Researcher helps identify new evidence that Saturn’s moon Enceladus is habitable in the ocean

SwRI वैज्ञानिक एन्सेलेडस के महासागर में रहने की क्षमता के लिए नए सबूतों की पहचान करने में मदद करता है42-) is likely to be abundant in the subsurface ocean of Saturn’s moon. Enceladus. A soda or alkaline ocean (containing NaHCO) inside Enceladus3 and/or Na2CO3 occurs) interacts geochemically with a rocky core. Modeling indicates that this interaction promotes the dissolution of phosphate minerals, making orthophosphate readily available for potential life in the ocean. Because phosphorus is an essential ingredient for life, it finds growing evidence of this small Saturn’s ability to reside within the moon. Credits: Southwest Research Institute” width=”800″ height=”530″/>

SwRI lead scientist Dr. Christopher Glein contributed to the new findings that phosphorus in the form of orthophosphate (e.g., HPO)42-) is likely to be abundant in the subsurface ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. A soda or alkaline ocean (contains NaHCO.)3 and/or Na2CO3) interacts geochemically with a rocky core inside Enceladus. Modeling indicates that this interaction promotes the dissolution of phosphate minerals, making orthophosphate readily available for potential life in the ocean. Because phosphorus is an essential ingredient for life, it finds growing evidence of this small Saturn’s ability to reside within the moon. credit: Southwest Research Institute

The search for extraterrestrial life just got more interesting as a team of scientists, including Dr. Christopher Glein of the Southwest Research Institute, discovered new evidence for an important building block for life in the subsurface ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. New modeling indicates that Enceladus’ ocean should be relatively rich in dissolved phosphorus, an essential component for life.

“Enceladus is one of the major goals in humanity’s search for our lives The Solar Systemsaid Glenn, a leading expert in extraterrestrial oceanography. He is a co-author of the paper Proceedings of the National Academy of Science describing this research. “In the years since NASA’s Cassini spacecraft visited the Saturn system, we have been repeatedly blown away by the discoveries made possible by the collected data.”

The Cassini spacecraft discovered subsurface liquid water on Enceladus and analyzed the samples as ice grains and Steam Erupted in space from the cracks of the moon’s icy surface.

“What we learned is that plums contain almost all of the basic necessities of life as we know it,” Glenn said. “While the bio-essential element phosphorus has not yet been directly identified, our team has discovered evidence of its availability in the ocean beneath the Moon’s icy crust.”

one of the most profound discoveries in planetary science Worlds with oceans beneath the surface layer of ice have been common in our solar system over the past 25 years. Such worlds include the icy satellites of the giant planets, such as Europa, Titan and Enceladus, as well as more distant bodies such as Pluto. Earth-like worlds with surface oceans must remain within a narrow range of distances from their host stars to maintain temperatures that support surface liquid water. Inner water ocean worlds, however, can occur over a wide range of distances, greatly expanding the number of habitable worlds in the Milky Way.

“The search for extraterrestrial habitats in the Solar System has gained attention, as we are now looking for the building blocks for life, including organic moleculesAmmonia, along with sulfur-bearing compounds chemical energy It is necessary to support life,” Glein said. “Phosphorus presents an interesting case because previous work suggested it may be scarce in Enceladus’ ocean, which would reduce the chances of life.”

Phosphorus in the form of phosphate is vital for all life on Earth. It is essential for the formation of DNA and RNA, energy-carrying molecules, cell membranes, bones and teeth in people and animals, and even the microbiome of ocean plankton.

Team members performed thermodynamic and kinetic modeling that simulates the geochemistry of phosphorus based on insights from Cassini about the ocean-sea floor system on Enceladus. In the course of their research, they developed the most detailed geochemical model to date of how seafloor minerals dissolve in Enceladus’ ocean and predicted that phosphate minerals would be unusually soluble there.

“There is a beautiful simplicity in the underlying geochemistry that creates the appearance of dissolved Phosphorus Inevitably, modern Earth reaches close to or even above sea level,” Glenn said. “What this means for astronomy is that we can be more confident than ever before that Enceladus’s ocean is habitable. “

According to Glenn, the next step is obvious: “We have to go back to Enceladus to see what is habitable Sea Really settled.”


Theoretical model suggests salinity of Enceladus’ oceans may be just right to sustain life


more information:
“Abundant Phosphorus Expected for Possible Life in Enceladus’s Ocean”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pns.2201388119

Citation: Researchers find ocean habitability of Saturn’s moon Enceladus (2022, September 19), obtained from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-evidence-habitability-ocean-saturn-moon.html on 20 September 2022 Helps to identify new evidence for

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