Today, perhaps the lazy one has not heard about Jupiter's moon Europa. This moon is known to be covered with a layer of ice up to 24 km thick and it is likely that there is liquid water under the ice. Researchers believe that due to the thickness of the ice, underwater inhabitants can be protected from solar radiation and asteroid impacts. Let me remind you that earlier NASA announced the launch of a new mission to Jupiter's satellite Europe in 2025. The presence of liquid water, the researchers believe, makes the gas giant's satellite potentially habitable. But what kind of creatures can swim under the ice? According to Monica Grady, the rector of the University of Liverpool, most likely, there is an advanced alien life on Jupiter's moon Europa, somewhat reminiscent of octopuses.
According to phys.org, according to Professor Grady, life forms on Europa may be significantly more complex than those that we can potentially find on Mars. But why?
Some scientists believe that life "jumped" from world to world within the solar system, thanks to pieces of rock thrown into space by the impact of comets or asteroids. Indeed, there is a whole theory of panspermia, which Ilya Khel described in detail in his article. But even if this theory is correct, what is the likelihood that the alleged pioneers were able to reach Jupiter's moon Europa or Saturn's moon Enceladus, which, like Europa, is an ice world?
Life on other planets
Purdue University geophysicist Jay Melosh addressed the issue and presented the results during a speech at the American Geophysical Union's annual fall meeting, Space.com writes. Melosh used computer models to trace the fate of 100,000 simulated Martian particles that were thrown into space by an asteroid impact.
He modeled three different ejection speeds: 1, 3, and 5 kilometers per second. As a result, it took the tiny particles 4.5 billion years to get to Enceladus, and only from 0, 000,002% to 0, 000 004% of the number of those particles that hit the Earth got to the moon of Saturn. And the satellite of Jupiter Europa received from 0, 00004% to 0, 00007% of particles from our planet. We know that about 1 ton of fist-sized or larger Martian rocks fall to Earth every year. Using this figure, Melosh calculated that Europa receives about 0.4 grams of Martian material per year, and Enceladus only 2-4 milligrams.
This is what Europa looks like - Jupiter's icy moon
These results may appear to be favorable for the spread of life. After all, microbial exposure may be sufficient to transform Europa or Enceladus from uninhabited to habitable. However, there are other factors that are not as optimistic. The fact is that meteorites with terrestrial microbes will take at least 2 billion years to get to Enceladus. Microbes, of course, are hardy, but not that hard. This means that if life is indeed discovered on Europa or Enceladus, then most likely it will be of local origin. According to Professor Grady, life on Mars, Europa and Enceladus - assuming it exists - will be very different from each other. So, the inhabitants of Mars are likely to be bacteria, and we will find them, probably, under the surface of the planet. But in Europe and Enceladus, in her opinion, local life forms can be much more complicated.
Life on the moon of Jupiter
Grady believes that on Europa, creatures can live in oceans under a hard ice shell up to 24 kilometers thick. Scientists have long suspected the existence of these deep, subsurface oceans on Jupiter's moon - and perhaps even life. Moreover, in August, NASA announced that it was completing final development for the Europa Clipper spacecraft, which will look for signs of life in Europa. Read about the mission to the gas giant's moon in this article.
Who knows what floats beneath the icy moons of the gas giants
According to Professor Grady, it is likely that life exists elsewhere in the Milky Way, especially given that humans have yet to explore all the stars in our vast galaxy. In addition, she considers it “highly probable” that the life we can find, whether in the Milky Way or beyond, will be composed of the same elements as we do.
And yet, the question of whether we will ever be able to establish contact with representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations is still open. it is important to note, however, that there are currently no real or credible alien “signals” received from space. The efforts of researchers are currently focused on the study of the planets and satellites of the solar system. Which, in fact, is quite logical, since our technologies do not yet allow traveling far from home. But as for the existence of other humanoid aliens in the solar system, then Grady and other researchers are not too optimistic. Again, not surprising.
When it comes to the prospects for life outside the Earth, it is almost always the belief that there is life under the ice shell of Europa, and it is possible that these creatures will look like octopuses.
Professor Monica Grady, speaking at the University of Liverpool.