Earth’s deep ocean microbes could grow on Saturn’s moon


In Austria, scientists at the Universität Wien found that some microbes from the Japanese deep sea could be able to reproduce under the possible ice-moon conditions on Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, since they metabolize hydrogen and carbon dioxide and can withstand high temperatures and pressure. They were able to use methanogens that can metabolize H2 as an energy source and CO2 as an energy and carbon source to CH4 to investigate the possible conditions that presumably prevailed on Enceladus and then investigated the CH4 productivity of the methanogens.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft explored the Saturn system for several years and found that plumes of gas and particles erupt from geysers in the South pole steming from a global liquid ocean underneath the moon’s crust which could create chemical compounds that support life.