For years, scientists have addressed the debate of whether aliens exist. New evidence suggests they may be alive and well and living in Jupiter’s tiny moon, Europa.
The environment of Europa has been compared to that of Greenland, a frigid world inhabited by jellyfish, slugs, shrimp, and snails. Scientists believe there could be life in the shallow pockets of water near Europa’s surface. The hypothesis is based on an analysis of double ridges, symmetrical landforms that span hundreds of miles.
“Because it is closer to the surface, where you get interesting chemicals from space, other moons and the volcanoes of Lo, there is a possibility life has a shot if there are pockets of water in the shell,” said Dustin Schroeder, senior author of the study and Professor at the University of Stanford.
The discovery was serendipitous, as researchers were working on a project related to climate change and its impact on Greenland. That’s when they found the tiny double ridges that they were able to see go from “not formed” to “formed”.
Under further examination, scientists determined that these ridges were produced when ice fractured around a pocket of pressurized water that was refreezing internally and causing peaks to rise.
This resulted in the ridges undergoing a variety of processes that make them behave differently from an inert block of ice. The ice shell, which is about 60 miles thick, may be ripe for habitability as it facilitates the exchange between the ocean and the celestial bodies that accumulate on the surface.
Experts base new findings on previous explorations of Greenland that have found ancient microbes 3,000 meters deep in the country’s glaciers suggesting there may be species living in ice elsewhere in the solar system.
Scientists have long been researching the idea that there may be life in outer space, specifically on Europa. The icy surface of the tiny moon is streaked with reddish brown cracks that they believe may be caused by micro-organisms suspended in ice. They feel the environment may be just as fertile as the ocean, making alien existence possible.