Enceladus – UPSC Prelims

  • Enceladus is the sixth-largest moon of Saturn.
  • It is about a tenth of that of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
  • Enceladus is an active moon that hides a global ocean of liquid salty water beneath its crust.
  • NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has detected an unusually high concentration of methane along with carbon dioxide and dihydrogen in the moons of Saturn.
Possible Reasons for Methane on Enceladus:
  • A large amount of methane found on Enceladus is likely coming from activity at hydrothermal vents present on Enceladus’s interior seafloor.
  • These vents could be very similar to those found in Earth’s oceans, where microorganisms live, feed on the energy from the vents, and produce methane in a process called methanogenesis.
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