Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics (STEAM)

Could Jupiter's Moon Europa Have an Ocean?

Could Jupiter’s moon Europa have an ocean? Find out now – on “Space Shorts.”

Here on Earth, water covers three fourths of our planet. That’s a lot of H2O! Europa may have twice as much – right under its icy surface!

Why do scientists think so?

First – A spacecraft showed us! Europa’s surface is mostly made of water ice, with some salts.

Second – We see lots of cracks and ridges, but not so many craters. It may be that an underground ocean causes the surface to warm and crack – again and again – changing the landscape and erasing any craters.

And the final most compelling clue? Europa’s changing magnetic field. What’s under the surface conducting that much electricity? A hidden, salt water ocean explains it!

A future NASA mission can tell us for sure if Europa has an ocean. That’s the next step in knowing if this mysterious world has the right conditions for life.



Related Files