Alien life may exist on moon Europa. It’s all about the salt water

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(ORDO NEWS) — A new study suggests that salt water inside the icy shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa could transport oxygen to the ice-covered ocean.

This could potentially help support alien life in “landscapes of chaos” (the surface of celestial bodies that have a chaotic relief), consisting of cracks, ridges and ice blocks.

Scientists believe that the amount of oxygen entering Europa’s oceans may be on par with the amount in Earth‘s oceans today.

This theory has been proposed for a long time, but only now experts from the University of Texas at Austin, USA, have tested it by creating the world‘s first computer simulation of this process.

Mark Hesse, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of California, Jackson, said the new study provides insight into one of Europe‘s unsolved subterranean ocean habitability problems.

Are there aliens on Europa?

Alien life may exist on moon Europa Its all about the salt water 2

Europa is the best place to look for alien life because scientists have found signs of oxygen and water, as well as chemicals that could serve as nutrients.

However, the moon’s ice shell, which is estimated to be about 25 km thick, acts as a barrier between water and oxygen, which is generated by sunlight and Jupiter’s charged particles hitting the icy surface. If life as we know it exists in the ocean, then there must be a way to bring oxygen to it.

Hesse thinks the most likely scenario, based on the evidence available, is that oxygen is carried by salt water. It is likely that chaotic landscapes form over areas where Europa’s ice sheet partially melts, forming a brine that can mix with oxygen from the surface.

A computer model created by the researchers showed what happens to the brine after the formation of a landscape of chaos.

This proved that the salt solution drains and causes the pores in the ice to expand momentarily, allowing water to pass through the ice.

This type of “transportation” seems to be an efficient way to get oxygen across the ice, with 86% of the oxygen taken up at the surface carried all the way to the ocean.


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