Press Esc to close
Tuesday 28 June 2016
News updated at 6:34 PM IST
Weather
Max: 27.2°C
Min : 20.8°C
In Bengaluru
Rain lightly

Jupiter's moons are the key to alien life

WASHINGTON, Apr 23,2012, Agencies :

Researchers are keen on exploring Jupiter's icy moons, which may resemble some of the planets found orbiting stars beyond our solar system, to assess their suitability for life.

Europa, Callisto and Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, are all believed to have liquid oceans beneath their icy shells, as well as organic chemistry and possible sources of energy beyond the dim amount of sunlight that reaches their distant surfaces.

These are all conditions that may be required for life in much more distant planetary bodies.

"We thought for quite some time these were dead icy bodies, but we have recently actually discovered a fabulous collection of very geologically active things there," planetary scientist Athena Coustenis, with the Paris Observatory in France, said.

A newly proposed mission, The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, nicknamed JUICE, would send a spacecraft to study the three moons and their habitability.

Mission planners selected Ganymede as an archetype of an exoplanet water world like GJ 1214b, a super-Earth discovered last year circling a star about 40 light-years from Earth.

"We think it is the best example of a liquid environment trapped between icy layers," JUICE science study team member Olga Prieto Ballesteros, with the Center of Astrobiology in Madrid , Spain, said.

Europa poses an intriguing model to those exploring the possibility of alien life because its buried ocean is believed to be in direct contact with the moon's silicate mantle, a source of salts and other elements.† Europa is thought to be like exoplanets that are between water worlds and Earth-like bodies.

"The icy planetary bodies have opened the possibility to find habitats in deeper environments. We can say that these will expand the classical concept of habitability," which previously was limited to places with liquid water on surface , Prieto Ballesteros said.†


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
People carry an effigy representing inflation devil on a camel-cart during a demonstration...

People carry an effigy representing inflation devil on a camel-cart during a demonstration...

A car wades through a water logged lane at Jayadev Bihar after heavy monsoon rains in Bhubaneswar...

A car wades through a water logged lane at Jayadev Bihar after heavy monsoon rains in Bhubaneswar...

A sadhu at a base camp for Amarnath Yatra ahead of their registration in Jammu...

A sadhu at a base camp for Amarnath Yatra ahead of their registration in Jammu...

The titular head of Wodeyar dynasty Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar and Trishika Kumari...

The titular head of Wodeyar dynasty Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar and Trishika Kumari...

A white tiger takes bath in a pond during a hot summer day at its enclosure in Kolkata Zoo...

A white tiger takes bath in a pond during a hot summer day at its enclosure in Kolkata Zoo...

An artiste gives finishing touches to an idol of Goddess Durga for upcoming Durga Puja...

An artiste gives finishing touches to an idol of Goddess Durga for upcoming Durga Puja...

Collapsed tents at BJP Awadh Kshetriya Booth Sammelan following the storm, in Barabanki...

Collapsed tents at BJP Awadh Kshetriya Booth Sammelan following the storm, in Barabanki...

Women Kabaddi players who will take part in the Women's Kabaddi Challenge, at a press conference...

Women Kabaddi players who will take part in the Women's Kabaddi Challenge, at a press conference...

People enjoy the rainy weather on a beach along the Arabian Sea in Mumbai...

People enjoy the rainy weather on a beach along the Arabian Sea in Mumbai...

The underconstruction Bogibeel Bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra River in Dibrugarh district....

The underconstruction Bogibeel Bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra River in Dibrugarh district....

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523