NASA's Europa surprise

NASA will on Monday reveal “surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa.”

Europa is one of Jupiter's many moons and is thought to have an icy crust floating above a liquid interior. The prospect of a liquid interior makes it a decent candidate for hosting life, so the Hubble Space Telescope's spent some time peering at it.

The life on Europa hypothesis was given a fair kick along by Arthur C. Clarke in 2010: Odyssey Two, in which a creature ascends from the moon's depths to destroy a Chinese spacecraft. the entities controlling the mysterious monoliths of 2001: A Space Odyssey later cause Jupiter to become a star and issue the following message to humanity.

ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
EUROPA
ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE
USE THEM TOGETHER
USE THEM IN PEACE

NASA's notification of its announcement is very scanty, but offers no hint of anything to do with life. Just the mention of the subsurface ocean. For now … ®


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