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Oceans on Europa likely deep underground

Posted on Sunday, 30 September, 2012 | Comment icon 5 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
The vast oceans of liquid water believed to exist beneath the ice on Europa may be deeper than thought.

Jupiter's moon Europa has long been one of the most tantalizing bodies in the solar system, a world completely covered in a crust of ice it is thought that a vast ocean of liquid water may exist beneath its surface. To explore this alien sea it would be necessary to not only land a probe on the surface but for it to melt its way down through the ice to reach the water underneath. But how far down would it have to go ? Scientists now believe the water to be far deeper underground than previously thought.

"A global water ocean may be present, but relatively deep below the surface - around 25 to 50 kilometers," said Klára Kalousová. "There could be areas of liquid water at much shallower depths, say around 5 kilometers, but these would only exist for a few tens of thousands of years before migrating downwards."

"Here on Earth, life thrives wherever liquid water is found."

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 Source: Live Science


  Discuss: View comments (5)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Darkwind on 28 September, 2012, 14:35
I guess the ice fishing trip on Europa is out.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hasina on 28 September, 2012, 14:52
But not deep ice water fishing!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Junior Chubb on 1 October, 2012, 8:49
After a particularly cold night fishing trip, I awoke in the morning to find the lake frozen and my line frozen into the ice. I think that qualifies me for a spot of fishing on Europa.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Rhino666 on 1 October, 2012, 17:51
But is it water, or something else?
Comment icon #5 Posted by tipotep on 1 October, 2012, 22:56
I think Europa is a very interesting moon , and could possibly have some sort of life in the oceans , I can recall a doco I watched on how they would get through the ice , some sort of heating device was going to melt a hole so a ROV of sorts could get into the ocean and "swim " around . Very Interesting , hopefully Europa is on a short list of places we need to investigate ! TiP.


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