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Europa's oceans appear to contain salt water

Posted on Friday, 8 March, 2013 | Comment icon 18 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

The Keck II telescope and OSIRIS spectrometer have revealed new details of what lies in Europa's oceans.

What might seem at first glance to be an icy and barren world, Europa's subterranean ocean of liquid water makes it a prime candidate in the hunt for alien life in our solar system. By analyzing the light reflected from the surface, scientists have been able to determine that some of the material they are looking at is likely to be salt deposited there from water welling up from the depths.

"There’s evidence that the oceans are very much in composition like our oceans," said Caltech scientist Mike Brown. "We know they’re nice places for life."

"Using the Keck II telescope and OSIRIS spectrometer on a mountain in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, scientists from Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have discovered what lies beneath the frozen surface of Jupiter's moon Europa."

  View: Full article |  Source: LA Times

  Discuss: View comments (18)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Merc14 on 8 March, 2013, 15:16
I am hoping that bacteria are alive and well just below the surface of the ice. Being exposed on the surface to Jupiter's radiation may be too much for anything to survive but just a meter or so down it is a completely different story. Look in Radiation Menace.
Comment icon #10 Posted by 27vet on 8 March, 2013, 21:19
Are all the elements necessary for DNA/RNA present on Europa?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 9 March, 2013, 0:02
nice discovery guys!!!I say nice because when we always find something new we always send machines instead of real people.to me that's very disappointed and suckish :( it would be cool if we could travel there and live as well.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Merc14 on 9 March, 2013, 0:43
We aren't even close to manned exploration of Europa. Incredibly hostile environment that even a machine will find hard to survive. Manned exploration is, and this is very optimistic, at least a century away with that century being based on the pace of advancement over the last century.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Silver Surfer on 9 March, 2013, 9:31
Its full of europeans.
Comment icon #14 Posted by highdesert50 on 9 March, 2013, 12:56
This article is a nice find as it also brings about some interesting debate as to intent. Do we seek for the intent of discovery, find parallelisms in life, and/or, perhaps, to re-establish a civilization's boundaries? While establishing human presence in distant lands is perhaps in our genetic makeup, the economics seems to make this more and more prohibitive. And, I can envision a time when we are so overwhelmed with the economics of sustaining our burgeoning Earthly population the opportunity for manned exploration and colonization will be forever extinguished. Will we be ultimately lim... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by CRYSiiSx2 on 10 March, 2013, 7:57
I would like to see some sort of wire able to be coiled up, with a bit at the end that could drill. This way maybe someway we could get to the ocean itself.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Sundew on 15 March, 2013, 2:41
Jovial Europeans, no doubt.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Esoteric Toad on 15 March, 2013, 2:53
See if all the ET believers here would focus on things like this then it could be a bit more believable. Imagine a race living on Europa, advanced as us but not caring about the stars since they do not see them, or need them. They have a 3D world to live in grow in. Maybe they didn't develop a need for radio or transmission powerful enough to be heard here on earth. Silly, sure. Possible I haven't a clue. Fun to think about, perhaps.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Sundew on 15 March, 2013, 3:03
If we get to the point where we can send groups of various nanobots, or microbots to other worlds the rewards would be great in terms of exploration. First they could be cheap, massed produced, weigh relatively little and they could be sent aboard rockets then launched from earth orbit at their targets like so many bullets, with little or no fuel. I don't know how many years down the road before the technology becomes a reality, there has to be a power source and some form of atmospheric breaking, but you could literally send out thousand per year. They might not be able to do more tha... [More]

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