The Oceans of Europa may be Habitable - Astronomy News with The Cosmic Companion June 24, 2020

The oceans of Europa could have conditions favoring the development of life, a new NASA study suggests.

A new study of the oceans of Europa suggest oceans on that giant moon may be habitable. But is there life?

By James Maynard

The oceans of Europa create an intricate series of cracks along the surface of this moon of Jupiter. What other secrets might this extraterrestrial ocean hold? Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Seti Institute

The oceans of Europa may be habitable, according to a new model developed by NASA. This moon — 3,100 km (1,900 miles) in diameter — is the fourth-largest moon orbiting Jupiter. Although smaller than our own Moon, Europa is larger than Pluto.

The Voyager and Galileo spacecraft revealed images and data from Europa revealing vast storehouses of water beneath the surface of the giant moon. However, the chemical makeup of these extraterrestrial oceans remain uncertain. Using information collected during the Galileo mission, researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory simulated conditions beneath these alien seas.

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