The solar system is a galaxy in a remote location of the Milky way, and it is also one of the hundreds of billions of galaxies in the Milky way. The solar system is not an ordinary galaxy, because it gave birth to an intelligent civilization planet earth. The earth is not only a living planet, but also a planet with a lot of liquid water. 71% of the earth’s surface is ocean, and water is the source of life. Without water, there will be no life on earth.
When human beings walk out of the earth and see the vast universe and countless planets, they have been thinking about a question: is there any extraterrestrial life in the universe? Is human really the only intelligent life in the universe? Due to the limitation of human science and technology, we can only explore in the solar system to see if there is extraterrestrial life in the solar system.
In order to search for extraterrestrial life, human beings have launched many probes. Voyager 1 is the farthest sailing one. At present, Voyager 1 is about to go out of the solar system. Each of the eight major planets in the solar system has a probe for observation. As the largest gaseous planet in the solar system, Jupiter is not too far away from the earth, so it is naturally the focus of attention.
When the human probe arrived at Jupiter, it was not Jupiter, a huge gaseous planet, but several moons of Jupiter that attracted scientists. The reason is that a lot of ice was found in several moons of Jupiter, especially Europa, which is a world of ice. Europa is less than 900 million kilometers from earth.
In December 1995, NASA’s Galileo probe entered orbit around Jupiter. Among the first observation targets, the Galileo probe found that Europa is a cold world. After adjusting its orbit, it skimmed over the height of about 351km from Europa and found ice all over the mountains. A large amount of ice covered the whole Europa.
The discovery of a large amount of ice on Europa is not the most exciting thing for scientists. The most exciting thing is the discovery that Europa’s geomagnetic north pole is constantly changing, moving about every 5.5 hours. The same phenomenon also occurs on the earth. The earth’s geomagnetic north pole moves at a speed of 20.5 meters per day. Maybe many people don’t understand the meaning of the constant movement of the geomagnetic north. It actually tells us that there may be a liquid conducting layer under Europa, that is, there may be a liquid ocean under the ice.
This discovery excites scientists. This is the first time that humans have found a planet with ocean in the universe. From 1990 to 2012, American scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to discover the plume jet on Europa, and found a large amount of hydrogen and oxygen in the southern hemisphere of Europa. This is the product of electrolysis of water ice ejected from the surface cracks of the ocean under the ice of Europa.
Now, scientists have been able to confirm that there is an ocean under the ice layer of Enceladus. The depth of the underwater ocean may reach tens to hundreds of kilometers, and the water storage capacity is more than that of the earth. However, the thickness of the ice layer also ranges from several kilometers to tens of kilometers. Therefore, it is not easy to enter the underwater ocean of Europa.
The existence of liquid ocean represents the existence of life, which may be the reason why scientists attach great importance to Europa. It is also possible that human beings have discovered for the first time that extraterrestrial life will occur in the underwater ocean of Europa in the future. To this end, NASA plans to design a glacier drilling robot, which looks like a torpedo and is propelled by nuclear power, and can penetrate glaciers at least 30 kilometers thick.
If such a thick ice layer is on the earth, there are many ways for human beings to penetrate it, but it’s not so easy to happen on Europa. The current propulsion technology of human beings is not very developed, and the heavy equipment can’t be transported to Europa. What’s more, the manned landing on Europa can’t be realized for the time being. It’s only by remote control, so the efficiency will be much lower, especially in science According to my estimation, even if it is nuclear propulsion, it will take two or three years to drill through the ice on Europa at the speed of 8 kilometers per year.
In order to drill through Europa’s ice and reach the underwater ocean, it is impossible to achieve with the existing human technology, mainly because heavy equipment cannot be transported to Europa. However, there is another way to explore whether there is life in Europa’s underwater ocean. According to NASA’s latest observation of Europa, a large amount of liquid water containing salt has been found under the ice in Europa’s equatorial region, and there may be icicles as high as 50 feet and about 15 meters high on the ice.
This kind of icicle is made up of liquid water ejected from the ocean under the ice. If there is life in the ocean under the ice, there must be micro life such as bacteria and microorganisms. Such life may exist in the ejected icicle, just like the ocean on our earth, which turns into ice. There are also microorganisms and bacteria in it, which can be detected by microscope Easy to see.
If we can find bacteria and microorganisms in this icicle, we can confirm that there is life in the sea under the ice, and there may be creatures like fish, or even more advanced creatures. To explore in this direction, scientists plan to develop a new lander that can land on Europa’s surface, and then preliminarily detect the plume to determine whether there is life.
This is also the best way for us to realize the pre ice drilling on Europa. Of course, with the rapid development of human science and technology, once there is a breakthrough in energy in the future, such as the success of controllable nuclear fusion. Human beings will have more advanced power spacecraft, and landing on Jupiter II will be very easy. At that time, we can take powerful ice drilling equipment to land on Europa, drill through the ice, and then send small submarines down to know whether there is life in Europa’s underwater ocean.
In fact, in addition to Europa, there are several moons of Jupiter that have a large number of ice layers. It is possible that there is a liquid ocean under these ice layers, and there is a liquid methane ocean above Ganymede. It does not rule out the existence of life in the methane ocean. This kind of life exists in methane, which is completely beyond human understanding of life.
Life in the universe is bound to be different from life on earth. The exploration of life in the ocean under Europa ice is only the first step for human beings to explore extraterrestrial life. In the future, when human beings have the ability to walk out of the solar system and meet more incredible extraterrestrial life, life in the universe may be ordinary, not as rare as we thought, and human beings can’t develop The main reason for the existence of extraterrestrial life is that our technology is still very backward.
Guys, do you think there will be life in Europa’s underwater ocean? You are welcome to speak actively and express your opinions and opinions.