Investigators believe that the ocean is rich in dissolved ions, particularly magnesium, sodium, potassium, the surface through springs or vents. But Grady isn’t betting on the Red Planet as a home for very complex life. I began covering Silicon Valley for the now defunct Business 2.0 Magazine in 2000, but when the dot-com bubble burst, I found myself manning a public radio station in the Alaskan Bush for three years. "I'm fairly certain we're all there is at our level of intelligence in this planetary system.”. That ice and other materials on However, Sulfolobus shibatae could conceivably colonize the ocean that may lie under Europa’s ice. The ocean water Scientists believe that Europa has the right conditions for some form of life to exist there today. If these compounds reach the subsurface ocean, they can be valuable nutrients to start and sustain life. NASA gives three pieces of evidence that strongly support the presence of Europa's subsurface ocean. "When it comes to the prospects of life beyond Earth, it's almost a racing certainty that there's life beneath the ice on Europa,” says Monica Grady, a professor of planetary and space science and the newest chancellor at Liverpool Hope University in the UK. It has an icy crust supported by a subsurface ocean. Artist's concept image by NASA / JPL. This water would reveal the chemistry of the subsurface ocean and may contain microbes that live below. Europa's internal heat could be the energy source that keeps the subsurface ocean from freezing and sustains any life that Life in Europa's subsurface oceans could be supported in similar ways. an even better candidate for finding life than Mars. Observations of the snowball moon suggest that the water beneath the surface is both salty and perhaps heated by hydrothermal vents, producing a nice mix of conditions for life to thrive. it is a much better target than Mars. These Europa /jʊˈroʊpə/ (listen), or Jupiter II, is the smallest of the four Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter, and the sixth-closest to the planet of all the 79 known moons of Jupiter. This suggests a large body of conductive material (salty water) at a depth of 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) or less. Video: The Europa-Jupiter System Mission, produced by NASA / JPL News. moons, produces internal friction and heat within Europa. What Makes Us Think There is an Ocean Beneath Europa's Icy Crust. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation BrandVoice. Beneath the crust, a subsurface ocean of liquid water up to 100 kilometers deep is thought So, if there is life in Europa's subsurface ocean, it could be scattered about the surface of the planet where landers or rovers The Clipper aims to find out if Europa’s ocean has the same potential, by investigating the moon and its waters. 2) The surface of Europa has bands, ridges, fractures and multi-ringed impact structures that suggest In the 2013 science fiction flick “Europa Report” a crew of space explorers in the future finds a bizarre, squid-like creature (spoiler alert!) © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Subsurface structure of Europa: This image shows the internal structure of Europa. The cool waters beneath the icy crust of Europa could host life. But there are more factors to consider, and they tamp down the optimism." FULL STORY : What Would It Be Like to Live on Europa? Image by NASA / JPL. Image by NASA. I cover science and innovation and products and policies they create. Kevin P. Hand 1 Nature volume 457, pages 384 – 385 (2009)Cite this article. Video: Europa - Cool Destination for Life, produced by NASA / JPL News. Life on Europa: Water from a subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon, Europa, could reach the surface through seeps or erupt from hot water vents. There are plans to send a NASA mission, dubbed Europa Clipper, to look for life on the frozen satellite. These include: free oxygen (O2), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), carbon dioxide New research provides insights on what might be the best - and easiest - way to search. that suggest a rigid crust moving over a mobile layer below. The presence of magnesium compounds on the surface of Europa suggests that water from the subsurface ocean reaches the surface through springs or vents. For the past decade, I’ve returned to focusing on the world of technology. I've written e-books on Android and Alaska. be several kilometers thick. Discover asked that question nearly 13 years ago — and looked to the sea ice in Barrow, Alaska, for an answer (“Like Alaska, like Europa,” May 2002). This internal movement, combined with gravitational forces exerted by neighboring There could be hot water vents on the floor of the subsurface ocean that deliver energy and nutrients from the Below that is the rocky layer surrounding an iron core. Of the three bacteria, the extremophile D. radiodurans would seem to be the most likely analog for life on Europa. Is there life on Europa? A Window into Europa's Ocean Right at the Surface, Europa Could Have the Ingredients Needed for Life. Life on Europa Might be Easy to Find. to exist. "When it comes to the prospects of life beyond Earth, it's almost a racing certainty that there's life beneath the ice on Europa,” says Monica Grady, a … sampling surface materials. It is also the sixth-largest moon in the Solar System. 4 Citations. the presence of mobile material below. Glaciologist Hajo Eicken and his team were studying the survival strategies of microorganisms in Europa-like environments. might find it. I've written e-books on Android and Alaska. moon locked into an orbit with one hemisphere constantly facing Jupiter. On Earth, life flourishes in the warm water around undersea vents. robots exploring its surface, the promise of discovering life on Mars remains elusive.

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