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Scientist 'almost certain' that Europa hosts life

Posted on Saturday, 8 February, 2020 | Comment icon 13 comments

What lurks within Europa's oceans ? Image Credit: NASA
A leading British space scientist maintains that Jupiter's icy moon is very likely to be home to alien organisms.
When it comes to seeking out signs of extraterrestrial life within our own solar system, no target has proven more tantalizing than Europa - a world thought to be home to a potentially habitable ocean of liquid water hidden deep beneath a thick icy exterior shell.

One major proponent of this idea is planetary scientist Professor Monika Grady who outlined her thoughts on the subject at a recent talk at Liverpool Hope University.

Not only could there be life forms in the icy ocean of Europa, she argues, but deep caverns on Mars could also provide a potential sheltered habitat for extraterrestrial organisms.

"When it comes to the prospects of life beyond Earth, it's almost a racing certainty that there's life beneath the ice on Europa," she said. "Elsewhere, if there's going to be life on Mars, it's going to be under the surface of the planet."
"There you're protected from solar radiation. And that means there's the possibility of ice remaining in the pores of the rocks, which could act as a source of water."

"If there is something on Mars, it's likely to be very small bacteria."

"But I think we've got a better chance of having slightly higher forms of life on Europa, perhaps similar to the intelligence of an octopus."

Overall, she argues, the conditions that led to life on Earth are likely to have occurred elsewhere too.

"Our solar system is not a particularly special planetary system, as far as we know, and we still haven't explored all the stars in the galaxy," she said. "But I think it's highly likely there will be life elsewhere - and I think it's highly likely they'll be made of the same elements."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (13)

Tags: Europa, Mars

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Essan on 8 February, 2020, 14:08
Intelligent as an octopus?!       That's smart! https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/28/alien-intelligence-the-extraordinary-minds-of-octopuses-and-other-cephalopods
Comment icon #5 Posted by Orphalesion on 8 February, 2020, 14:22
So can we finally go there instead of mucking around with the Moon and Mars? I wanna see what those things on Europa look like (my guess is something like worms) 
Comment icon #6 Posted by tmcom on 8 February, 2020, 15:35
It is electrostatic buildup, or a black monolith? But true we need to go to Europa so NASA has something new to suppress.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Seti42 on 8 February, 2020, 16:06
Arthur C Clarke turned me on to the idea of life on Europa ages ago. I don't want him to be wrong. That said, it'll be a while before we can conclusively prove or disprove the idea.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Jon the frog on 9 February, 2020, 16:04
It will be hard to not bring life with us when exploring Europa... and by the way, we can also release a mix of resistant bacteria  to colonize it too if we don't find any there, my stepmother for example..  
Comment icon #9 Posted by Damien99 on 9 February, 2020, 22:40
How long to get to Europa?
Comment icon #10 Posted by geraldnewfie on 9 February, 2020, 23:11
ok stop wasting money on fake wars and lets go find out!
Comment icon #11 Posted by qxcontinuum on 10 February, 2020, 2:19
And NASA is continuing to spend billion of dollars since 70's on missions to Mars... wait that is more convenient
Comment icon #12 Posted by joc on 10 February, 2020, 3:00
Brrrr...no thanks...don't want to live on an icy moon...      
Comment icon #13 Posted by Roshman on 11 February, 2020, 12:43
'Life' on Europa could have come from Earth.

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