Is There Alien Life in the Solar System? – The Science Quiz

Unraveling the Secrets of Life beyond Earth: A Look at Titan, Io, Ceres and Enceladus

Titan, a moon of Saturn, is the only planetary body other than Earth to have a complete cycle of liquid on its surface. However, unlike water on Earth, Titan’s liquid is made of hydrocarbons, raising the possibility of hosting life on this moon. Scientists believe that the heat generated by the radioactive decay of rock in Triton’s interior keeps its mantle, made of water, in a liquid state, potentially providing conditions for life to exist.

The Jovian moon known as Io is the most geologically active planetary body in the Solar System. This constant activity makes it unlikely for life to exist on this moon, but not impossible, as the warmth generated by its geological processes could potentially support life.

Data collected between 2015 and 2018 suggested that the largest asteroid in the Solar System, Ceres, may have a large subsurface ocean of water. While the evidence is still weak, it is believed that very salty water could flow to the surface of Ceres, potentially containing microbial life.

NASA spacecraft have discovered that Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, may contain an underground water ocean. This moon also ejects plumes of salt water and organic molecules from its subsurface through the ice shell into space, hinting at the possibility of life on Enceladus. The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) spacecraft is set to reach Jupiter in 2031 to study Ganymede and Callisto for signs of life.

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