The U. S. space agency NASA has plans to explore Europa, a large natural satellite/moon of Jupiter believed to contain an ocean of water beneath its icy surface.
Europa has long been considered as an exomoon that could support life, thanks to presence of water in liquid form. Scientists believe that the moon could be supportive of life, though it may be in the form of just single-cell organisms.
Europa’s proximity to Earth, compared to other candidates that are located hundreds of light years away from our planet, also makes this moon one of the favorite candidates among the science community.
On the past Wednesday, NASA scientists conducted a workshop to determine a more efficient as well as effective way to detect life on Jupiter’s icy moon.
Addressing a crowd at the workshop at the Ames Research Centre in California, NASA Science Chief John Grunsfeld said, “This is our chance. I just hope we don’t miss this opportunity for lack of ideas.”
Grunsfeld stressed that he didn’t want to overlook plume-focused studies because he didn’t want to repent 20 years from now that an attempt should have been made to explore life on the moon.
A strong evidence of presence of water on Europa was first detected a couple of years ago when the Hubble Space Telescope captured images of geysers on the moon.