Could Jupiter Moon Harbor Fish-Size Life?
I'd be shocked if no life existed on Europa, one scientist says, and provocative new research suggests the moon's seas have enough oxygen for fishlike animals.
In the oceans of a moon hundreds of millions of miles from the sun, something fishy may be alive—right now.
Below its icy crust Jupiter's moon Europa is believed to host a global ocean up to a hundred miles (160 kilometers) deep, with no land to speak of at the surface.
And the extraterrestrial ocean is currently being fed more than a hundred times more oxygen than previous models had suggested, according to provocative new research.
That amount of oxygen would be enough to support more than just microscopic life-forms: At least three million tons of fishlike creatures could theoretically live and breathe on Europa, said study author Richard Greenberg of the University of Arizona in Tucson.
"There's nothing saying