Researchers at NASA believe the subsurface ocean on the moon Europa of Jupiter could be habitable for life. In the latest research presented at the Goldschmidt virtual geochemistry conference, scientists explain a new model that shows the composition of Europe’s inland ocean and other hidden physical characteristics . These data were presented in videoconferencing Goldsschmidt 2020 and according to the press release Astrobiology.com , this study was conducted by researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA and led by Dr. Mohit Melwani Daswani. They used data from the Galileo mission and the Hubble telescope to create a new model of Europe.
“We were able to model the composition and physical properties of the core, the silicate layer and the ocean. We found that different minerals lose water and volatiles at different depths and temperatures, ” said lead researcher Daswani.
These new data leads us to believe that the ocean in Europe is not as acidic as previously thought. They claimed that the ocean from Jupiter’s satellite is rich in chloride , suggesting that its waters are similar to Earth’s oceans , making it a potential source of life.
In fact, it was thought that this ocean could still be quite sulfuric, but our simulations, along with data from the Hubble Space Telescope , showing chloride on the surface of Europe, suggest that the water probably became rich in chloride. In other words, its composition was more like Earth’s oceans. We believe this ocean could be quite habitable for life , “Daswani explained. This research is a substantial contribution for the next mission Europe Clipper from NASA to be launched in the coming years. This mission is to investigate the habitability of Europe.