Jupiter’s Moon Europa May Have Water – Study
Paris – Subterranean pools of salty water may be commonplace on Jupiter’s moon, Europa, according to researchers who believe the sites could be promising spots to search for signs of life beyond Earth.
Europa has long been a candidate for finding life in our solar system due to its vast ocean, which is widely thought to contain an ocean of liquid water; a key ingredient for life. The ocean is predicted to be buried 25-30 kilometers beneath the moon’s icy shell.
However water could be closer to the surface than previously thought, according to new research published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.
The finding came after geophysicists studying an ice sheet in Greenland watched a presentation about Europa and spotted a feature they recognized.
They realized that the M-shaped icy crests on Greenland looked like smaller versions of double ridges on Europa, which are the most common feature on the Galilean moon.
Europa’s double ridges were first photographed by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the 1990s, but little was known about how they were formed.
Two space missions are scheduled to launch in 2024 and arrive in 2030 to study the moons of Jupiter.