From the BBC:
Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft has obtained strong evidence that Saturn’s tiny moon Enceladus retains liquid water.
The probe has detected sodium salts in the vicinity of the satellite, which appear to spew from its south pole.
Liquid water that is in prolonged contact with rock will leach out sodium – in exactly the same way as Earth’s oceans have become salty over time.
Scientists tell Nature magazine that the liquid water may reside in caverns just below the surface of the moon.
If confirmed, it is a stunning result. It means the Saturnian satellite may be one of the most promising places in the Solar System to search for signs of extraterrestrial life.
“We need three ingredients for life, as far as we know – liquid water, energy and the basic chemical building blocks – and we seem to have all three at Enceladus, including some fairly complex organic molecules,” commented John Spencer, a Cassini scientist from the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado.
“That’s not to say there is life on Enceladus but certainly the ‘feedstock’ is there for life to use if it does exist,” he told BBC News.