Europa May Be the Best Place to look for Neighbors

Europa InteriorA new science fiction movie, Europa Report, is out this summer.  Early reviews say the movie makers have tried to present a realistic depiction of this Jovian moon.  In real life, NASA is trying to develop a cryobot that could penetrate Europa’s ice-covered surface and search for life.  Reports have said that Europa’s ocean could harbor life, and some have theorized that it is the most likely place to find life in the solar system.  Life on Earth in deep ocean vents could offer a model of life in Europa.  The tidal forces Jupiter creates in its moons would offer plenty of energy for chemosynthetic life to exist far removed from sunlight.

Europa model - Champagne_vent_white_smokers

Earthly deep ocean vent

Robotic missions don’t seem to be exciting enough for Hollywood movies, but I would love to see a real cryobot submersible swimming through Europa’s oceans searching for life.  That would be exciting enough for me, especially if the mission found life.


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