Water, Water Everywhere

The solar system suddenly appears to be a surprisingly wet place, according to new findings by the Cassini space probe orbiting Saturn. Last week NASA released images of water-crystal geysers spouting from Saturn's bright-white moon Enceladus. The water probably comes from shallowly buried deposits, warmed by gravitational pulses from Saturn itself and various passing moons. Cassini also discovered carbon-based molecules in the vicinity of Enceladus. Water, warmth and carbon are key ingredients in the recipe for life. Whether Enceladus does--or even could--harbor biology is one more thing for the hearty Cassini to investigate in the years of work it has left.

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!