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Saturn’s moon Enceladus

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: Live Mint

 

Context: A new study reported that phosphorus, a key chemical element for many biological processes, has been found in icy grains emitted by Enceladus, the small moon of Saturn.

  • NASA’s Cassini space probe, which has been studying Saturn and its moons for 13 years, has made a significant discovery.

 

Significance:

  • This finding is significant because phosphorus is a crucial building block for DNA and is essential for life as we know it. The concentrations of phosphates in Enceladus’ ocean waters were found to be at least 100 times higher than those in Earth’s oceans.
  • This discovery suggests that the ocean on Enceladus could potentially support life and meets the strict requirements for life as we understand it.