Pakistani Astrobiologist Dr Nozair Khawaja and his team have Discovered a Key organic molecule on Enceladus, one of the 62 moons orbiting the planet Saturn.
Enceladus is about 500 Km in Diameter.
Experts have termed the Discovery to be the #1st of its kind Beyond Earth, making Enceladus eligible to be in the list of the most notable candidates for having extra-terrestrial Life.
Khawaja’s team was conducting research on Data Gathered from the moon’s hydrothermal core, Earlier Gathered by National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Cassini Spacecraft.
Speaking to media, Dr Khawaja said : I have found small but soluble and reactive organic compound pluming from the depths (ocean) of Enceladus. The compound from the ocean of Enceladus is already a known ingredient of amino acids found in the oceans of Earth.
Although NASA’s Cassini spacecraft was Launched in 1997, completed its research mission in 2017, scientists have #Yet to study all the research material gathered during the spacecraft’s vital mission.
With each #Passing day, Enceladus is becoming one of the most habitable potential objects in the solar system to study traces of life after Earth. The next logical step should be to #Explore the Cassini space probe data and find more bio-signatures in the subsurface ocean of Enceladus. More space missions should be proposed and planned to explore this tiny world which is full of surprises, said the Pakistani astrobiologist.
Life beyond Blue Planet :
Amino acids are the organic compounds known as the #Building Blocks of life for almost every creature on Earth. Various types of amino acids play major roles in protein making, metabolism, synthesis in hormones and neurotransmitters from the brain to across the human body.
The organic molecule, found by Dr Khawaja & his team, is composed of Oxygen & Nitrogen and has been enveloped in ice grain. It can easily be dubbed as a precursor of amino acid.
Enceladus’s ocean is covered with an ice sheet, similar to Earth’s icy poles. The ice Grains & the vapours that are ejected from this ocean through hydrothermal activity are released in space from small cracks on the moon’s surface.