Is there life beyond earth? On April 13 NASA scientists released details of two missions to space – the Cassini mission to Saturn and the Hubble Space Telescope – that suggest life may be possible.
Scientists said that Cassini detected hydrogen gas, a possible chemical energy source for life, in the sub-surface ocean of Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth largest moon. Cassini found the hydrogen in a plume of gas and icy material spewing from cracks in the ice near the south pole of the moon. The mission launched in 1997 and is expected to end later this year.
Hubble spotted plumes that appear to be rising from cracks in the icy surface of Europa, Jupiter’s smallest moon . These plumes suggest that Europa may also be periodically spewing water, and hydrogen, from its sub-surface oceans. NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission, planned for launch in the 2020s, will take a closer look. Credit: NASA via Storyful