Europa is one of Jupiter’s moons, one of the few worlds in the solar system that could support conditions suitable for life
09 October 2023 – 11:33
NASA’s James Webb Telescope continues to surprise the world with its discoveries. This time, he discovered signals that could confirm the possibility of life on Jupiter’s moon Europa.
According to jwst.nasa.govThe space observatory had found a source of carbon on the surface of the moon in question.
It was also highlighted that Europa – one of the largest moons in the solar system, discovered by Galileo in 1610 – “is one of the few worlds in our solar system that could harbor conditions suitable for life.”
NASA explains that, thanks to previous research, it has been proven that “underneath its icy water crust there is a salty ocean of liquid water with a rocky sea floor. However, planetary scientists have not confirmed whether this ocean contains the chemicals necessary for life, especially carbon.” .
The astronomers behind Webb have likely found traces of carbon in Europa’s chaotic terrain known as Tara Reggio and Powys Reggio.
“The surface ice in these regions has been altered, and there may have been a relatively recent exchange of materials between the subsurface ocean and the icy surface. Carbon, a universal component of life as we know it, likely originated in Europa’s ocean.” This discovery indicates the existence of a habitable environment in the salty ocean beneath the surface of this moon.
Thehill.com explains that this moon of Jupiter has already been closely examined in recent years, especially by the Galileo probe, which orbited Jupiter between 1995 and 2003.
“This discovery has important implications for the habitability of Europa’s vicinity. The Moon appears mostly blue because it is brightest at shorter infrared wavelengths,” NASA’s website highlights this new discovery.
The presence of carbon dioxide is further evidence that the underground ocean of this moon could become a home for life. Carbon is the basis of all life on Earth, as NASA indicates on the aforementioned site.
According to the article on thehill.com, the European Space Agency launched the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) last April, and it is expected to enter Jupiter’s space in July 2031.
NASA, for its part, plans to launch Europa Clipper in October 2024, with a planned arrival at Jupiter in April 2030.
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