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Space

Enceladus "Sea" Mystery Deepens 166

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

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