Did you know that Jupiter's moon, Europa, has a global ocean of liquid water with greater volume than Earth's oceans, and that astrobiologists consider it to be an excellent place to look for forms. The closest analogous environment on Earth is probably the hot springs in the deep ocean, which support a rich biota. The biota near Earth's ocean hot spring derive their energy from chemical processes that are, in turn, driven by heat from the Earth's interior. The primary ingredients for life are water, heat, and organic compounds obtained from comets and meteorites. Europa has had all three. Europa's water should have frozen long ago, but warming could be occurring due to the tidal tug of war with Jupiter and neighboring moons. Models of Europa's interior show that beneath a thin 3 mile crust of water ice, Europa may have oceans as deep as 30 miles or more. The visible markings on Europa could be a result of global expansion where the crust could have fractured, filled with water and froze. Source: NASA. Posted by Jason McManus.
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