Jupiter’s moon looks quite exquisite in pictures. Its round surface is crossed by thick red lines that appear to be sea salt. After researchers from NASA checked the consistency of the darker material traversing the surface of the celestial body, they unbroke the mystery with a simple answer: sea salt.
The material coats some geological features of Europa. Its consistency appears to be the way it does due to the fact that a subsurface ocean might be present, shaded by exposure to radiation. Sea salt is a hint that shows the moon’s surface interacts with the ocean’s rocky seafloor. Scientists and researchers continue their investigations to see if the icy moon can support life.
Europa is immersed in radiation coming from Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field. Electrons and ions stick into the moon’s surface with a great intensity. As theories expose, the nature of the very dark material coating it may include radiation as a consisting part of the process that allows it to take shape.
To reveal the compound of Europa’s dark surface points, NASA scientists Kevin Hand and Robin Carlson conducted an extensive experiment called “Europa in a can”. They simulated the conditions on Europa’s surface in terms of temperature, pressure and radiation exposure. Then they experimented on materials that could cause the same color, contrast and consistency as those found on Jupiter’s moon. The spectra of the materials have then been compared to those collected by telescopes and spacecraft.
Europa looks fascinating. The cracks that cover it carry pale brown shades, dressing up the ivory surface of the body. Mysteries surrounding composition of the cracks can now come to light with the help of dedicated astronomers from NASA. The ocean interacts with its mineral-rich sea floor, offering the outcome of the fabulously colored lines that traverse Europa. Whether frozen Europa might support life or not, it’s just a question of time and further research.
Space missions are trying to find answers for an alternative life in outer space. Beyond the Jupiter inquiries, there is also a Mission on Mars conducted by a group of researchers who study closely all phenomena, to conclude whether in the near future we can live life in shades of red. A challenge in this direction has been launched as well, inviting us to find answers that can help us live 500 days on Mars, without help from Earth.
Coming back to Europa, Jupiter’s moon, researchers found the longer the collected samples were exposed to radiation, the darker became their shade. This is a precious hint which can help scientists determine the ages of geologic features and composition material resulted from any plumes that might be present on Europa.
Image Source: mashable.com