The search for life in space is one of the leading trends in astronomy. Official science denies the existence of contact between Earth's civilisation and extraterrestrials. Despite massive UFO sightings and a huge reservoir of eyewitness accounts, academic minds refuse to believe in brothers in intelligence. However, this does not mean that science does not admit the existence of life in space.
On the contrary, in recent years, the efforts of astronomers have been made amazing discoveries of tens of thousands of potential exoplanets where life, including biological life, can exist. Perhaps somewhere far, far away, in the back of the universe there is another humanity parallel to our civilization.
We're talking about Saturn's moon Enceladus.
But it must be said that despite relentless technological progress these discoveries have only a theoretical context. In practice, alas, we cannot fly up and, as they say, see, touch and scrutinize the presence of amino acids and primitive life forms in various parts of the universe.
Think about it - well, let's say 50,000 exoplanets have been discovered in the life belts, so what? We will never visit these planets. At least not in the next few centuries. Therefore, if we look for life in space, it is within the solar system. Theoretical lunatics, Martians and Venusians are still theory. But recently, NASA officials made a surprising announcement: "A place in the solar system has been discovered where there is 99% probability of life."
Beneath the crust of ice is a vast ocean.
That's very intriguing news! It's about Saturn's moon Enceladus. Its structure and the approximate composition of its water has allowed scientists to simulate the conditions of existence and put in the so-called "life formula". This is a program that calculates the probability of forming amino acids and compounds that could potentially evolve into more complex life forms. The computer gave the answer: there is a 99% probability.
The fact is that beneath the five-kilometre layer of ice is an actual salty liquid ocean. And it's very similar to the Earth's in its chemical composition. More precisely, with the Earth's ocean hundreds of millions of years ago. Underneath the ice is a 65-kilometre layer of water. This ocean is incredibly vast. What's more, the study of Saturn's satellite has revealed gas outbursts and several geysers gushing from the depths of the ocean.
A large variety of organic compounds have been detected using spectrometric data. The chains are small in size but, under the conditions prevailing in the liquid part of the ocean on Enceladus, chemical transformations will inevitably lead to the formation of amino acids and more complex structures. Thus, either the conditions for the origin of life exist on Saturn's satellite, or life has already originated. NASA is developing an amphibious vehicle whose purpose would be to drill for ice and dive into the underwater ocean. The spacecraft was planned for launch in 2036.
The structure of Enceladus.
Another important discovery related to Enceladus is worth noting at the end. The satellite has little volcanic and seismic activity. But even this is enough for an underwater volcanic eruption to warm the water to quite terrestrial levels. In that case, the emergence of life on Saturn's satellite does not seem like science fiction.