Smivs writes: "The
that an ocean may not be the source of the jets emanating from Saturn's moon
Research questions the moon's promise as a target in the search for life beyond Earth and has stirred controversy.
A chemical analysis of Enceladus, led by University of Colorado planetary scientist Nick Schneider, failed to detect sodium, an element scientists say should be in a body of water that has had billions of years of contact with rock. Spectral analysis with the Keck Telescope found no sodium in the plumes or in the vapour that's in orbit around the moon.
At stake is whether Saturn's moon could support alien life and is a worthy target for a US space agency (Nasa) exploratory mission to detect it. Such a mission to Enceladus is one of four currently under review for further development."