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Ian Goddard
2003-Feb-25, 02:34 AM
'Shocking' discovery boosts chance of life on Europa

09:38 21 February 03

NewScientist.com news service

Scientists simulating meteorite impacts on the frozen oceans of Europa have made an electrifying discovery, which raises the chances of finding life on Jupiter's moon.


See: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993421

Edited "Europian" to "Europan." Thanks to DaveOlden for pointing that out. I'd only thought to make sure I wasn't saying European.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Ian Goddard on 2003-02-25 12:05 ]</font>

DaveOlden
2003-Feb-25, 08:57 AM
I've been in suspense about life on Europa since Arthur C Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two.

(May I humbly point out that things of Europa are Europan, (not Europian).

Now to continue with this great link you provided...

cheers /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Zap
2003-Feb-25, 12:01 PM
If there indeed is an ocean of liquid water, then I wouldn't be surprised to see macroorganisms, perhaps even small fish-like creatures? Hmmmmm. There really isn't much to inhibit life on this moon. I say send an underwater probe; this baby has potential.

sacrelicious
2003-Feb-25, 04:11 PM
European life? damn, I knew I should have submitted a report to a science journal after my trip to paris. I could have been credited with its discovery!

seriously though, as I understand it, alot of radiation is generated by jupiter. what would it's effect on the likelyhood of life in europa be?

Glom
2003-Feb-25, 04:59 PM
Between Europa and Mars, it just keeps getting better and better. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

aurorae
2003-Feb-25, 06:45 PM
seriously though, as I understand it, alot of radiation is generated by jupiter. what would it's effect on the likelyhood of life in europa be?


My guess is that 1 or 2 kilometers of ice, and then a deep ocean (maybe deeper than Earth oceans) would tend to filter out some or most of the radiation.

Anyone know of a reference for that?

Glom
2003-Feb-25, 07:27 PM
And perhaps in the absorption, heat may be generated. What about the possibility of aurora?

Zap
2003-Feb-25, 07:52 PM
On 2003-02-25 13:45, aurorae wrote:


seriously though, as I understand it, alot of radiation is generated by jupiter. what would it's effect on the likelyhood of life in europa be?


My guess is that 1 or 2 kilometers of ice, and then a deep ocean (maybe deeper than Earth oceans) would tend to filter out some or most of the radiation.

Anyone know of a reference for that?


Yes, it is believed the ice shell is thick enough to deflect the majority of Jupiter's radiation.

DaveOlden
2003-Feb-26, 11:19 AM
On 2003-02-24 21:34, Ian Goddard wrote:
[snip] Edited "Europian" to "Europan." Thanks to DaveOlden for pointing that out. I'd only thought to make sure I wasn't saying European.


You're welcome. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Think that spelling is tricky now...? Just wait till the ESA decides to send a major exploratory mission to the Jovian moon... "Europe cheers European Europan Expedition."

But then again, we all have lead time to practise.. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

kucharek
2003-Feb-26, 11:30 AM
When I read Europan I always think of an EU standard for frying devices... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

Harald

DaveOlden
2003-Feb-26, 01:27 PM
On 2003-02-26 06:30, kucharek wrote:
When I read Europan I always think of an EU standard for frying devices... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif


/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif Or, the EU updated story of their Boy Who Never Grew Up. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

kucharek
2003-Feb-26, 01:47 PM
On 2003-02-26 08:27, DaveOlden wrote:
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif Or, the EU updated story of their Boy Who Never Grew Up. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

[thinking]...[scratching head]...[thinking]...[googling]... Got it!
That was not an easy one for an US culture challenged European... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

daver
2003-Feb-26, 06:08 PM
On 2003-02-26 08:47, kucharek wrote:


On 2003-02-26 08:27, DaveOlden wrote:
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif Or, the EU updated story of their Boy Who Never Grew Up. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

[thinking]...[scratching head]...[thinking]...[googling]... Got it!
That was not an easy one for an US culture challenged European... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


UK culture, actually. I don't know, maybe since the Disney films (and a cartoon series) it's better known in the US than in the UK.

