It appears that Saturn’s moon Enceladus has a liquid water ocean.
This was an unexpected surprise for me – I was under the impression our only shot at seeing life outside of Earth was going to be on Europa. But to see another ocean on yet another world in our solar system?
That’s freaking awesome.
Why? Because if those two oceans have similar conditions to our early world, then we’ve got the potential for life three times in just this one solar system.
There are three hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone, and best estimates peg there being about 50 billion planets in the galaxy. That is an enormous number. And here we’d be, showing life on three out of eight (maybe more, if we discover fossil remnants or extremophiles on Mars, or strange forms in the clouds of Jupiter or Saturn).
So even if we manage to cook off all the life on this planet and turn our once-beautiful blue home into a Venusian shit-hole, there might still one day be a chance for a something or a someone to appreciate the beauty of seeing the stars.