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NASA found that one of Saturn's moons has nearly all the ingredients necessary for life


UPDATE 2:06 p.m. EST:

NASA revealed that Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, contains almost all of the necessary ingredients for life, during a Thursday press conference.

While the researchers did not find life itself, they found that the gas plumes on Enceladus contained hydrogen gas, which serves as food for microbes on Earth. Organic compounds and water have already been found there, USA Today reports.

Enceladus is rising to the top of habitable places that exist in the solar system.
Hunter Waite, Southwestern Research Institute

Hunter Waite of the Southwestern Research Institute, co-author of a new study about the finding, said the only key ingredients needed for life as we know it missing on Enceladus were sulfur and phosphorous. But with water, hydrogen gas and organic compounds, it looks much more promising.

ORIGINAL STORY: NASA will announce new findings about the "search for life beyond Earth" and about oceans on other planets in our solar system at a press conference Thursday afternoon. 

Details have been scarce so far, but the agency said the discoveries would inform "future ocean world exploration," including an upcoming mission to Europa. The moon of Jupiter is a popular destination among those looking for new places for humans to live, since it is widely believed to have abundant ice and water. 

This Jan. 26, 2014 image provided by NASA shows a composite image of possible water plumes on the south pole of Jupiter's moon Europa. Europa is among several moons in the solar system where evidence of an underground ocean has been discovered in recent years. The Hubble data were taken on January 26, 2014. The image of Europa, superimposed on the Hubble data, is assembled from data from the Galileo and Voyager missions. (NASA via AP)

The briefing will include data from the Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Saturn for almost 13 years. It's expected to go between Saturn and its rings later this month before exploding in the atmosphere, USA Today reports.

Here's the vague announcement tweet.

Where should you go to escape the cold?
Space is real cold.
Let's find out

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