Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moon of the Day - Europa

Today's moon is Europa, the smallest of Jupiter's four Galilean satellites.

Europa is another very important moon in the search for extraterrestrial life. That's because its fractured, icy surface sits on top of an ocean of liquid water, which scientists believe could be 100 kilometers deep. Since life on Earth arose out of the oceans, an ocean of liquid water on another world is a great place to start looking. Of course, getting to that ocean presents a problem: the icy surface is several kilometers thick.


  1. I think that it's limited to think that because life on earth needs water, extraterrestrial life will also need water. If we limit our search as such, we'll also limit our success at finding and/or recognizing our cosmic brethren.

  2. You're absolutely right! There's no telling what sorts of exotic life forms might be awaiting us out there, and we must be careful not to be chauvinistic in our search.

    The presence of liquid water on another world, though, does give us reason to pay special attention. Since it's essential for our metabolic processes, its reasonable to think that other life might use it in a similar way. And a liquid ocean on Europa, of course, would have to be warm enough to stay liquid, which would make it a far more clement environment than just about any other place we've found in the solar system.

  3. From a young age I've always thought that UFOs exist. I've still got a big book about UFOs and aliens somewhere.

    Anyway, the picture in this post looks like an eyeball when taken by the Opticians with their special camera, taking a 360 degrees picture of the eyeball in a comprehensive eye examination.