Researchers Find Precursors of Life on an Icy Moon

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Blocks which contribute to the formation of life have been spotted on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. The icy object has sparked the curiosity of the scientific community after a new paper, which contains the surprising information, was published.

A team of researchers examined some of the data sent by the Cassini probe and found out that traces of organic compounds were present in ice plumes, which reached the surface. According to initial research the compounds were deemed to be excellent precursors that could contribute to the formation of biological organic compounds like amino acids, which are essential for the formation of protein while also performing a variety of roles in the case of life found on Earth.

It is theorized that massive hydrothermal vents which can be found under the oceans of the moon can push the water towards the surface. If the same mechanics which are encountered on Earth take place on Enceladus at some point, the chemical could react and transform into amino acids.

One of the researchers has stated that at this point, it is hard to say if amino acids are needed for the existence of alien life, but the discovery is quite significant. Under the right conditions the molecules which are carried by the water could follow the same chain reaction patterns which have been identified on Earth.

It is important to mention the fact that the discovery of these organic compounds cannot be taken as a definite hint that life will appear on the moon, or that they will make the transition needed to become building blocks of life. By learning, if amino acids can form on Enceladus further research could take place in the future as researchers continue to search for life in the endless void.

The paper mentions that the compounds appear to be abundant, and more researchers will focus on the frozen moon in the feature.

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