Seeds of Life Found Near Saturn...

2:01 AM

Scientists have been intrigued by the moon since the fountain of water was first spotted in 2005. Now they've identified a soup of prebiotic material there, similar to what's found in comets, from an analysis of data collected by the Cassini spacecraft. Nobody really knows how life began, but astrobiologists guess it required chemicals like those tasted by Cassini, a little liquid water and some unknown spark. Hunter Waite, a Cassini principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) in San Antonio, said Enceladus' newly understood composition should stir up previous notions of Saturn and its moons. "These findings will definitely get people to ask new questions about the formation of the Saturn system," Wait told "The astrobiological potential of the Saturn system just went up a notch or two." Cassini made its observations during a high-speed pass 30 miles (48 km) above Enceladus on March 12, and recorded the highest temperatures yet detected near tiger stripe-like fissures on the icy moon's southern pole. (source : LiveScience)

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