Water found on Enceladus

Boffins working on the Cassini space mission think they have spotted negatively charged water ions in the ice plume of Enceladus.

Cassini flew through the ice plume of the Saturnian moon in 2008 and took a sample.

Now boffins think that the negatively charged water indicates that there is liquid water and even the ingredients for life inside.

The Cassini plasma spectrometer, used to gather this data, also found other species of negatively charged ions including hydrocarbons.

Andrew Coates from University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory said that the short-lived ions are extra evidence for sub-surface water.

Where there is water, carbon and energy, some of the major ingredients for life are present.  Although the same really applies to a large malt whisky and and the last time  we saw one there was no intelligent life in it, although we will be continuing to experiment.

It is only on Earth, Titan and comets that negatively charged ions are known to exist in our  solar system. They tend to hang about where liquid water is moving.  A good place to spot them is a waterfall, beach or the men’s urinal at the “Rat and Handgun” at 11PM on a Saturday night.