July 25
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Scientists have discovered a planet where life could exist, reports The Observer

It is a tiny world, only 310 miles (about 499 km) in diameter, and was considered until recently to be one of the least interesting moons in the solar system.

But Enceladus, one of 146 moons that orbit Saturn, has become a hot astronomical attraction; scientists have discovered that it offers one of the best prospects of finding life on another world in our solar system.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced it has begun planning a mission to take a robot probe across a billion miles of space to investigate.

It will be an extraordinarily taxing project. Apart from the colossal distance the probe will have to travel, it will need huge reserves of fuel to maneuver itself into orbit around Enceladus and then land on the ice-coated surface.

Nevertheless, the prospect of studying the little moon is enticing for astronomers who have discovered that Enceladus—first observed by William Herschel in 1789—possesses geysers that regularly erupt from its surface and spray water into space.

Even more astonishing, these plumes contain complex organic compounds, including propane and ethane.

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