• Mon. Jun 14th, 2021

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Europa’s icy shell may have pockets of water that could support life

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The icy shell of Europa may hold pockets of liquid water where life could survive

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Pockets of liquid water trapped in the thick ice shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa may be much shorter-lived than previously thought, but they may still be present today and potential habitats for life.

Europa, the fourth-largest moon of Jupiter, is believed to have a liquid water ocean tens of kilometres under its frozen surface. This water may be in contact with an ocean floor that provides the necessary mix of materials for life to arise.

Previous research suggested that parts of the …