Watch: NASA Tells You Why Europa Could Have an Ocean in One Minute or Less

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 - 11:15AM
Space
Europa
Astrobiology
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 - 11:15AM
Watch: NASA Tells You Why Europa Could Have an Ocean in One Minute or Less
NASA is planning a mission to Europa that is, for the most part, top-secret, but that's not going to stop them from trying to get you excited about it. In this video, NASA JPL tells us in exactly a minute why we may find proof of a subsurface ocean once we take a trip to Jupiter's most intriguing moon:



In the video, NASA lists three primary reasons that scientists believe Europa is host to enough water to render it habitable for alien life. First, spacecraft imagery showed NASA that its surface is mostly water ice. Second, unlike other bodies in our Solar System, the surface is covered with cracks and ridges, rather than craters. This leads astronomers to believe that a subsurface ocean warms the ice on the surface and causes it to crack, leading to those famous geysers. And finally, Europa's magnetic field is constantly changing, indicating that something under the surface is conducting huge amounts of electricity. Although we don't know for sure, a hidden, saltwater ocean under the surface would be consistent with the observations.

Opening quote
"A future NASA mission can tell us for sure if Europa has an ocean. That's the next step in knowing if this mysterious world has the right conditions for life."
Closing quote
Science
NASA
Space
Europa
Astrobiology

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