What's in the ocean of the moon Europa?

13. 06. 2022


Using the Keck II telescope and the OSIRIS spectrometer in the Mauna Kea Mountains of Hawaii, scientists from Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have discovered what lies beneath the frozen surface of Jupiter's moon Europa.

It seems to be a true story.

The oceans in Europe are very similar to those on Earth, said Mike Brown, a scientist at Caltech. He is the co-author of a book on the Jupiter satellite. Beneath the thick layer of ice (yes, it's frozen water) is a massive liquid ocean of salt water and other chemicals, which, given geological activity and energy supply, could contain life, scientists believe.

Using state-of-the-art technology to analyze the reflection of sunlight from the surface of Europe, Brown and his colleagues have been able to find out that some of the materials that have been present here for decades are salts found under ice crust.

"There is evidence that the oceans have a very similar composition to ours," said Brown. "We know there's a nice place to live there."

Since NASA's Galileo probe visited Europe and other parts of our solar system between 1989 and 2003, scientists have speculated that the moon's surface is made up of salt and other chemicals. But they have not been able to confirm it yet. Brown likened the whole situation to a fingerprint, on which we can observe from a distance the unique twists and loops that each person has.

Today's technology gives researchers the best images of the chemical composition of the moon. There are salt, sulfur and magnesium - all these elements are found on Earth.

Brown joked that if we could send a microphone on the surface and listen to the sounds of whales, it would be better to send something that picks up soil samples.

"We have the technology to do that," Brown said. "Europa acts like a fist to the eye with this huge amount of water."

Jupiter Europa's moon has more water than Earth and possibly more water than any body in our solar system.

It is also a fact that nearby is Jupiter's other moon Io, which is constantly spewing sulfur into space. Much of this will fall on the moon Europa at speeds of up to 251 Mm / h. According to Brown, this gives Europa the energy it needs.

As for Jupiter's Moon Moon, it's the best way to learn something new.


Source: Los Angeles Times, Science

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