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What kind of life could exist on Europa?

What kind of life could exist on Europa?

The type of life that might inhabit Europa likely would not be powered by photosynthesis – but by chemical reactions. Europa’s surface is blasted by radiation from Jupiter. That’s a bad thing for life on the surface – it couldn’t survive. But the radiation may create fuel for life in an ocean below the surface.

Has anything landed on Europa?

Landing sites At Europa, it would have to land on the surface, matching its velocity, but with essentially no atmosphere there is no “entry”, it is just a descent and landing. The Planetary Society noted that NASA called this DDL — de-orbit, descent, and landing.

Is there oxygen on Europa?

Atmosphere: Europa does have an atmosphere, although tenuous. This atmosphere is composed solely of oxygen. Europa’s atmosphere is maintained by charged particles that hit its cold surface and produce water vapor.

Is the water on Europa drinkable?

The best places to look for life are where the ocean overlies warm rock. This may be the case inside Europa (Jupiter) and Enceladus (Saturn), but chemical reactions with the rock would make the liquid water salty, so not good to drink.

Can we breathe on Europa?

Europa has a thin oxygen atmosphere, but it is far too tenuous for humans to breathe. Europa’s magnetic field shields its surface from Jupiter’s deadly radiation.

How cold is it on Europa?

Europa’s surface temperature averages about 110 K (−160 °C; −260 °F) at the equator and only 50 K (−220 °C; −370 °F) at the poles, keeping Europa’s icy crust as hard as granite.

Is NASA going to Europa?

Europa Clipper (previously known as Europa Multiple Flyby Mission) is an interplanetary mission in development by NASA comprising an orbiter. Planned for launch in October 2024, the spacecraft is being developed to study the Galilean moon Europa through a series of flybys while in orbit around Jupiter.

How do we know Europa has oxygen?

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have identified the presence of an extremely tenuous atmosphere of molecular oxygen around Jupiter’s second moon, Europa. “If all the oxygen on Europa were compressed to the surface pressure of Earth’s atmosphere, it would fill only about a dozen Houston Astrodomes.

Can you breathe in Europa?

Is Earth the only planet with water?

Earth is the only known planet to have bodies of liquid water on its surface. In 2015, NASA confirmed that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Also in 2015, scientists used data from NASA’s Cassini mission to discover that a global ocean lies beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Could Europa have fish?

That amount of oxygen would be enough to support more than just microscopic life-forms: At least three million tons of fishlike creatures could theoretically live and breathe on Europa, said study author Richard Greenberg of the University of Arizona in Tucson. …

What is the most habitable moon?

The strongest candidates for natural satellite habitability are currently icy satellites such as those of Jupiter and Saturn—Europa and Enceladus respectively, although if life exists in either place, it would probably be confined to subsurface habitats.

Where does the life on Europa come from?

Life on Europa could exist clustered around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, or below the ocean floor, where endoliths are known to inhabit on Earth. Alternatively, it could exist clinging to the lower surface of Europa’s ice layer, much like algae and bacteria in Earth’s polar regions, or float freely in Europa’s ocean. [166]

What kind of energy does Europa have for life?

Europa’s Energy Source. This alternating increase and decrease of gravitational force on Europa results in the moon elongating and relaxing with each trip around the planet. This internal movement, combined with gravitational forces exerted by neighboring moons, produces internal friction and heat within Europa.

How does Europa’s subsurface ocean keep life alive?

Europa’s internal heat could be the energy source that keeps the subsurface ocean from freezing and sustains any life that exists there. There could be hot water vents on the floor of the subsurface ocean that deliver energy and nutrients from the planet’s interior.

What makes Europa a good candidate for life?

Now, scientific attention is being focused on Europa, the fourth-largest of Jupiter’s 67 confirmed moons. It may be an even better candidate for finding life than Mars. For life to be present the three basic requirements are: 1) liquid water; 2) chemical building blocks; and, 3) a source of energy. Europa is thought to have all three.