02 Jul Possible Alien Life on Europa – Jupiter’s Water Moon
Physical alien life may be in our solar system after all. NASA scientists have found new evidence of alien life on one of Jupiter’s moons—Europa located just 6 years away from Earth using current spacecraft. While analyzing the data collected in 1997 by Galileo spacecraft, scientists discovered that there is possibly a global ocean beneath its outside icy shell. NASA is currently discussing a new mission to Europa in 2022, which would be looking for the signs of alien life, alien microbes, and molecules that can support life. The spacecraft may even be able to land on the surface of Europa to get more answers.
1997 Mission to Europa
When Galileo spacecraft passed 125 miles over Europa’s surface, there was a small blip in the data measuring magnetism and plasma waves. A minor reading was unnoticed by the scientists until recently.
This data was lying there for 20 years because there was not enough technology to analyze the data. Now, this data confirms already existing evidence for Europa’s potential for alien life and its global ocean 100 kilometers deep.
The evidence from 1997’s mission showed water plumes coming from Europa’s surface. One plume was 620 miles across. This was also confirmed by images taken by Hubble Space Telescope in 2013.
In the future, a different spacecraft may fly closer to Europe’s surface with an attempt to fly through the plume collecting the needed data. Collecting plume samples will help the scientists understand Europa’s interior world and its capabilities to host alien life.
“If you had to summarize the scientific goal…I would say it is to understand Europa as a habitable world. Does it have the ingredients of life, are the conditions in the ocean that would promote the existence of life?” said Bill Kurth, a co-investigator on Galileo’s data.
“Bottom line, here’s a pristine place in the solar system that has liquid water—is it possible that life could have arisen there?” he concluded.
Alien Life on Jupiter’s Moon Europa
“We think Europa has the ingredients for life. Not just liquid water, but probably the right elements and chemical energy that might permit life, too,” told the new Europa’s project scientist Robert Pappalardo to Vox.
Europa is extremely cold with an icy exterior, but it is the liquid water interior layer that is drawing scientific attention. On Earth, liquid water is almost always a home for some kind of life. Europa might not be any different.
Europa’s ocean may be twice bigger than the Earth’s oceans. This is due to Jupiter’s tidal energy that is likely heating up the interior.
Liquid water combined with high-energy ions from Jupiter’s magnetic field and sulfur from volcanic activity on the other Jupiter’s moon Io, Europa has what it needs for life if the three mix together inside the ocean.
“Europa’s seafloor could potentially look somewhat similar to our own seafloor, with hydrothermal vents and geological activity,” said NASA scientist Kevin Hand.
This might mean single-cells organisms or diverse groups of animals different from the ones found in Earth’s oceans. It is hard to predict what life on Europa may look like, and there is no guarantee that it is there. However, the evidence is big, and the future mission to Europa, if passed after funding and negotiation, holds a lot of promise.
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