Signs of life shooting from Saturn’s moon Enceladus would be detectable by spacecraft, scientists say

When NASA’s Cassini spacecraft turned its instruments to Saturn’s moon Enceladus, it observed plumes of ice shooting up from the moon’s surface at speeds of about 900 miles per hour (1,448 kilometers per hour). These geysers seemed to be the tendrils of a vast subsurface ocean — and made scientists curious if their fluid might carry life signs, organic molecules.

But if scientists want to study those organic molecules, they’ll need to find a careful way of collecting them without destroying them. There is now good news on that front: If one lab experiment is correct, then any possible amino acids in those geysers’ fluid are expected to  easily survive contact with a spacecraft.