Europa is one of the smallest moons among all 4 Galilean moon (Lo, Ganymede and Callisto) orbiting around Jupiter. Astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered the first of Jupiter moons around 400 years ago.
Recent searches have found that there can be an evolvement of life and that’s why the search of existence of life typically revolve around the Jupiter’s moon Europa that it could be the best bet to find the habitat.
According to NASA’s Researchers, the subsurface ocean can be habitable of life. The surface of the Europa is all covered with icy shells and According to the researchers, there is an ocean under the icy shells which could have the potential of the evolvement of life.
Scientists have found a new theory according to which the ocean’s water came from the water-rich minerals which released their water because of heating caused by the radioactive decay of the satellite’s core. Europa gravitational interaction with Jupiter-giant planet in the solar system and all the moon has played a vital role.
Europa is 31,000 km in diameter which makes it smaller than Earth’s moon but slightly bigger than the Pluto. Europa’s distance from the sun is nearly 485 million miles and estimated to be nearly 4.5 billion years old. Europa is Jupiter’s sixth satellite. Many spacecraft have done flybys of Europa including Pioneer, Voyagers and Galileo Spacecraft which around Jupiter through which scientist have discovered the oceans could be under the ice surface and the composition is not clear till now.
The scientists have found that this ocean would originally not as much acidic as they initially thought, and along with high concentrations of carbon dioxide, calcium and sulfate. It was thought that this ocean could still be rather sulfuric” said Mohit Melwani Daswani, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet. According to researchers they have seen the traces of chloride on Europa’s Surface which suggests that the water will become chloride rich which implies the Europa’s Ocean could be same as Earth’s Ocean and could support life.
Using the data of Galileo mission the lead researcher Mohit Melwani Daswani, has said “We were able to model the composition and physical properties of the core, silicate layer, and ocean. We find that different minerals lose water and volatiles at different depths and temperatures.”
He also said that the Europa is one of the best bet to find the habitat in the solar system .And this theory could be also the possibility of Saturn’s moon Titan to be formed by the same process as Jupiter Moon Europa. He also told about the further missions NASA’s Europa Clipper mission will launch a few years later, whose aim is to find the habitat in Jupiter moon Europa.
Obviously, some questions are still unanswered could life be possible on Europa or could the cold moon could ever melt the rock or the still we are unknown by ocean temperature. But all these answers may be given by the Europa mission a few years later.
The press was released on 24 June by Astrobiology.com.