Europa's Ocean Hints at Its Habitability
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 564 , Segment 6
Episode: Security Warnings, Transportation Revolution, Life Beyond Earth
- May 31, 2017 11:00 pm
- 15:06 mins
Guest: Edward Garnero, PhD, Professor of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University Astronomers last week dug into a trove of new photos and up-close data about Jupiter and its intense, swirling atmosphere. A NASA spacecraft called Juno will continue circling Jupiter until next February, when it will steer itself straight into the gassy giant and burn up. Why the suicide mission? Because NASA doesn’t want to risk Juno crashing into Europa – which is one of Jupiter’s moons and the place in all the solar system now believed to have the best chance of extraterrestrial life. If any bacteria or spores from Earth are still alive on the Juno spacecraft and end up on Europa, “we could possibly contaminate an entire alien ecosystem,” says one NASA scientist. A close look into what makes that moon such a good candidate for sustaining life. Click here for a video from NASA explaining why Europa has such a good chance of life and why it has liquid water, even though it's so far from the sun.