Today, NASA will announce a new finding which the space agency says will ‘inform the broader search for life beyond Earth’.
A report from a former NASA employee suggests that the finding relates to hydrothermal vents in an icy ocean on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
If true, it could be highly significant – as many scientists believe life on Earth began in similar warm vents on the ocean floor.
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Keith Cowing, who writes for Astrobiology, says, ‘The process is indicative of possible habitable zones within the ocean of Enceladus. Before we go any further, ‘habitable’ does not mean ‘inhabited’.’
The event will be held at the James Webb Auditorium at NASA’s headquarters in Washington at 2pm on Thursday 13th April.
‘These new discoveries will help inform future ocean world exploration – including NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission planned for launch in the 2020s – and the broader search for life beyond Earth,’ NASA said.
Speakers include several members of the team from the Cassini orbiter, fuelling speculation that the announcement could be about Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth-largest moon.