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Space Science

Life-Bearing Lake Possible On Icy Jupiter Moon 112

astroengine writes "New research shows the jumbled ice blocks crowning the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa are signs of large liquid lakes below, a key finding in the search for places where life might exist beyond Earth. Drawing from studies of underground volcanoes in Iceland and Antarctica, scientists ran computer models to see if the chaotic formations on Europa's surface could be explained by the same geologic processes seen on Earth. It turns out that not only could this be further evidence for a sub-surface ocean, but also a mechanism that mixes ice and water, circulating nutrients and energy to get from the frozen surface to the ocean below."
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Life-Bearing Lake Possible On Icy Jupiter Moon

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  • by martas ( 1439879 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:14PM (#38078308)

    slashdot filter doesn't get sci fi references... i am disappoint.
    • you beat me to it, you insensitive clod!

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      No wonder the Euro is about to crash.

    • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:29PM (#38078550) Journal

      CmdrTaco took his monolith with him. That's why slashfilter had context recognition fail.

      "My God, it's full of trolls!"

    • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @06:00PM (#38078994)

      All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landing there.

      If only we had a space program that would warrant such a warning.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Surt ( 22457 )

        Mod parent +5, depressing.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Bucky24 ( 1943328 )
        Ya know I imagine if some alien entity put a giant message telling us not to land on a certain planet that's the first place NASA would go...
  • But not as we know it.

  • When? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:19PM (#38078394) Journal

    When can we go ice fishing there? I would love to see what we catch.... Wonder if it tastes good?

  • Cool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zwede ( 1478355 )

    Let's go have a look.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

      You wouldn't happen to have a rocket that can get there on you would you? And a ship with a life support system that can support a crew for several years, and a drill that can drill through dozens of miles of ice? If so, we can leave tomorrow. My schedule's good.

      • Re:Cool (Score:5, Funny)

        by dissy ( 172727 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:59PM (#38078974)

        "Wanted: Someone to travel in home-made rocket ship with me. This is not a joke. P.O.Box 322, Oakview CA. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before."

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          Steven Moffat, is that you [bleedingcool.com]?

      • I know just the people [wikipedia.org] you should talk to.

  • send a probe! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:29PM (#38078546)
    A panel discussion at one of the SETI presentations, one of them said, "Go where the water is." and there's a lot more water on Europa than Mars. Though the ice is thick and radiation is intense, then there is streaming the data back to the surface from the robot submarine through all that water. But just imagine... direct observation of life forms. Most likely microbes, it would be exciting to see lots of fishes. Imagine all the posts on slashdot, those wanting to name the first fish, marine biologists having to constantly correct people's statements, on going jokes of "All These Worlds..." from the movie (incidently remember also in the movie 2010 is where the Chinese made a mad dash to this area before the Americans and Russians).
    • by lorinc ( 2470890 )
      Yeah, and all further industrialization processes... I mean, how many tons of spacy fish we can farm over there ?
    • Re:send a probe! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @05:37PM (#38078664)

      Most likely microbes

      Even single celled organisms [discovermagazine.com] can be quite amazing right here on earth. These puppies were recently found in the depths of our oceans. I can't wait to see what life will come up with on another planet/moon with a totally different set of playing rules.

      I only meddle in biology, but what I have learned is that for each time you think that life can't get any stranger, you soon enough discover something that proves you wrong yet again.

      • ...but what I have learned is that for each time you think that life can't get any stranger...

        You must be new here. :-)

        Sorry, couldn't resist.

        But I do agree with your comment, and have been bemused and befuddled by news of the very example you link to.

        I can 'wrap my mind' around microscopic single-celled organisms, having viewed them through microscopes many times.
        Macroscopic single-celled organisms just boggle my mind. I have many questions....

        • by cusco ( 717999 )
          Check out the mobile life stage of slime molds if you want something really weird.
    • by dingen ( 958134 )
      But what if there is life on Europa and we kill it with our probe?
    • >marine biologists having to constantly correct people's statements

      Technically, this would be marine exobiologists.

      But that's not the point. If they did have complex organisms, I would hope they were squid-like.

    • the movie 2010 is where the Chinese made a mad dash to this area before the Americans and Russians

      I'd love to see this happen in real life. Us westerners often need competition to really spur us on.

      • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
        come to think of it, this situation occurred in the book "2010," not the movie. Like in Clarke's 2001 book, he was suspicious of the Chinese. Situation was while the Leonov was enroute to Jupiter, the Chinese had a spacecraft that made a mad dash and landed on Europa (ugh, it has been more than 20 years since I read the book so I may have missed some details). Chinese spacecraft and crew perished but they brought very powerful latest technology drilling rigs. (continuing on with the fictional story by Clark
  • Can't wait until we start searching Europa's depths instead of Mars' radiation-scorched deserts.

  • "Liquid water possibly found on Jupiter Moon"

    When will the editors understand that not all Slashdot readers are carbon-based life forms. The ridiculous bias on this site knows no bounds!

    • Yes, some of them are silicon based (ie news-feed aggregator bots... though that would be more binary based rather then silicon based, wouldn't it?).
  • From what I understand Europa is bombarded with massive streams of deadly radiation emanating from Jupiter's radiation belts. How could life possibly exist much less come into being?
    • The layer of ice on the surface of Europa is estimated to be up to 100 km thick. That is a huge radiation shield.
  • The Chinese will get there first

    (in the book anyway - the movie sucked)

  • To watch all you "old coots" complain about the "old slashdot" and how the "new slashdot" is all memes and no scientific talk. Which is complete and udder bullshit.

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