Enceladus is just one of more than 60 confirmed moons orbiting the giant, ringed planet Saturn.
But it is a very special moon, unlike any of the other 59.
Since 2004, when NASA’s Cassini spacecraft began orbiting Saturn, scientists have made some remarkable discoveries about this distant, icy world.
Not only does Enceladus contain a vast underground ocean beneath its icy surface, but it could harbour hydrothermal vents on its ocean floor that are generating similar conditions to where life might have originated on Earth.
And that’s just the beginning!
Earlier this week, Cassini took a detour to fly extremely close to Enceldus — just 30 miles above the surface. The epic flyby could sniff out compelling evidence for the possibility of life. Scientists are now analysing the data to see what Cassini found.
While we wait, the designers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory compiled eight amazing facts about Enceladus that they say should make it “the next target in our search for worlds where extraterrestrial life could exist.”
Check out what we know, so far, below:
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