The future is space, there is no doubt about it. Even if we don’t see it, one day space exploration will become a reality. It is therefore important to know whether there are habitable places in the universe. And that they are of course not infinitely far away. Europe is one of Jupiter’s moons. It has an inland ocean. Is Jupiter’s moon habitable? Apparently yes.
The inland ocean
A new model from NASA scientists supports the theory. The inland ocean on the moon Europe could save life. They calculate that this water could have arisen from the decomposition of hydrated minerals.
This work was presented on the Virtual Goldschmidt conference. Europe is one of the largest moons in the solar system. Scientists argue that the surface crust is floating in an underground ocean. The origin and composition of this ocean was not clear.
The main investigator is Mohit Melwani Daswani. He explains that they were able to model the composition of the core, the silicate layer and the ocean. “We found that different minerals at different depths and temperatures lose water and volatiles. We add these volatile substances that are estimated to be lost from within. They are probably present in the ocean, “he adds.
This ocean would have been slightly acidic originally. It would have high levels of carbon dioxide, calcium and sulfate.
Similar to land seas
“It was thought that this ocean could still be quite sulphurous,” says Melwani. However, our simulations suggest that the water was likely to be high in chloride. “” Its composition was more like that of the Earth’s oceans. “This would indicate that Jupiter’s moon is habitable.
“It is one of our best ways to find life in our solar system. NASA’s Europa Clipper mission will be launched in the coming years. Our work will examine the habitability of Europe. However, he admits that we still need to understand a few points. Like the way liquids travel through the rocky interior of Europe.
The researchers are trying to find out whether the seabed volcanoes may have contributed to the development of chlorine-rich water in Europe. NASA recently released new high-resolution photos of Europe. They show possible exploration sites to test these results.
With a diameter of 3,100 kilometers, Europe is slightly smaller than the earth’s moon. Europe orbits Jupiter about 780 million km from the sun. The surface temperature never rises above minus 160 degrees. The sea temperature is still unknown.