The Hidden Ocean Beneath Europa’s Frozen Crust May Contain Basic Table Salt

Observations from the Hubble Space Telescope point to the presence of sodium chloride on the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. This is potential evidence that sodium chloride, otherwise known as table salt, exists within Europa’s subsurface ocean – yet another indication of this moon’s potential to support alien life. Read More >>

NASA Produces Building Blocks of Life in Experimental Recreation of Ancient Earth

How did life first start? Scientists hoping to answer that question are recreating the conditions of early Earth’s oceans in a lab. Read More >>

Oh Crap, It Looks Like Europa’s Surface Is Covered With Gigantic Shards of Ice

Jupiter’s moon Europa, with its subsurface ocean, may have what it takes to foster alien life. A mission to this icy moon is on the wishlist of many astronomers, but new research suggests it won’t be easy to land spacecraft there: Its surface seems to be littered with icy spikes, the tallest of which measure five stories high. Read More >>

Life on Europa Could Be Just Beyond Our Reach

Our Solar System has its own Hoth: Europa, the ice-covered Jovian moon where the existence of alien life hasn’t been ruled out. Unlike on Hoth, where life thrives on the icy surface, life on Europa would thrive in the ocean beneath its frigid surface – but of evidence for it might be just beyond the reach of our experiments. Read More >>

Spacecraft May Have Flown Right Through a Plume of Water on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Sometimes, scientists have the answers all along—they just don’t think to ask the question. For example, it appears that in 1997, the Galileo orbiter flew through a jet of water shooting out from Jupiter’s moon Europa without even trying. Read More >>

Massive Lava Waves Detected on Jupiter’s Moon Io

Io is the closest thing we have to hell in our Solar System, a Jovian moon that features hundreds of active volcanoes and expansive lakes filled with lava. New observations suggests that the largest of these lakes, Loki Patera, produces enormous waves that repeatedly flow around the molten surface. Read More >>

An Alien Hunter on the Risks and Rewards of Landing on Europa

On Friday, February 10th, NASA announced that a team of 21 scientists had delivered their first report on a lander mission to explore the possibility of life on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. The NASA-employed Science Definition Team (SDT) recommended that NASA send a probe as soon as 2031, about a decade after an already-planned Europa flyby mission. Read More >>

NASA Plans to Drill Toward Europa’s Crust In Search of Life

Since early 2016, a NASA-employed Science Definition Team (SDT) of 21 researchers has been crafting a plan to send a robotic probe to Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter, located over 390,000 miles from Earth. On 7th February, that team delivered their first report to NASA, detailing their recommendations for that future mission, which will search for life by drilling toward the subterranean ocean scientists strongly suspect to exist beneath the icy moon’s surface. The team hopes to launch as soon as 2031. Read More >>

Another One of Saturn’s Moons May Have a Global Ocean

The evidence is mounting that our solar system is rife with oceans. Last week, scientists reported that Pluto could have an insanely deep liquid water swimming pool beneath its surface, and on Monday, NASA revealed new evidence for geyser activity on icy Europa. Now, another frozen moon is poised to join the club of outer space scuba retreats: Dione. Read More >>

Hubble Discovers New Evidence of Water Geysers on Europa

Jupiter’s moon Europa is on the shortlist of places we might discover alien life in our solar system. And today, the prospects for finding extraterrestrial microbes on this little ice moon got a lot better, when NASA unveiled new evidence for water geysers near Europa’s south pole. The discovery strengthens the case for a geothermally-heated, subsurface ocean. Read More >>

Europa is Even More Earth-Like Than We Suspected

Europa, Jupiter’s watery ice-moon, has long attracted attention as a possible site for finding life. Now, a new analysis shows that its oceans may be even closer to our own than we knew. Read More >>

Does Europa Have an Ocean?

Europa’s fabled ocean has inspired science fiction movies and actual space missions alike — and yet we aren’t even sure it exists. NASA has grown so curious, it recently greenlit a mission to Europa that’ll hopefully settle the matter once and for all. And the space agency has just produced an excellent video explaining why we should care. Read More >>