Jupiter’s moon Europa, which possesses a vast, ice-capped global ocean. Voyager 2, July 9, 1979

Is there alien life on one of Jupiter’s moons? The presence of a salty liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust make it a prime target for future space exploration missions, but new research suggests that any landing could be faced with a big problem.

A team led by scientists from Cardiff University in Wales predicts that fields of sharp ice growing to almost 15 meters tall could be scattered across the equatorial regions of Europa. In a study published today in Nature Geoscience, the researchers claim that hazardous obstacles are known as ‘penitentes’ will need to be avoided before any probe can touch down on Europa’s surface.

Criss-crossing faults and ice blocks thought to have broken apart and ‘rafted’ into news positions in the Conamara Chaos region on Jupiter’s satellite Europa. Galileo, September-December 1996, February 1997

What have the scientists found on Europa? 

“The presence of sharp, blade-like structures towering to almost 15 meters high would make any potential landing mission to Europa extremely precarious,” said the lead author of the research Dr. Daniel Hobley, from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences. “We hope that studies like ours will help the engineers to develop innovative ways of delivering landers safely on Europa’s surface so that we can find out even more about this fascinating place, and potentially look for signs of extra-terrestrial life.”

What is a penitente?

Penitentes are tall sharp-edged blades and spikes made of snow and ice that point towards the midday sun. They form through a process known as sublimation, where ice turns directly into water vapor without melting into a liquid first.

These bizarre snow and ice formations, called “penitentes”, form in high-altitude regions such as the Chajnantor plain, close to where the ALMA array will be located.ESO

How did scientists find the ice spikes on Europa?

Using observational data to calculate the sublimation rates at various points on Europa’s surface, they estimated the penitentes’ size and distribution. They concluded that penitentes are each 15 meters tall and just 7.5 meters apart, with Europa’s equator the main region.

Why is Europa so interesting?

Europa is one of the likeliest destinations to harbor life in our solar system, largely because it has large seas of liquid water underneath its surface. It’s also thought that Europa is venting plumes of water vapor through its ice.

Can NASA’s Europa Clipper mission help?

Yes. Scheduled to launch in 2022, NASA’s Europa Clipper mission will perform about 45 flybys, in each pass photographing the moon’s icy surface in high resolution so it should be able to confirm the presence of the penitentes. Jeff Moore, a co-author on the study and a Planetary Geologist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA, notes that the Europa Clipper could directly observe penitentes with its high-resolution camera.

NASA’s Europa Clipper missionNASA/JPL

What about the European Space Agency’s JUICE mission?

Also in the 2020s, the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) will spend three and a half years examining Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Its cameras and ice-penetrating radar will be used to study the composition of its icy crust, detecting whether there are reservoirs of water between layers of ice.

After those two missions, a lander could follow, though it now seems that any mission the Europa is going to have to choose its landing site very carefully to avoid being spiked upon landing. “The unique conditions of Europa present both exciting exploratory possibilities and potentially treacherous danger,” added Hobley.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like these:

This Weekend The Trillion-Star Andromeda Galaxy Will Be At Its Brilliant Best

Missed The Perseids? Here’s When And Where To See The Next Great Meteor Shower of 2018

Here Is How To See All Eight Planets In One Night This Week

How To Locate NASA’s Flagship Spacecraft In The Night Sky

Follow me on Twitter @jamieacarter, @TheNextEclipse or read my other Forbes articles via my profile page.

” readability=”81.2136428233″>
< div _ ngcontent-c15 ="" innerhtml ="

(****** )

Jupiter’s moon Europa, which has a huge, ice-capped international ocean. Voyager 2, July 9,1979

Exists alien life on among Jupiter’s moons? The existence of a salted liquid water ocean underneath its icy crust make it a prime target for future area expedition objectives, however brand-new research study recommends that any landing might be confronted with a huge issue.

A group led by researchers from Cardiff University in Wales anticipates that fields of sharp ice growing to nearly 15 meters high might be spread throughout the equatorial areas of Europa. In a research study released today in Nature Geoscience, the scientists declare that dangerous barriers are called ‘penitentes’ will require to be prevented prior to any probe can touch down on Europa’s surface area.

(******** )(********* )Criss-crossing faults and ice obstructs believed to have actually disintegrated and ‘rafted’ into news positions in the Conamara Mayhem area on Jupiter’s satellite Europa. Galileo, September-December 1996, February 1997

What have the researchers discovered on Europa?

” The existence of sharp, blade-like structures towering to nearly 15 meters high would make any possible landing objective to Europa incredibly precarious,” stated the lead author of the research study Dr. Daniel Hobley, from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences “We hope that research studies like ours will assist the engineers to establish ingenious methods of providing landers securely on Europa’s surface area so that we can discover much more about this remarkable location, and possibly search for indications of extra-terrestrial life.”

What is a penitente?(******************* )(********** )(************ )Penitentes are high sharp-edged blades and spikes made from snow and ice that point towards the midday sun. They form through a procedure called sublimation, where ice turns straight into water vapor without melting into a liquid initially.

These unusual snow and ice developments, called “penitentes”, type in high-altitude areas such as the Chajnantor plain, near to where the ALMA variety will lie. ESO

How did researchers discover the ice spikes on Europa?

Utilizing observational information to determine the sublimation rates at different points on Europa’s surface area, they approximated the penitentes’ size and circulation. They concluded that penitentes are each 15 meters high and simply 7.5 meters apart, with Europa’s equator the primary area.

Why is Europa so intriguing?

