NASA has released a new spectacular image of Europa, Jupiter’s moon where, according to our scientists, we can find the best chance of life outside our Earth within our solar system. The released images are reprocessed versions of Jupiter’s icy moon taken by NASA’s spacecraft called Galileo almost two decades back.
Being an extremely high resolution image, we can see details of Europa’s surface like never before. It shows the planet’s fourth largest moon as it would appear to the naked eye. Not only does the image have exceptional clarity, it shows the largest portion of Europa ever.
The picture was released after all these years, since the agency is planning to pursue its plans of exploring Europa in the near future soon, based on the premise that there could be hidden water beneath its surface.
The story of life on Earth may have begun in our oceans, and that’s because – of course – if we’ve learned anything about life on Earth, it’s that where you find the liquid water, you generally find life,” Kevin Hand, an astrobiologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a new video about Europa.
“Hidden beneath Europa’s icy surface is perhaps the most promising place in our solar system beyond Earth to look for present-day environments that are suitable for life,” NASA officials wrote in a statement. “The Galileo mission found strong evidence that a subsurface ocean of salty water is in contact with a rocky seafloor. The cycling of material between the ocean and ice shell could potentially provide sources of chemical energy that could sustain simple life forms.”
NASA is proposing many missions to this breathtakingly beautiful looking moon of the largest planet in our solar system. Jupiter is said to have at least 67 known moons today, of which the biggest were discovered by the seventeenth century scientist Galileo in 1609 and 1610. The mission to Europa will be called the Europa Clipper and is estimated to cost $ 2 billion. The mission is proposed the fly around the giant planet in a decade from now, if funded.