Alien methanogens working under the ice sheets of Saturn’s moon?

Alien methanogens working under the ice sheets of Saturn's moon?

Arizona, Katra.com- Saturn’s moon may be operating an unknown methane production process in the ocean hidden beneath the ice sheet of Enceladus. According to a new study published in Natural astronomy By scientists University of Arizona And University of Paris Sciences & Letters. Science, 06/07.

The giant fountain that erupts from Enceladus has long fascinated scientists and the general public with research and speculation about a vast ocean believed to be sandblasted between Enceladus’ rock center and its iceberg. Flying through the bubble and modeling its chemical makeup, the Cassini spacecraft detected relatively high concentrations of some molecules compared to the hydro temperatures at the Earth’s ocean floor, particularly dihydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide. The amount of methane found in the giant jet of water is unexpected.

“We wanted to know: Can earth-like microbes ‘eat’ hydrogen and produce methane to explain the surprising levels of methane casein?” Regis Ferrier, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, is one of the study’s two leading teachers. “The search for such microorganisms known as methanogens in the oceans of Enceladus will require a very challenging deep diving mission that has not been seen for decades.”

Ferrier and his team took a different and easier path: different processes, including biological methanogenesis, developed mathematical models to calculate the probability that Cassini could explain the data.



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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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