NASA Discovers Water Vapors On Jupiter’s Moon Europa


NASA has confirmed what has long been suspected. New evidence shows that one of Jupiter's Galilean moons-- Europa, has water. It should be noted that NASA scientists haven't discovered water directly, but in the form of water vapor. NASA has been searching for extraterrestrial life in outer space for years now and the evidence could confirm it.

NASA Discovers Water Vapors On Jupiter’s Moon Europa


Out of the numerous planets and probable habitable places, Jupiter's Europa had become a high-priority target to search for life. The fresh evidence of water vapor has further confirmed what NASA has so long been suspicious of.

Water Vapor On Jupiter's Europa

Europa has some of the best factors for life evolution. For instance, the moon has the smoothest surface in the entire Solar System, which scientists hypothesized as liquid water in the subsurface ocean. Scientists further speculated that it has been above the freezing level by tidal flexing from Jupiter. The hypothesis further evaluates that the tidal flexing keeps water in liquid form and creates ice plate movements, just like Earth's tectonic plates.

The water vapor was formed when the Europa's cold and brittle ice-shelled outer portion, about 20-30 km thick moved interior into the warmer shell. The entire cold shell was ultimately subsumed, the scientists say. "A low-relief subsumption band was created at the surface in the overriding plate, alongside which cryolavas may have erupted," notes NASA's Noah Kroese.


Jupiter Europa Could Have Life

The NASA scientists next studied the brown splotches on the Europa's surface. It is now believed that the chemicals from the subsurface ocean have made their way to the top layer of the lunar surface. This is an important factor when studying about habitability as it indicates the oceanic floor could be interacting with the top surface.

However, to gather more information, NASA will require more time. NASA is already working on the Europa Clipper, a lander to explore Jupiter's moon. Even if the lander reaches Europa successfully, there are other challenges like extreme radiation from Jupiter. Currently, NASA's Juno took five years to reach Jupiter. So even if the Europa Clipper launches next year, further information will beam back only a decade later.

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