next 20 years.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.