(ORDO NEWS) — The James Webb Telescope (JWST), recently launched into space, was able to detect carbon dioxide (CO2) ice on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. But what makes this discovery so important? Let’s take a look at the results of this amazing discovery, reported in the journal Science.
Europa is one of the icy satellites of the gas giant Jupiter. Its surface is covered with a thick ice crust, under which scientists believe there is an ocean with salt water and a rocky seabed. It is this feature that makes Europa one of the most intriguing objects for astronomical research related to the search for life in the Universe.
It has long been thought that the icy moons of gas giants, such as Europa, could be ideal places to search for life. However, scientists are faced with a lack of information about the chemical composition of the oceans beneath their crust. It is in this context that the discovery of the James Webb Telescope assumes enormous significance.
According to JWST data, the presence of carbon dioxide (CO2) has been detected on the surface of Europa, and most importantly, it was not delivered by meteorites , but rather it comes from the ocean. This discovery has astronomers wondering about Europa’s potential habitability.
Carbon is one of the basic chemical elements necessary for the emergence and development of biological life.
“On Earth, life likes chemical diversity—the more variety, the better,” says Geronimo Villanueva of NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center. “Understanding the chemistry of Europa’s ocean will help us determine whether it is hostile to life as we know it, or whether it could be a good place to live.”
Scientists believe that Europa’s carbon dioxide originates in the ocean rather than on the surface, making it an even more interesting target for future research.
This amazing discovery raises many new questions about how Europa’s ocean is connected to its surface and about the possibility of life existing in its depths. For further exploration, missions such as the European Space Agency‘s JUICE and NASA’s Europa Clipper are already planned, which will provide more detailed information about this mysterious subglacial world.
Contact us: [email protected]
To eliminate any confusion arising from different time zones and daylight saving changes, all times displayed on our platforms are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).