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Complex, Life, and Memes: SCIENCE LIFE ON SATURN'S MOON? Jun 28 | NASA's Cassini spacecraft finds complex organic compounds expelled from Saturn's moon that contain ingredients for life A new analysis of data collected by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows jets of ice and saltwater that contain complex organic compounds gushing from Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Scientists believe icy plumes coming out of Saturn’s ice-covered moon could contain the essential building blocks of living beings. ___ The Cassini spaceship used its Cosmic Dust Analyzer and its Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer to gather data while flying through Saturn’s outermost ring and moon (Enceladus). Cassini’s Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (IMS) found small organic molecules such as methane, as well as molecular hydrogen - a chemical characteristic of hydrothermal activity that provides important fuel for microbes living around seafloor vents on Earth. ___ The spaceship’s Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) also found molecules too large for analysis, which suggests there are larger compounds that went undetected. Scientists think they could be polymers, which make up DNA and proteins. ___ Astrochemist Morgan Cable, the deputy project scientist for a concept called Enceladus Life Finder, said: - “Enceladus is screaming at us that it has all the ingredients for life as we know it: water, chemistry, organics. We have to go back.” ___ Photo: NASA

A new analysis of data collected by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows jets of ice and saltwater that contain complex organic compounds gushing...

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