NASA Reveals Jupiter Moon Europa's Mystery Dark Material Is Sea Salt

Posted: May 14 2015, 9:32am CDT | by , in Misc


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NASA Reveals Jupiter Moon Europa's Mystery Dark Material is Sea Salt
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • Scientists conduct experiments to prove Existence of Sea under the Ice surface of Jupiter’s Moon Europa

NASA scientists have proposed existence of sea salt beneath the icy surface of the Jupiter’s moon Europa which has attained discoloration due to strong magnetic radiation and they are omitted to proving their theory by stimulating Europa’s condition in lab to design a probe for exploration.

Is there life out there? That is the question that is hoped to be answered everytime an exploration team heads out to the other planets in the solar system. By now the basic units of existence has been established and water is the primary element that needs to be found on any planetary body during exploration.

The question in essence will be able to answer another question, if life existed, would the planetary body support life as well.

After roaming Mars for decades now, the NASA scientists have set sights on Jupiter and its moons for probe exploration. The scientists are preparing and designing effective probes that can withstand the conditions on the planet and its moons.

With space imaging and analysis it could be established that Jupiter’s moon Europa had streaks of yellow and red on it. While red could be the ferric present in abundance on many planetary bodies, the yellow remained to be explained.

According to the NASA scientists these streaks are in reality sea salt that has cumulated beneath the icy surface of the moon. Kevin Hand and Robert Carlson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California have initiated an experiment titled ‘Europa in a can’ in which they have stimulated Europa’s conditions; including temperature, radiation exposure and pressure. After that they introduced sea salt in the environment and sure enough the electromagnetic radiation had turned it’s color.

With proof in hand, the iced over sea salt is indicative of the existence of sea under the ice surface. Furthermore, the vast amount of sea salt present beneath the surface also indicates that the ocean is constantly in contact with the moon’s surface underneath.

The scientists at NASA are now faced to design a rover that could study Europa’s surface and the layers underneath to know the whole truth. A squid like probe had been designed that would be able to propel itself on the surface withstanding the moon’s temperature and pressure but also withstand the strong Jupiter’s magnetic radiation.

The probe will be fuel or battery powered as solar power is a long haul at such a distance and it will intricately take samples from above and below the icy surface to answer the queries of sustenance of life on the moon.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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