Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


- - - - -

Europa: Chemistry Needed for Life

jupiter europa life hydrogen peroxide

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

    Space Cadet

  • 32,181 posts
  • Joined:03 Mar 2006
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bexleyheath, Kent, UK

  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Oscar Wilde

Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:15 AM

Mapping the Chemistry Needed for Life at Europa


www.nasa.gov said:

This color composite view combines violet,<br />
green, and infrared images of Jupiter's<br />
intriguing moon, Europa, for a view of the<br />
moon in natural color (left) and in enhance<br />
color designed to bring out subtle color<br />
differences in the surface (right).<br />
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University<br />
of Arizona<br />
<a href='http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA01295' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>› Full image and caption</a>
This color composite view combines violet,
green, and infrared images of Jupiter's
intriguing moon, Europa, for a view of the
moon in natural color (left) and in enhance
color designed to bring out subtle color
differences in the surface (right).
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University
of Arizona
› Full image and caption
A new paper led by a NASA researcher shows that hydrogen peroxide is abundant across much of the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. The authors argue that if the peroxide on the surface of Europa mixes into the ocean below, it could be an important energy supply for simple forms of life, if life were to exist there. The paper was published online recently in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"Life as we know it needs liquid water, elements like carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur, and it needs some form of chemical or light energy to get the business of life done," said Kevin Hand, the paper's lead author, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Europa has the liquid water and elements, and we think that compounds like peroxide might be an important part of the energy requirement. The availability of oxidants like peroxide on Earth was a critical part of the rise of complex, multicellular life."

The paper, co-authored by Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, analyzed data in the near-infrared range of light from Europa, using the Keck II Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, over four nights in September 2011. The highest concentration of peroxide found was on the side of Europa that always leads in its orbit around Jupiter, with a peroxide abundance of 0.12 percent relative to water. (For perspective, this is roughly 20 times more diluted than the hydrogen peroxide mixture available at drug stores.) The concentration of peroxide in Europa's ice then drops off to nearly zero on the hemisphere of Europa that faces backward in its orbit.

Hydrogen peroxide was first detected on Europa by NASA's Galileo mission, which explored the Jupiter system from 1995 to 2003, but Galileo observations were of a limited region. The new results show that peroxide is widespread across much of the surface of Europa, and the highest concentrations are reached in regions where Europa's ice is nearly pure water with very little sulfur contamination. The peroxide is created by the intense radiation processing of Europa's surface ice that comes from the moon's location within Jupiter's strong magnetic field.

"The Galileo measurements gave us tantalizing hints of what might be happening all over the surface of Europa, and we've now been able to quantify that with our Keck telescope observations," Brown said. "What we still don't know is how the surface and the ocean mix, which would provide a mechanism for any life to use the peroxide."

The scientists think hydrogen peroxide is an important factor for the habitability of the global liquid water ocean under Europa's icy crust because hydrogen peroxide decays to oxygen when mixed into liquid water. "At Europa, abundant compounds like peroxide could help to satisfy the chemical energy requirement needed for life within the ocean, if the peroxide is mixed into the ocean," said Hand.

The study was funded in part by the NASA Astrobiology Institute through the Icy Worlds team based at JPL, a division of Caltech. The NASA Astrobiology Institute, based at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is a partnership among NASA, 15 U.S. teams and 13 international consortia. The Institute is part of NASA's astrobiology program, which supports research into the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life on Earth and the potential for life elsewhere.

Jia-Rui Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
jccook@jpl.nasa.gov

2013-126



Posted Image Source


Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 05 April 2013 - 06:32 PM.
corrected title

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

Posted Image
Click on button

#2    seeder

seeder

    Nut Cracker

  • Member
  • 10,250 posts
  • Joined:21 Nov 2012
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK. There if you need me

  • Never forget that only the weak fish swim with the stream, and a lie travels half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:48 PM

:tu:    Ive always had high hopes for Europa and the possibility of life there. I cant wait for any mission to go there and get samples, if possible.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me... It's all the rabbit poop you stumble over on your way down...
“It's easier to fool people - than to convince them that they have been fooled.”  Mark Twain

"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it"

#3    Lava_Lady

Lava_Lady

    Official UM Asylum Resident

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,832 posts
  • Joined:20 Nov 2010
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Hawai'i

  • Wha? /:0\

Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:08 PM

I hope we Land on Europa in my lifetime.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."  - F. Scott Fitzgerald


#4    praetorian-legio XIII

praetorian-legio XIII

    Remote Viewer

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 613 posts
  • Joined:01 Jun 2011
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pensacola Beach

  • Beer; Now there's a temporary solution.

Posted 10 April 2013 - 06:44 PM

Remember 2010(the movie) after jupiter imploded and became a sun creating a mini solar system with its moons as the systems planets, we were informed that they were for all mankind to use but that we had to stay away from europa as the same entities that guided our evolution would now guide life on europa. Just a thought.


#5    equus hemionus

equus hemionus

    Alien Embryo

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Joined:01 Jan 2013
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:usa

  • believe anything or not

Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:32 PM

better living thru chemistry


#6    Zaphod222

Zaphod222

    Psychic Spy

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,594 posts
  • Joined:05 Sep 2011
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tokyo

  • When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
    (Oscar Wilde)

Posted 11 April 2013 - 02:43 AM

Nobody can be sure that the chemical we assume are necessary for life are the only ones.


#7    Esoteric Toad

Esoteric Toad

    Astral Projection

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 691 posts
  • Joined:04 Jul 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florida

  • Where does one get certified as an "Ancient Astronaut Theorist" or "Cryptozoologist"?

Posted 11 April 2013 - 02:58 AM

Chemicals do not equal life. Take them all and dump them in a beaker and life will not pop into existence.

I would to see us find alien life of any kind but seeing as there does not seem to be a concerted effort to get much of anything done in space anymore I have doubts we'll get there any time soon.

Edited by Esoteric Toad, 11 April 2013 - 02:58 AM.


#8    shrooma

shrooma

    doesn't have one screw fully tightened.....

  • Member
  • 3,570 posts
  • Joined:14 Feb 2013
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:leeds, UK.

  • Live.
    Sin.
    Die.

Posted 21 April 2013 - 07:59 AM

View Postequus hemionus, on 10 April 2013 - 07:32 PM, said:

better living thru chemistry
.
;-)

- - - - -disclaimer- - - - -
all posts- without exception- are humourous.
if you fail to grasp the sublety, then don't whine on due to your lack of understanding.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users