Humans have long been fascinated with the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Scientists and astronauts have long been sending radio signals out into deep space while simultaneously opening up our satellite ears for potential signs of communication elsewhere. Whether it be the prototypical, commercialized version of an alien or a microscopic living organism, anything that we can find as living outside of planet Earth would be a tremendous discovery.
As the observable universe is forever expanding and moving away from us, the possibility for life forms outside of Earth is correspondingly increasing.
Read on to find out where alien life may be hidden.
NASA has just announced that they may have located a potential habitat for alien life using NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope. One of Saturn’s moons was revealed to contain chemical activity under its exterior that could reveal some form of life that used to reside on the small orbiting moon.
NASA scientists say there are organic compounds located there, an underground ocean as well as evidence of hydrothermal activity which is normally (and has only) been found on Earth.
As the most reflective body in the solar system, its outer shell is composed of mostly icy material and there is a suspected global subsurface saltwater ocean!
The icy outer shell is also very similar to the protective ozone layer of Earth. Could it act as the same protective barrier and protect the living organisms on the planet’s surface?
An illustration of Enceladus showcases a liquid water ocean wedged between the rocky core and the icy crust. The thickness of the icy layers varies but is in general extremely bright white.
The Voyager spacecraft in the 1980’s revealed that the moon is small, about 310 miles across. The icy surface is incredibly smooth and an extremely bright white all over (hence the reflective nature of the moon.)
More recently, however, the Cassini revealed geysers that spew out water vapor and ice particles from what is believed to be an underground ocean.
Astronauts and scientists believe that there is an underground ocean lying underneath the bright white icy crust of Enceladus.
Moreover, further hints of extraterrestrial life are uncovered via Enceladus’ hydrothermal vents. These vents are located extremely deep in the sea and are used to offer food and warmth to the deep sea creatures that could potentially reside there.
The only other place in the solar system that utilizes these hydrothermal vents is Earth. The only reason these vents are on Earth is to provide life support for those deep sea organisms that reside in the deep seas.
Enceladus prompted further investigation after magnetic activity (or effects on Saturn’s magnetic field) was observed.
This could be an indication that gasses (or an atmosphere) could be the reason for this effect and that these gasses were emanating from the moon’s surface or interior.
What is even more revealing of an underground ocean is the fact that jets of ice and water particles are regularly shot up into the atmosphere.
The material which is water, ice particles, and simple organic chemicals, are shot out at approximately 800 miles per hour and extend hundreds of miles into space.
It shoots so far that some of this material reaches to form part of Saturn’s E ring. However, most of it falls back onto Enceladus’ surface.
Although Saturn’s E ring is generally composed of ice droplets, scientists have noticed nanoparticles that contain these nano grains that can only be created when liquid water and rock interact at extremely hot temperatures.