It doesn’t come as a surprise that there might be alien life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Although it won’t be developed life, the alien moon may be home to distinctive alien organisms, inhabiting its vast ocean.
Now, the possibility that Enceladus is home to alien life has been strengthened after astronomers revealed the alien moon’s vast ocean is around 1 billion years old, placing it in a kind of sweet spot for hosting life.
This is according to Marc Neveu, a NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientist who revealed during the Astrobiology Science Conference in June of 2019 that this time frame is arguably ideal and long enough for life to have emerged there.
“In the scenario that best matches the real moons, the ocean of Enceladus is about a billion years old,” Neveu wrote a paper, discussing the research.
“That’s good news for life: it should have had enough time to arise and there should still be some energy to power it.”
Cassini and its discoveries
In an interview with Live Science, Neveu explained he was left stunned when the spacecraft discovered Enceladus had a massive ocean, despite the relatively small size of the moon; “It’s a very tiny moon and, in general, you expect tiny things to not be very active [but rather] like a dead block of rock and ice.”
In total, the researchers created fifty simulations using data gathered by Cassini, which was deorbited in 2017, eventually crashing and burning up in Saturn’s atmosphere.
But despite the plethora of data gathered by Cassini, Neveu, and co-author of the study Alyssa Rhoden had to do some guesswork, eventually leading them to estimate the approximate age of the ocean on Enceladus.
The eventual age obtained by the two scientists was based on one simulation that best replicated the existing conditions on the alien moon, Live Science revealed.
In order to obtain the exact age of the alien ocean, more data and simulations are needed.
There could be alien life
The idea that Saturns moon is home to alien life has been proposed before. In fact, back in 2017, NASA had already found the presence of hydrogen in Enceladus’ atmosphere.
This discovery led Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist to reveal the find was of importance.
“It could be a potential source for energy from any microbes,” Spilker revealed back in 2017.
“We now know that Enceladus has almost all of the ingredients you would need for life here on Earth.”
In 2018, complex organic molecules were discovered on the moon. At the time, scientists said that the elements discovered there were the “building blocks” for life.