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 Ocean bubbles up to surface of Jupiter's moon Europa

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PostSubject: Ocean bubbles up to surface of Jupiter's moon Europa   Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:10 am



The huge ocean sloshing beneath the icy shell of Jupiter's moon Europa likely makes its way to the surface in some places, suggesting astronomers may not need to drill down deep to investigate it, a new study reports.

Scientists have detected chemicals on Europa's frozen surface that could only come from the global liquid-water ocean beneath, implying the two are in contact and potentially opening a window into an environment that may be capable of supporting life as we know it.

"We now have evidence that Europa's ocean is not isolated — that the ocean and the surface talk to each other and exchange chemicals," study lead author Mike Brown of Caltech in Pasadena said in a statement.

"That means that energy might be going into the ocean, which is important in terms of the possibilities for life there," Brown added. "It also means that if you’d like to know what’s in the ocean, you can just go to the surface and scrape some off."

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