Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Could Jupiter's Moon Have Life?

Europa is Jupiter’s moon which has a frigid temperature and doesn’t appear from the outside to be very hospitable in terms of being able to harbor life. But under a crust of ice miles thick, Europa contains roughly twice the amount of water Earth does. In virtually every instance of life on earth, we find that water has been involved. If we are able to find life on Europa, we would finally be able to claim water to be a common denominator of life in the universe. Furthermore, if we found life we could compare the Europan specimens to aspects of life on earth. Would life on Europa also contain DNA? What would they use as energy? These questions open the door for deeper philosophical questions. What is life? There is still debate on whether or not viruses are living and finding examples of life on Europa could help answer that question as well.

But the question remains on how we would go about getting to the liquid water in the first place. The first option is equipping whatever space probe we send out with a drill that could drill through miles of ice in order to get to the water. The second and more feasible option has to do with geysers that shoot the water high above the surface of the moon. If we could lock the probe into Europa’s orbit, we could catch projected micro-organisms and it would be almost like examining bugs on a windshield.

This would be an incredible discovery biology and give much needed life to the field of astrobiology. The mission to Europa is currently on NASA’s budget request list and is a very real possibility in the near future.

Posted By Forootan Alizadehasil


Source: http://www.space.com/26905-jupiter-moon-europa-alien-life.html

13 comments:

  1. Finding some form of life on a celestial body other than earth would be a groundbreaking discovery. The water found deep under ice on Europa certainly has potential for harboring life, but the resources which would be required to reach this water are immense. Life requires very particular conditions to arise, and it just so happens that earth has these conditions. Although water is present on Europa, are the other conditions on this moon suitable for the formation of life? Unless a convincing hypothesis suggesting life could form on Europa is put forward, I don't believe sufficient resources could be obtained for a drilling operation.

    Bradley Sarasin (Group 3)

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    2. The bigger issue is that we really don't know what the ingredients for life are. The temperature of earth in our minds is "just right" but that's only the case for us. We have to understand that life developed on earth and was able to adapt to its conditions. Even on our own planet, there are cases where life exists in extreme conditions. Tardigrades have even been found to survive the vacuum of space.

      Posted by Forootan Alizadehasil

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  2. This is an interesting finding, and I'm sure this will give us a lot of insight on planets as well as our own. I would like to know the possibility of maybe inhabiting this planet at some point considering the amount of water available.
    - Mahder Haile

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  3. Wow, who knew that it would be one of Jupiter's moons that contained water? That is really fascinating and if water is indeed present there must be some sort of life present there also. Although Im not so sure if there will be life that it is identical to the living organisms here on earth since mostly everything that was made and evolved here was came from some sort of genetic mutation that happens usually occurs by chance. But it would definitely be interesting to hear more about it.

    Sarah Ona

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  4. This is awesome! My Astronomy teacher always used to say with out water you have nothing, meaning in order to have any kind of life you always have to start with water; it's the first (and most important) ingredient of the recipe! That being said and having just read this post, I think he was on to something! My first thought of getting through all that ice to the water was to use a technique like fracking to drill down or is we used a drill that also squirted a jet of heated water to melt the ice away but were way out in space so it's much easier said than done!
    -Kelsey Morrison

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  5. I found this to be very interesting. The fact that there is possibly some water on Jupiters moon could indicate that there is potentially life there as well. There should be further research to find out if it is in fact true. I would love to know what is actually happening on Jupiters moon to discover if there actually is some form of life up there.

    Rebecca Thomas

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  6. Presence of water indicates life. This requires research to check it and find organisms that might be beneficial in finding cure for diseases but it all takes time and money.

    Mohammed Saleh

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  7. The significance of water in the formation of life is well researched, which makes Europa a particularly interesting moon. If the probe detected life forms while orbiting the moon, they would certainly be dead, which would make them space fossils. Personally, I think alien space fossils sounds like a great landmark for humanity to reach, and I can only hope that the professionals behind the probe plans are as excited as I am.

    Josef Mazzuchi

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  8. The significance of water in the formation of life is well researched, which makes Europa a particularly interesting moon. If the probe detected life forms while orbiting the moon, they would certainly be dead, which would make them space fossils. Personally, I think alien space fossils sounds like a great landmark for humanity to reach, and I can only hope that the professionals behind the probe plans are as excited as I am.

    Josef Mazzuchi

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  9. I'm wondering about the effect of drilling into the ice. Though it would be interesting for research I'm unsure of what scientists could accomplish with this knowledge. Also, the moon ecosystem is the way it is for a reason, and disturbing it could throw off the balance.

    Erina Taradai group 3

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    1. Well we don't even know as of now if an ecosystem exists on the mood. Even if it did, we'd more than likely be using the geyser water collection method so drilling wouldn't even be an issue.

      Posts By Forootan Alizadehasil

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  10. This is a fascinating topic, I never knew that Jupiter's moon contained more water than earth. But I would never think that it can contain complex organism like earths. Even if the moon contain more water than earth, it's frozen. The distance between the moon and the sun is enormous compared to earth's distance from the moon. Scientist also discovered ice on Mars, which is the planet next to earth. Earth is located in what's consider to be the "perfect spot", not too close and not too far from the sun. If I have to guess, any planet that is farther than earth has the possibility of containing frozen water.

    David Mota

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