Jupiter moon Europa has a salty ocean of water which could introspect life if it nurtures chemical reactions with suitable life-giving elements.
A study published in Geophysical Research Letters, explains the theory based on the Earth’s atmosphere. It says a suitable ratio of oxygen to hydrogen could help bring the life. The ocean underneath Europa’s icy exterior has the energy to support life.
Steve Vance, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, studied the alien ocean by understanding the movement of life and energy on planet Earth.
“The cycling of oxygen and hydrogen in Europa’s ocean will be a major driver for Europa’s ocean chemistry and any life there, just as it is on Earth,” said Vance in a report by In Homeland Security.
Researchers studied the requirement of hydrogen and oxygen to start life. They found that the suitable ratio between the two elements was the same as that of the earth. Even taking the volcanic activities in view, Europa has 10 times more oxygen than hydrogen, just like Earth.
According to Space, the moon may have water presence twice as that of Earth. Its surface is comprised of ice with some salts. Moreover, the ridges over the moon indicate that the underground ocean is causing the ice sheet to break.
As per the study, reactions between seawater and the rock on Europa’s crust generate hydrogen. Cracks on the surface enable the seawater to react with rocks and minerals.
Researchers said that the oxygen content on the moon’s surface comes from ice on its surface. Jupiter’s radiation causes the water molecules to break into hydrogen and oxygen. Then oxygen reacts with different elements in the water including hydrogen.
K.P Hand, co-author of the study said:“The oxidants from the ice are like the positive terminal of a battery, and the chemicals from the seafloor, called reductants, are like the negative terminal. Whether or not life and biological processes complete the circuit is part of what motivates our exploration of Europa.”