|More evidence for Enceladus' habitability
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) gave a press release today about results from Cassini's INMS (Ion & Neutral Mass Spectrometer) instrument during a flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus last year. The data show ammonia coming from Enceladus' geysers. The plumes emit mostly water-ice, but the presence of complex organics got everyone speculating about Enceladus' ability to support life. The presence of ammonia provides additional evidence that liquid water could exist under Enceladus' crust, even though it's still much colder than on Earth (-115 degrees Celsius).
Results like this require cross-disciplinary cooperation to analyse the implications fully, not to mention the appeal they have for those of us keen to find hard evidence that we're not alone in the universe. I'm thrilled.
The press release can be found here.