A scientist from NASA, Kevin Hand, has suggested that Europa, the moon orbiting around Jupiter, might be a flourishing ground for life – microbes in hydrothermal vents. NASA is even looking forward to launching a mission to Europa in some years.
The curious minds of humans have always pushed them to wonder about life outside of their realm. Does extraterrestrial life exist? If so, where in the universe? Maybe, on the planets nearby?
A scientist from NASA claims to have an answer to this question – quite an ambitious stance from astronomer Kevin Hand. According to him, intelligent life might be sustained in the band around stars. This zone is supposed to contain water in its liquid form because of the average temperature; not too hot and not too cold. Accordingly, Kevin Hand suggests that Jupiter’s moon known as Europa might potentially harbour life.
They believe that Europa might be included in this habitable spot as a consequence of tidal forces and geothermal energy, thereby including the moon in that zone. Now, if this were to be true, can we reach until there to confirm these theories?
Europa is basically covered in ice approximately 15km deep, which has caused scientists to hypothesise that it could be sheltering pools of water beneath this outer surface. And, as they say, where there is water, there is life. The possibility of having microorganisms in hydrothermal vents in that beneath-the-ice ocean of water is being entertained by the researchers.
Fueled by these theories, NASA has planned to carry out a mission to Europa in some years’ time – in 2022. The purpose of the 2022 mission will be to map the moon’s surface. Otherwise, digging deeper into the mystery of life will only be possible decades later, in around 2040. Exploring the said ocean (if it is, in fact, there) would require massive equipment and efforts to go beyond the thick-layered ice, which would sure be a challenging feat.
Kevin Hand is positively that foreign life will soon be discovered. According to him, this might be possible in just about two decades.