Zap
2003-Feb-26, 09:36 PM
Europa isn't the only moon that probably has a subsurface H2O ocean. Its neighboring siblings Ganymede and Callisto show evidence of liquid water well below their icy/rocky shells as well. Ganymede I can see where the source comes from; slow decay from the active geological volcanism a billion years ago, and its orbital resonance with Io and Europa. Sure, its ocean is probably further below the surface but I don't see why Ganymede can't have some type of life either.

Callisto is an oddity. It has no orbital relationships and probably never has. It has been geologically dead since its formation. Subsurface ocean on this moon? Strong evidence. But my question is: if so, how did it get there? I can't think of any source.

Reacher
2003-Mar-05, 05:45 PM
I recently read an atricle(Me and my articles...) about the robotics involved in creating such a probe. it would consist of three main detatchable parts(after landing that is.):
1. A boring robot to clear a path through the ice.
2. The obvious underwater probe.
3. this is what confuses me. will a thrid part be included? A transmitter. certainly transmitting received data through that thick ice capable of reflecting jupiters radiation would be dificult, but placing a transmitter on the surface would mean long-term exposure to the radiation itself. Its going to take a while to dig through that ice.

Kaptain K
2003-Mar-06, 11:23 AM
On 2003-03-05 12:45, Reacher wrote:
I recently read an atricle(Me and my articles...) about the robotics involved in creating such a probe. it would consist of three main detatchable parts(after landing that is.):
1. A boring robot to clear a path through the ice.
2. The obvious underwater probe.
3. this is what confuses me. will a thrid part be included? A transmitter. certainly transmitting received data through that thick ice capable of reflecting jupiters radiation would be dificult, but placing a transmitter on the surface would mean long-term exposure to the radiation itself. Its going to take a while to dig through that ice.


I doubt if it is possible to bore a hole through the ice on Europa. After all, it is tens of kilometers thick. A better way (IMO) would be to use a seperate probe with an RTG like heat source to melt through the ice leaving a cable behind as the ice refreezes behind the probe. Data would be sent through the cable to a transmitter on the surface.

David Hall
2003-Mar-06, 05:12 PM
I just turned on the TV and caught the end of some Discovery channel program that had this very thing. I missed almost all of the details, but they showed a computer animation of a spacecraft landing on the surface and then lowering a lozenge-shaped probe on a cable. The probe slowly melts through the ice (taking several months), and when it reaches open water, opens up to release a tiny remote-controlled submarine. I assume the cable and probe doubles as a radio relay. The narration said this comes from actual NASA research designs.

tusenfem
2003-Mar-07, 08:08 AM
It is feasable to send a probe to Europa, and have it be a 3 component spacecraft, one orbiter, one ground station and one drilling probe.
In the latest astro/exo biology conference in Graz, Austria, this was discussed, and there are "drills" that consist of a egg-shaped body, that will heat itself through the ice. It has been tested in antarctica, and was thought to be used to invesigate Lake Vostok. This has not been done yet, as they want to be sure they will not contaminate the lake.
The probe that melts itself through the ice could leave behind an antenna or relay stations in the ice (will be difficult) but I think that getting data back is possible. Even models exist that will, after hitting the ocean, take a probe, discard a part and turn around, and then "drill" back up again.
Unfortunately the proceedings of the conference are not there yet, but I guess you can find all kinds of stuff about it on the web.
Then, yes, Callisto and Ganymede are also supposed to have an ocean, at least that is what we discovered using the magnetometer data (and boy was it tough to get a handle on Ganymede). I have a nice little paper (2 pages) which gives a simple overview of how we did discover the oceans with magnetic fields, for anyone who is interested. You can send me a mail (DrMartinV@yahoo.com) unfortunately my website is nothing yet but will come soon.

Greetings from Graz
Martin

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Jun-04, 01:34 AM
another thread on how to melt through the ice

europa ocean and life (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=12035&amp;postdays=0&amp;postorder=asc&amp;sta rt=25)

TravisM
2004-Jun-04, 03:35 PM
The radiation belt aside, the magnetic field of Jupiter would envelope Eruopa, eh? That and the ice form a formitable shield against radiation and solar wind. And with the presence of liquid water would greatly enhance the chances for some kind of biology.
What kind of chemicals have been detected on Eruopa?