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Saturn moon 'may contain life'

world Updated: Feb 09, 2010 12:30 IST
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Scientists at NASA have claimed that Saturn's moon of Enceladus "may contain life", after they discovered new evidence suggesting presence of "liquid water" beneath its surface.

According to the scientists, the Cassini spacecraft flew through icy plumes created by ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon and detected negatively charged water molecules, in a clear sign an underground sea exists.

On Earth, this short-lived type of ion is produced where water is moving, such as in waterfalls or ocean waves.

If there is liquid water on Enceladus, the scientists believe that the Saturn's sixth-largest moon could have the conditions necessary to sustain life, British newspaper 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.

In fact, high-resolution images already taken by the Cassini spacecraft -- -- a project of Nasa, the European Space Agency and Italian Space Agency -- have shown the icy surface of Enceladus has a spreading Earth-like crust that has changed over time.

And, on Earth the spreading of the sea floor is driven by molten rock and the NASA scientists speculated the liquid beneath the south pole of Enceladus may be water.