Scientists Find Carbon on Jupiter's Moon Europa: Report
- September, 23, 2023 - 17:25
- Space/Science news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Scientists have detected the presence of carbon on Europa, one of Jupiter's intriguing moons renowned for its icy surface concealing vast oceans of liquid saltwater below.
One of more than 90 Jovian moons, Europa is considered to be one of the more promising celestial bodies that could host an environment suitable enough to support a form of life.
The discovery was made possible through the analysis of data collected by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, Sputnik reported.
"On Earth, life thrives on chemical diversity, and carbon is an essential element for our existence. Understanding the chemistry of Europa's ocean will help us determine whether it's hospitable to life as we know it," said Geronimo Villanueva, lead author of one of the research papers and a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Previous observations had identified solid carbon dioxide on Europa's surface, but uncertainty persisted about its origin - whether it was indigenous or brought in by external sources such as meteorites. The recent research offers a compelling answer to this question while raising even more profound inquiries.
The majority of the detected carbon dioxide was found within a region known as Tara Regio, where sodium chloride - table salt - was previously identified.
Tara Regio, often referred to as "chaos terrain," exhibits a fractured landscape, possibly resulting from interactions between the moon's icy surface and the speculated subsurface ocean.