Contains Enceladus water like earth
Hot water in the depths of the Enceladus
The small Saturn moon Enceladus sprays high fountains of water vapor and ice crystals into space and thus feeds the extensive E-ring of the gas planet. The water comes from a salty ocean that lies deep under the ice at the south pole of the moon.
Nanoparticles made of silicon dioxide, which the dust detector of the Cassini probe recently measured, show that temperatures of 90 to perhaps over 200 degrees Celsius and alkaline pH values prevail at the bottom of the sea.
Areas at the bottom of terrestrial oceans, in which comparable conditions prevail, are considered by many researchers as places of origin of life. That is why astrobiologists are now directing their interest to the moon far from the sun.
Nature has built strange towers deep beneath the waves of the Atlantic: They rise up to 60 meters above the sea floor and are reminiscent of the abandoned skyscrapers of a sunken city. Only diving robots and submarines reach this place 4,500 meters below the surface of the sea, where the beam of light from their headlights breaks through the eternal darkness and falls on all kinds of animals that thrive here.
Snails, crabs and mussels populate the hydrothermal field "Lost City" in the Atlantis massif, a submarine mountain range of the mid-Atlantic ridge that lies at 30 degrees north latitude. The alleged structures are made of lime and are in truth hydrothermal vents from which hot, mineral-rich water emerges from the seabed. This exotic place has only been known since 2000, and the I-Max film "Aliens of the Deep" subsequently made it known to a wider audience.
This article is featured in Spectrum of Science June 2015
In the meantime, planetary researchers have also become aware of the bizarre biotope. The latest results show that "Lost City" resembles an extraterrestrial world in terms of its physical and chemical environmental conditions: the bottom of the ocean, which the Cassini space probe discovered in the depths of Saturn's moon Enceladus. ...
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