Here’s my brief layperson’s summary after watching:
Both moons Enceladus (Saturn) and Europa (Jupiter) demonstrate evidence of huge oceans of liquid water protected by thick, icy crusts. The Cassini probe passed through water plumes emanating high above Enceladus’ icy crust. This water has been forced out of four long, deep cracks in the surface.
After analysis, the folks in the video above have discovered many chemicals within these Enceladus geysers (ammonia, carbon dioxide) but most importantly: Hydrogen they think might be coming from hydro-thermal vents on the rocky, ocean floor of Enceladus.
Or at least, with the current evidence and knowledge, this is a very plausible scenario.
So, there’s life on Earth without sunlight, deep on the ocean floors, near hydro-thermal vents where this process produces energy enough to sustain weird life forms we didn’t know existed before very recently.
There’s water geysering out of Europa’s icy crust from its ocean floor below.
There’s potentially time + interesting life-sustaining geochemistry + energy + a protected environment on both of these ocean worlds…so…hey….
There may be something really worth finding down there.
Next up: Sending better instruments to cruise through Europa’s geysers:
What’s next for #OceanWorlds? The Clipper mission will investigate the habitability of Jupiter’s moon #Europa! https://t.co/05TgVgjyy0 pic.twitter.com/lEypJ93o1h
— NASA Europa Clipper (@NASAEuropa) April 13, 2017