According to data recorded by the Cassini spacecraft, phosphates are found in a hundred times higher concentration on Saturn’s moon Enceladus than in the Earth’s oceans.

Astronomers at the Free University of Berlin discovered phosphates on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. This discovery is very significant, as it is the first time that the chemical compound has not been detected in an ocean on Earth. Phosphate is an essential building block of life.

the nature According to a study published in the journal, the finding was found among data recorded by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Cassini served Saturn until September 15, 2017, when it plunged into the planet’s atmosphere to destroy it.

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Phosphate is a major component of chromosomes, the carriers of genetic information in DNA. The discovery indicates that we may be one step closer to finding alien life on one of the space ocean worlds orbiting the sun.

Recently, scientists are focusing more and more attention on celestial bodies in the solar system that they believe may contain liquid water. NASA will launch the Europa Clipper spacecraft to Jupiter’s moon Europa to study the subsurface ocean. All of this can help determine if there is life on the orb.

Like Europa, Enceladus is covered in a massive icy shield with an ocean underneath. The Cassini spacecraft, orbiting Saturn, has collected a lot of information about the planet and its moons.

During previous analysis of the data, it had already been revealed that Enceladus may contain a significant amount of phosphorus, but there was no agreement on whether phosphates were also present on its surface. An analysis by researchers at the Free University of Berlin showed that phosphorus is present in the form of orthophosphate ions. The study also showed that the element is present there in a concentration about 100 times higher than in Earth’s oceans.

All this leads to the conclusion that phosphates can also be found on celestial bodies with similar environmental characteristics, which could indicate the presence of life. In the future, we may have more accurate information on this subject, because in addition to NASA, the European Space Agency also sends probes to Jupiter to search for life under the icy surface.

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