Europa is among the likeliest locations to harbor life in our planetary system, mainly since it has big seas of liquid water beneath its surface area. It’s likewise believed that Europa is venting plumes of water vapor through its ice.

Can NASA’s Europa Clipper objective assistance?

Yes. Arranged to release in 2022, NASA’s Europa Clipper objective will carry out about 45 flybys, in each pass photographing the moon’s icy surface area in high resolution so it must have the ability to validate the existence of the penitentes. Jeff Moore, a co-author on the research study and a Planetary Geologist at NASA’s Ames Proving ground in Mountain View, CA, keeps in mind that the Europa Clipper might straight observe penitentes with its high-resolution video camera.

NASA’s Europa Clipper objective NASA/JPL

What about the European Area Company’s JUICE objective?

Likewise in the 2020 s, the European Area Company’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer(JUICE) will invest 3 and a half years analyzing Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Its video cameras and ice-penetrating radar will be utilized to study the structure of its icy crust, spotting whether there are tanks of water in between layers of ice.

After those 2 objectives, a lander might follow, though it now appears that any objective the Europa is going to need to select its landing website extremely thoroughly to prevent being increased upon landing. “The distinct conditions of Europa present both amazing exploratory possibilities and possibly treacherous threat,” included Hobley.

If you enjoyed this short article, you might likewise like these:

This Weekend The Trillion-Star Andromeda Galaxy Will Be At Its Dazzling Best

Missed Out On The Perseids? Here’s When And Where To See The Next Fantastic Meteor Shower of 2018

Here Is How To See All 8 Planets In One Night Today

How To Find NASA’s Flagship Spacecraft In The Night Sky

Follow me on Twitter @jamieacarter, @TheNextEclipse or read my other Forbes short articles through my profile page

” readability =”81
2136428233″ >

.

.

Jupiter’s moon Europa, which has a huge, ice-capped international ocean. Voyager 2, July 9, 1979

.

.

Exists alien life on among Jupiter’s moons? The existence of a salted liquid water ocean underneath its icy crust make it a prime target for future area expedition objectives, however brand-new research study recommends that any landing might be confronted with a huge issue.

A group led by researchers from Cardiff University in Wales anticipates that fields of sharp ice growing to nearly 15 meters high might be spread throughout the equatorial areas of Europa. In a research study released today in Nature Geoscience , the scientists declare that dangerous barriers are called ‘penitentes’ will require to be prevented prior to any probe can touch down on Europa’s surface area.

.

.

Criss-crossing faults and ice obstructs believed to have actually disintegrated and ‘rafted’ into news positions in the Conamara Mayhem area on Jupiter’s satellite Europa. Galileo, September-December 1996, February 1997

.

.

What have the researchers discovered on Europa?

“The existence of sharp, blade-like structures towering to nearly 15 meters high would make any possible landing objective to Europa incredibly precarious,” stated the lead author of the research study Dr. Daniel Hobley, from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences “We hope that research studies like ours will assist the engineers to establish ingenious methods of providing landers securely on Europa’s surface area so that we can discover much more about this remarkable location, and possibly search for indications of extra-terrestrial life.”

What is a penitente?

Penitentes are high sharp-edged blades and spikes made from snow and ice that point towards the midday sun. They form through a procedure called sublimation, where ice turns straight into water vapor without melting into a liquid initially.

.

.

These unusual snow and ice developments, called “penitentes”, type in high-altitude areas such as the Chajnantor plain, near to where the ALMA variety will lie. ESO

.

.

How did researchers discover the ice spikes on Europa?

Utilizing observational information to determine the sublimation rates at different points on Europa’s surface area, they approximated the penitentes’ size and circulation. They concluded that penitentes are each 15 meters high and simply 7.5 meters apart, with Europa’s equator the primary area.

Why is Europa so intriguing?

Europa is among the likeliest locations to harbor life in our planetary system, mainly since it has big seas of liquid water beneath its surface area. It’s likewise believed that Europa is venting plumes of water vapor through its ice.

Can NASA’s Europa Clipper objective assistance?

Yes. Arranged to release in 2022, NASA’s Europa Clipper objective will carry out about 45 flybys, in each pass photographing the moon’s icy surface area in high resolution so it must have the ability to validate the existence of the penitentes. Jeff Moore, a co-author on the research study and a Planetary Geologist at NASA’s Ames Proving ground in Mountain View, CA, keeps in mind that the Europa Clipper might straight observe penitentes with its high-resolution video camera.

.

.

NASA’s Europa Clipper objective NASA/JPL

.

.

What about the European Area Company’s JUICE objective?

Likewise in the 2020 s, the European Area Company’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) will invest 3 and a half years analyzing Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Its video cameras and ice-penetrating radar will be utilized to study the structure of its icy crust, spotting whether there are tanks of water in between layers of ice.

After those 2 objectives, a lander might follow, though it now appears that any objective the Europa is going to need to select its landing website extremely thoroughly to prevent being increased upon landing. “The distinct conditions of Europa present both amazing exploratory possibilities and possibly treacherous threat,” included Hobley.

If you enjoyed this short article, you may likewise like these:

This Weekend The Trillion-Star Andromeda Galaxy Will Be At Its Dazzling Best

Missed Out On The Perseids? Here’s When And Where To See The Next Fantastic Meteor Shower of 2018

Here Is How To See All 8 Planets In One Night Today

How To Find NASA’s Flagship Spacecraft In The Night Sky

Follow me on Twitter @jamieacarter , @TheNextEclipse or read my other Forbes short articles through my profile page

.

.