Water, Water Everywhere

  • Share
  • Read Later

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.