Researchers from Freie Universität Berlin have discovered phosphorous in the subsurface ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
The search for extraterrestrial life in our solar system has just taken a giant leap forward. A team of researchers led by Professor Frank Postberg, a planetary scientist at Freie Universität Berlin, has discovered new evidence that the subsurface ocean of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus contains a key building block for life. The international research team used data from the Cassini space mission to detect phosphorus in the form of phosphates in ice particles – originating from the moon’s ice-covered global ocean – that had been ejected into space by the moon’s cryo-volcanic plume. The study was published in the scientific journal Nature on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. It is available to read here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-05987-9; and free of charge on the Institute of Geological Sciences at Freie Universität Berlin’s website.