In a study performed lately, a group of scientists, analyzing the old information concluded that Jupiter’s natural satellite Europa could possibly be the next world to search for the possibility of life in. The scientists involved in the study reportedly got clues of water on the surface of the moon.
Galileo, the spacecraft of NASA reportedly orbited the Jupiter moon in the year 1997 and brought back to the Earth many data regarding Europa. At a time during its orbit, the Galileo was at a distance of around two hundred kilometers over the moon’s surface. According to the data received, NASA observed a peculiar bent in the magnetic field of Europa. When the scientists now reexamined the data sent by Galileo, they got to understand that the bent detected earlier could be due to some active geyser present inside an underground ocean. According to the scientists, Galileo orbited via a water plume.
The planetary scientist, Elizabeth Turtle at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory said that the Jupiter moon, Europa has got many conditions that favor life to survive. Turtle said in a statement, “There’s water. There’s energy. There’s some amount of carbon material. But the habitability of Europa is one of the big questions that we want to understand.” Further, she added, “And one of the really exciting things about detection of a plume is that, that means there may be ways that the material from the ocean — which is likely the most habitable part of Europa because it’s warmer and it’s protected … to come out above the ice shell.”
In accordance with the new study, the oceans of Europa consist of 2 times more water as compared to the oceans on the Earth. The presence of a plume was confirmed by the Hubble Space Telescope of NASA which brought in clues of ultraviolet radiation in the year 2012. The observations of the new study were published in the Nature Astronomy journal.
As reported, the US space agency would take a much closer look at the Jupiter moon from its new spacecraft as part of the Europa Clipper mission. The new spacecraft of NASA would be launched at sometime in June 2022. As revealed by the space agency, this spacecraft would aim at scrutinizing the plumes thereby searching the existence of life in the ocean of Europa.
The Jupiter moon Europa is a bit smaller as compared to the moon of our planet. As predicted by the experts, the moon’s ocean could have a depth of near about one hundred fifty kilometers.