NASA scientists claim that life can exist in the oceans of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Jupiter and Saturn are among NASA’s target for human exploration missions. Both of these planets have natural satellites that contain life in water. Scientists believe the origin of this water goes back to the ocean under the ice shells of the planet.
This formation of the oceans may be a result of the breakdown of water-containing minerals due to radioactive decay and tidal resistance. This research work is a result of peer-review as of now. However, the research was a part of the virtual Goldschmidt conference. NASA has launched the Europa clipper mission which aims at finding the presence of life in the underlying oceans of the moon of NASA.
In our solar system, the top candidates in our search for life have something in common.
— NASA Solar System (@NASASolarSystem) June 18, 2020
NASA finds oceans in a Moon of Jupiter
Europa is one of the largest moons of the giant gas planet. The Voyager and Galileo spacecraft, have observed that the surface crust floats on a subsurface ocean. The origins and compositions of this ocean are not very clear at this moment. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory is currently researching on this water body to determine the presence of life in this water body.
Mohit Melwani Daswani, study leader, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, says the availability of liquid water is the first step to habitability. In addition, the chemical exchange between the ocean and the rocky interior in Jupiter’s Moon may have been significant in the past so potential life may have been able to use chemical energy to survive. Daswani said microbes akin to certain Earth bacteria that use carbon dioxide for energy could have survived using ingredients available in Europa’s early ocean. NASA has also found other places where aliens may be present.
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Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.