There could be life on one of Saturn’s moons!

Though no sunlight reaches the moon Enceladus, there could be microbial life there, just like the microbial life on Earth that can exist without sunlight. On Earth, there are types of bacteria that can survive without absorbing oxygen or consuming photosynthetic life forms. These bacteria have existed for millions of years, before the Earth had the oxygen-rich atmosphere that it has today. They lived by consuming methane. These bacteria still exist today in volcanic rocks along the Columbia River. The ecosystem of Enceladus resembles those ecosystems.

Recently, researchers have discovered water ions in Enceladus. This suggests that there may be liquid water on the moon, lending further credibility to the idea that there is life on it.

You can read more about methanogenic bacteria in this NASA article. For more about the Cassini-Huygens mission that found water on Enceladus, read this article.

And while there may be life on Saturn’s moon, there’s no way there’s life on Saturn itself. The planet is less dense than water.

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