Latest Issue of Science News


The Whole Enceladus

A new place to search for life in the outer solar system

Step aside, Europa. Make way, Titan. Saturn's small moon Enceladus is becoming one of the hottest places to look for signs of life in the chilly outer solar system. NASA's Cassini spacecraft recently discovered that a giant plume of water vapor, dust, and small ice crystals shoots out from a crack-lined region in the southern hemisphere of this 500-kilometer-wide moon. Observations of the plume and surrounding material on the moon's surface suggest that Enceladus harbors the basic ingredients necessary for life as we know it.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.