FEB 20, 2018 8:33 PM PST

Could We Survive On Enceladus or Titan?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Enceladus and Titan are two moons from our solar system that exhibit potentially-habitable conditions. On the other hand, we haven't studied them thoroughly enough to discern whether they sport any extraterrestrial life.

Cassini spent a lot of time exploring the Saturnine system, and that just so happens to be where both Enceladus and Titan reside. During its many fly-bys, planetary scientists received heaps of data. Some of that data hinted at sub-surface oceans and life-supporting molecules, among other things.

The Cassini probe came with a hitchhiker better known as the Huygens lander, and scientists sent it on a crash course with Titan's surface to learn more about it. Surprisingly, Titan's environment had a lot in common with Earth's, apart from its nippy temperature. That said, humans might have what it takes to survive there with minimal effort.

The circumstances surrounding Enceladus are a bit more mysterious. Rather than surface-based hints, the moon's surface might be concealing the details we want to know. Liquid jets were spewing from cracks in Enceladus' surface and hint toward the idea of a sub-surface ocean that we can't observe directly. On the other hand, sampling performed by Cassini during fly-by sweeps revealed life-friendly compounds in those jets.

Many questions remain about Enceladus and Titan, but with the Cassini mission now over, we won't be able to answer them until we send a new exploration mission to the outer solar system.

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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