© NASA / JPL-Caltech / Institute of Space Science
On the Saturnmund Enceladus huge fountains ice particles And the hydrogen Several thousand kilometers in space. These fountains also contain methane It has its origin in the subterranean ocean of Saturn’s moon.
The methane it contains has long puzzled researchers about how this chemical compound came about. at The current study A research team is now suspicious of it microbes Methane may be responsible for: New gas A sign of life On the moon of Saturn.
The Cassini spacecraft provided the data
The NASA’s Cassini spacecraft Saturn and its moons were discovered between 2004 and 2017. The probe is also multi-threaded by mass Enceladus Fountain flown through Data on the composition of the fountains were collected
This data was obtained from a research team at PSL . University It was examined in Paris. They came to the conclusion that – according to the current scientific state – methane emitted from Enceladus cannot be explained by non-biological processes alone.
Microorganisms on Enceladus?
According to the study, there may be an association with similar hydrothermal springs on Earth. These deep-sea chimneys house microbial ecosystems, which are largely made up of methanogens. and in energy metabolism This Microorganisms methane is formed.
For the research team, it is clear that the ocean floor on Enceladus must be habitable. Evidence Extraterrestrial life However, this is far from the case on Saturn’s moon.
If there was no life or biological processes in Enceladus’ subterranean ocean, methane formation would be due to processes that humans have yet to discover.