Saturn's moon holds ingredients for life

April 11, 2006
A Cassini image of Saturn's moon Enceladus
A Cassini image of Saturn´s moon Enceladus

An Arizona researcher says scientists looking for signs of life in the Solar System should focus on Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Dr. Bob Brown, a senior scientist working on the Cassini spacecraft, has been studying Saturn and its moons for nearly two years, the BBC reported.

At a conference in Austria, the University of Arizona researcher said Enceladus contains the ingredients for life -- simple organic molecules, water and heat.

Las July, Cassini passed just 107 miles from the surface of Enceladus, providing confirmation that the moon has an atmosphere and strong evidence that the gases which make up the atmosphere are coming from cracks in the surface, the BBC reported. Most of the gas is water vapor, suggesting strongly that liquid water lies under the moon's icy surface, Brown said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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