Updated: Is There Life in Europa’s Huge Ocean?

“Probably the best chance of finding current life in our solar system right now would be on Europa.”

- Richard Greenberg, Ph.D., Univ. of Arizona

Click for podcast.

Click for podcast.

The icy surface of Europa is cracked like an egg from the tug and pull of Jupiter's gravitational stretching. Below the ice is a 100-miles-deep liquid water ocean and new data indicates more oxygen than expected reaches that ocean from the icy surface. Water plus oxygen could mean life there right now. Image from Galileo spacecraft, 1995 - 2003, by JPL, NASA and Ted Stryk.
The icy surface of Europa is cracked like an egg from the tug and pull of Jupiter's gravitational stretching. Below the ice is a 100-miles-deep liquid water ocean and new data indicates more oxygen than expected reaches that ocean from the icy surface. Water plus oxygen could mean life there right now. Image from Galileo spacecraft, 1995 - 2003, by JPL, NASA and Ted Stryk.
NASA released this image of Europa as true color of the moon's icy surface full of cracks. The slightly reddish tint of the surface cracks is still a mystery, but the hypothesis is that sulfur compounds are responsible. Image courtesy NASA/JPL.
NASA released this image of Europa as true color of the moon's icy surface full of cracks. The slightly reddish tint of the surface cracks is still a mystery, but the hypothesis is that sulfur compounds are responsible. Image courtesy NASA/JPL.

Updated November 2, 2009, with podcast and Europa book information at end of report from Tucson, Arizona - There is a moon in our solar system that is about the size of Earth's moon, but beneath its icy surface is a liquid water ocean 100 miles deep. That moon is Europa, one of 49 known moons that orbit Jupiter, of which Europa, Io, Ganymede and Callisto are the largest.

Subscribe now to read this report.

Existing members, login below:


© 1998 - 2018 by Linda Moulton Howe.
All Rights Reserved.