In the oceans of Jupiter’s moon will look for life

Everyone’s talking about finding life on a moon of Saturn, Titan. We also recently about it wrote. On the background of news about the Titan seemed to be on the satellites of another gas giant forgotten. Fortunately, it is not. NASA announced the launch of a new mission to Jupiter’s moon Europe in 2025. As reported by the Agency, the scientists finally started to design a spacecraft able to explore the oceans of Europe.

What is known about Jupiter and its satellites?

Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar system. The diameter of Jupiter is 140 thousand km, which Is 11 times more than the diameter of our cosmic home. Jupiter received the title of the gas giant because of its composition — as you know, it’s hydrogen and helium. So what about any solid surface of this planet there is no question and can not be.

The pressure inside the planet as the temperature is higher than on the surface. Because of this, the hydrogen changes its state and becomes liquid instead of gas. Scientists believe that inside this vast planet spins around a rocky core. By the way, we know about the gas giant so much due to mission Voyager, launched in 1977.

However, if Jupiter himself is unlikely to shelter life, one of his 69 satellites could afford it. Yes, you read correctly — a gas giant has the largest in the Solar system the family of satellites. By the way, there may be even more than 69 but while astronomers have counted so much.

What is so special about Europe?

From afar it seems that Europe like clumsily painted — on Jupiter are seen along and across the chains of the dark bands. This, as later researchers found, long linear cracks in the ice, many of which are filled by an unknown polluter, the so-called “brown mud.” In other places on the moon’s surface are massive ice blocks. They drift, spin and flip over in the slush. A fascinating spectacle, isn’t it?

It looks like Europe is a satellite of Jupiter

Due to Jupiter’s gravity to help generate tidal power, so on Jupiter is rarely easy. However, regular changes and dark bands of Europe is best explained by an ice cap floating on an ocean of liquid water. It is believed that Europe is under the ice shell and holds water to a depth of 170 km.

Under the surface of this moon of Jupiter has liquid water. Scientists know this thanks to the previous missions, in particular thanks to the space probe Galileo, which in the 1990-ies flew past the gas giant. The presence of liquid water makes Europe a potential target for the search of life.

What is known about the new mission of NASA

The mission called the Europa Clipper. The mission began to prepare in 2015, but only recently have experts come to grips with the development of the spacecraft. The Europa Clipper will conduct an in depth study of the aquatic world, including to find out, whether in the underground oceans of Europe to support life.

The spacecraft, the Europa Clipper according to the artist would look like this

The Europa Clipper will make multiple flights to the satellite to reduce the impact on the unit energy particles coming from Jupiter’s magnetic field. The spacecraft is equipped with nine science instruments including cameras and spectrometers to obtain high-resolution images from the surface of Europe, a magnetometer to measure the strength and direction of the magnetic field (this will give an idea of the depth and salinity of the ocean) and radar to determine the thickness of the icy crust above the ocean.

The icy crust of Europe may have a thickness of tens of kilometers. Fortunately, scientists believe that there are several ways by which ocean water may rise to the surface of the satellite of a gas giant. In recent years, the Hubble space telescope observed over Europe and filmed as “water fountains”breaking through the icy shell of a moon of Jupiter.