Is there Life on Europa?
This activity will be updated in late-June, 1997Online From Jupiter 97 will be up and running while the Galileo spacecraft completes its sixth orbit around Jupiter, and its second close pass over Jupiter's moon Europa. For anyone with the slightest bit of imagination, Europa is one of the most interesting places in our solar system: not only is its surface covered by a crust of water ice, but, lurking below that crust, there may possibly be an ocean of liquid water. Is it only in the imagination of science fiction writers that we might find life on Europa? What do scientists think about this question?
Over the next few weeks, we'll talk about why scientists think there is water on Europa, and what we see from Galileo's observations to date. We may be able to take a look at new images from Europa filtering back to Earth during OFJ '97. Finally, we'll take a speculative look at what the future may hold: how could we further explore Europa, and what secrets might it hold? Could there actually be some kind of life on Europa? Stay tuned!