Scientific research, based on images taken by the Galileo spacecraft, has found that one of Jupiter’s moons features water lakes beneath its icy shell, according to a publication in the journal Nature. Warmer water can be found on Europe, with small lakes forming only 3 kilometers below the crust, the first evidence ever that liquid water exists within the Solar system.
A giant ocean, some 160 kilometers deep, is probably lying beneath Europa’s ice crust, at depth of 10 to 30 kilometers, scientists claim. Thus, life as we know it might exist under the icy crust of Europa; not intelligent life but various microorganisms and other simple life-forms, according to lead author Britney Schmidt from the University of Texas at Austin, in the United States.
The Galileo spacecraft was launched in 1989, while North American and European scientists are working on new missions to Europe, and other moons surrounding Jupiter, to be launched within the next decade or in early-2020s.
According to European and U.S. scholars conditions on Europa are very similar to those in Antarctica, where glaciers and ice shelves can be found.