Science

New organic compounds found on Saturn moon

New organic compounds found on Saturn moon”

Notably, Dr. Khawaja's team was leading research on data gathered from the moon's hydrothermal core, which was earlier assembled by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Cassini spacecraft.

These new findings complement the discovery the team made past year of large, insoluble complex organic molecules believed to float on the surface of Enceladus' ocean. On Earth, these compounds are involved in the production of amino acids-the building blocks of life.

Of all the worlds in our solar system that may harbor some form of life, Saturn's moon Enceladus may be the most exciting. From there, the scientists believe, the organic molecules then evaporated from the ocean surface, condensed into icy grains within fractures in the moon's crust and were then blown into space by its plumes.

In this image captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in 2007, the plumes of Enceladus are clearly visible.

Scientists used the spacecraft's Cosmic Dust Analyzer, or CDA, to determine the composition of organic material in the grains. It is from these spurts of water that the scientists discovered organic compounds. But before its fiery death, Cassini performed three final flybys of Enceladus, during which it went through a plume coming from the moon.

US space agency NASA is said to have made a major breakthrough in its search for life outside our planet when it discovered "organic compounds" on one of the moons of Planet Saturn.

"This work shows that Enceladus' ocean has reactive building blocks in abundance, and it's another green light in the investigation of the habitability of Enceladus", Frank Postberg, co-author of the paper and a professor of planetary sciences at the Free University of Berlin, added. Recent studies show that there are microbes like this in our own ocean.

The research is supported by two other studies that found complex organic bubbles and nutrient rich oceans on Enceladus.

The compounds in the amine and carbonyl chemical groups are smaller and soluble and could be "ideal precursors for.biologically relevant organic compounds in the warm depths of Enceladus' ocean", according to the paper.

Based on their data, these molecules could be sitting in a thin film on top of the ocean, where bubbles can rise and burst. Earlier than that, nevertheless, he flew by means of the feathers which broke from the floor of Enceladus and despatched details about them again to Earth that scientists are nonetheless investigating.

"They may represent life's chemical building blocks or even the remains of past microbial populations or there may be simple abiotic ways to explain the origin of the materials", said Hunter Waite, principal investigator for the mass spectrometer.

Proposals for missions to further study Enceladus were previously submitted to NASA. For that, scientists will need a new, dedicated mission.



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