If Europa has water, will we find life there?
I already included a post on Europa that is more recent than this one, but Space.com does such a good job with videos, I had to add it … if for no other reason than to get you a couple links to their site so you can see these and more.
The project to get to Jupiter’s moon Europa won’t happen until about 2025 if sufficient funds are approved, but they are off to a good start.
If liquid water is found below the frozen surface, the belief is that we could still have life … possibly even like what we see in Earth’s oceans near thermal vents.
You can watch just the video, or you can see that video and read a great article at http://www.space.com/27854-jupiter-moon-europa-amazing-photo.html
Either way, it is well worth the visit
The original photos of Europa were collected by the Galileo spacecraft, which explored Jupiter and its moons from orbit in the 1990s. NASA officials reprocessed Galileo’s data using modern imaging techniques that improved on an enhanced-color view of Europa the agency created in 2001. The new photo, released on Nov. 21, shows the largest proportion of Europa’s surface at the highest images resolution, NASA officials said.
NASA released the picture as the agency pushes forward with plans to explore Europa in the coming decades, based on the theory that there is water lurking underneath the moon’s icy shell. That water could host life, under the right conditions, scientists have said. [Europa: Jupiter’s Icy Moon Explained (Infographic)]
“The story of life on Earth may have begun in our oceans, and that’s because – of course – if we’ve learned anything about life on Earth, it’s that where you find the liquid water, you generally find life,” Kevin Hand, an astrobiologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a new video about Europa.
…… “Hidden beneath Europa’s icy surface is perhaps the most promising place in our solar system beyond Earth to look for present-day environments that are suitable for life,” NASA officials wrote in a statement. “The Galileo mission found strong evidence that a subsurface ocean of salty water is in contact with a rocky seafloor. The cycling of material between the ocean and ice shell could potentially provide sources of chemical energy that could sustain simple life forms.”Among NASA’s proposed missions to Jupiter’s icy moon is the Europa Clipper, a mission pegged to cost about $2 billion. It would orbit Jupiter and get more information about Europa’s ocean in a series of flybys. If funded, the mission would launch to space around 2025.