A vibrant and warm “cradle of life”, much like what happened on Earth, has been demonstrated on the mortal alien world, Europe.
Europa is a “giant block of ice” orbiting Jupiter, but NASA scientists have long believed that the ice is just a crust, beneath which lies an ocean full of life. Many studies have been deployed from outreach missions and also to support these missions, including research just published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
Joint work by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the University of Oxford (UK) and Hokkaido University (Japan) modeled existing data to explain how Europa’s icy shell may be rotating.
Europa, the “vital moon” of Jupiter
Europa, the “vital moon” of Jupiter – (Photo: NASA).
“When scientists compare images collected by Europa Clipper with images from Galileo and Voyager, they can check the position of ice surfaces to see if they have changed.” – said Dr. Hamish Hay from the University of Oxford.
Europe Clipper is a specialized ship to explore Europe, scheduled for launch by NASA in 2024 and with the additional mission of searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Meanwhile, Galileo is a ship exploring Jupiter, while Voyager is tasked with understanding the isolated region at the edge of the solar system.
According to Sci-News, they concluded that this rotation is controlled by the dynamics of the subsurface ocean, which also proves that this subsurface ocean is very similar to the Earth’s ocean.
Previous studies have shown that Europa’s ocean is heated from below due to tidal heating and radioactive decay of the rocky interior, while being cooled from the outside by the frozen surface.
The new model shows what this must entail convectionwhereby heat is carried up and down by currents of hot and cold water.
These water currents create alternating east-west ocean currents. On the ocean surface, ocean currents exert friction on the ice and cause the crust to rotate.
Conversely, the rotation of the ice crust also helps to direct the water currents of the underground ocean, making them move in the East – West or West – East direction.
This discovery not only surprised scientists with how a subterranean ocean could affect the ice shells of moons and planets with similar patterns, but also led to a better understanding of the oceans beneath the ice shells.
It also helps reveal more about Europa’s geological history, guiding NASA and its partners on their journey of world exploration that should help them encounter extraterrestrial life for the first time. It will also be an excellent base for research on other ocean worlds, including many exoplanets with structures similar to those discovered by NASA.
Article source: NLD
If there is an error with the article Spectacular new evidence for ‘world of life outside planet’, or if the content is incorrect, please contact us so we can correct it.
There is a “place called the cradle of life”, a place full of excitement and warmth, just like what is happening on Earth, and this has been proven to a…