Is there life outside the Earth? We don’t know, but experts will soon find out. There is a lot of effort in answering the question and the most likely (and especially the easiest) place to find it is Europe, not our beautiful continent, but the moon of Jupiter.
According to a new model, the oceans located in the subsoil of the satellite they should be able to sustain life. Processes such as radioactive decay or tidal forces produce enough heat to – most likely – allow the water to remain liquid on the frozen moon, where surface temperatures never exceed -140 degrees Celsius.
NASA will launch a mission to Europe in 2024 and scientists are trying to figure out how to look for signs of life. Most of their research focuses on the origin of water. “We were able to model the composition and physical properties of the core, the silicate layer and the ocean», Explain the researchers.
Based on previous research, experts know that Europe is salty, which suggests that its oceans are quite similar to those of Earth. A simulation of the researchers also modeled the composition of the ocean over time and found that at the beginning of its history it may have been slightly acidic, like that of our planet, with high concentrations of carbon dioxide, sulphate and calcium. “In other words, its composition is more like the oceans on Earth. We think this ocean could be habitable enough for life.“
More information is needed to find out about life, but scientists seem to be making great strides. “Europe is one of our best chances of finding life in our solar system. NASA’s Europa Clipper mission will be launched in the coming years, and our work therefore aims to prepare us for the mission, which will examine the habitability of Europa“Say the researchers.