A team of scientists on Jupiter’s fourth largest moon in Europe may have pockets of water inside its snow – covered surface that could support life.
A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States used satellite images of features on the moon’s frozen surface to model their age and size.
Scientists speculate that these features are pockets of liquid water within a 15-mile-thick ice sheet that lasted a few thousand years before the rejuvenation.
They stressed that NASA’s “Multi-Overlight Mission around Europe”, which will be launched in 2024, can detect these water pockets that are viable and currently have microbial life.
The European gas company Jupiter is said to be the fourth largest moon, and is believed to have a liquid ocean 100 miles below its frozen surface.
There is evidence of the latest geological formations within the 15-mile-thick frozen crust, with small, dark, dome-like features one mile below the surface.
Using numerical simulations, the team found that these features have the relatively short-lived shoals currently found in ice caps.
Although no organisms have yet been discovered, the team explained that these water pockets, which are within the vast cryosphere, are suitable for microbial life.
Scientist Chase Severs and his colleagues designed pockets for images of NASA’s Galileo spacecraft that explored Jupiter in the 1990s and 2000s.
The dark spots in some of the pockets found on the surface of the Europa moon are associated with salt in the Earth’s interior, which is believed to retain liquid water and slow down the freezing process.
Sivers predicts that there may be hundreds of these liquid waters across the surface of the moon today.
“We think there’s still shallow water beneath some of these features,” Sivers told the new scientist, adding that this could explain the appearance of glows on the moon’s surface, which was previously thought to have come from the ocean.
Mark Fox Powell of the Open University of the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study, told The New Scientist that if there were pockets, they could be home to life.
“If there is life in the ocean, it will melt into ice and then melt again, which will lead to the beginning of life,” he explained, “but it will be a” ruined society “and it will freeze again.
It is believed that the so-called “Europe-Clipper”, which is scheduled to launch in 2024, will be able to find bags very close to the lunar surface.
The spacecraft will reach the moon in 2030 and will use radar to search beneath the surface and an analyzer to study dust from the moon in blooms.
According to the team, if these worms develop from these bags, they may find evidence of microbial life in the dust.
The full results of the study were recently published in the journal JGR Planets.
Source: Daily Mail