Giant plume spotted erupting from moon of Saturn might contain ingredients for life

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 - 11:42 in Astronomy & Space

NASA’s JWST space telescope has observed a 10,000-kilometer-long plume of water vapor jetting into space from Saturn’s moon Enceladus—the largest spray ever detected from the icy world, which is just one-seventh the diameter of Earth’s Moon. Planetary scientists view Enceladus as a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life because beneath its icy crust the moon houses a salty ocean—a good medium for the ingredients of life to mix. Vented from fractures in the crust, the towering plume might saturate the Saturn system with some of the chemicals needed for life. Researchers describe the results today in a NASA press release and in a paper accepted at Nature Astronomy ...

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