Enceladus is one of Saturn’s many satellites. This small celestial object is covered with 40%of salt water. It is one of the brightest things in the solar system. During research around this ice moon, a geological phenomenon similar to those studied on Earth has been observed: cryovolcanism. Like hydrothermal vents at the bottom of our oceans, cryovolcanoes produce powerful geysers from the deep waters of the satellite. Scientists have unsealed very complex organic molecules in Enceladus’s aquatic chimneys that can only be found on our planet. Enceladus has all the ingredients for the emergence of life as we know it: liquid water, energy and organic compounds. From the depths of our planet to the secrets of Enceladus, does this Moon harbor extra-terrestrial life?
2. September 2020