Space agencies across the globe are racing to detect signs of life in space. Now, NASA's Europa may drill on Jupiter's frosty moon to get samples, where scientists believe an ocean containing twice as much water as all of Earth's waters.
The ocean, which is thought to exist under Europa, Jupiter's moon's 10-to-15-mile-thick ice shell. Because of this, the 1,900-mile-wide moon is one of the scientists' bets to host extraterrestrial life.
On Sep. 26, 2016, NASA reported that its Hubble Space Telescope captured images of what seems like water vapor plumes erupting on the surface of Europa. Other observations showed the moon has high-altitude water vapor plume eruptions. These discoveries show that missions could, in fact, acquire samples from the underground ocean without having to drill through miles of ice.
"Europa's ocean is considered to be one of the most promising places that could potentially harbor life in the solar system," Geoff Yoder, acting associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C., said in a press release by the Hubble Space Telescope. "These plumes, if they do indeed exist, may provide another way to sample Europa's subsurface," he added.To read more, click here.