Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A Jovian moon may hold mystery of life

  1. Oct 7, 2003 #1
    Observations from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that Jupiter's moon Europa hides a liquid ocean under its icy top. To protect the planet-sized world, considered a promising site to search for life beyond Earth, NASA engineers crashed the robot ship into Jupiter on September 21. This color-enhanced Galileo image highlights cracks and ridges thousands of miles long on Europa's surface, caused by the tidal forces of Jupiter's gravity.

    Space Chronicles, http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space/

    You think this might be so?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Life in the Europan ocean?

    Sure, why not?
    a) the vast majority of life on Earth, by weight, lives underground; the true biosphere is the top 10/20/30 km of rock beneath our feet
    b) millions of tonnes of rock travel between solar system bodies; we know that several species of bacteria can survive a vacuum, and radiation. If they get a ride on the inside of a rock, panspermia is all but inevitable (tho' quite different from Hoyle and Wickramasinghe's original hypothesis).

    BTW, not only the Europan ocean, but also the one on (in?) Ganymede and the one in Callisto. Titan? Let's wait for Huygens.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook