Naija Tech News (NTN) on 06, and in content, A guide to the mysterious oceans of the solar system: Europa is most likely to breed primitive life, Europa, Oceans, solar system .
when people talk about liquid water, they usually think that only the earth has liquid water in the solar system , but in fact our solar system has an amazing amount of liquid water .
The earth is located in the habitable zone of the solar system. The so-called habitable zone refers to the best habitable area of celestial bodies, and liquid water can exist on the surface of the earth. On planets outside the Earth, whether it is a planet, a dwarf planet or a satellite, either the water is evaporated at too high temperature, or the water freezes into a solid state at too low temperature, but this does not mean that there is no liquid water. Of course, these wet substances do not only exist on the surface of the planet, so scientists must use various methods to explore and discover.
Since this is a quiet lengthy article, we have added a table of contents for easier navigation.
There is a warm water world beneath Europa’s icy surface. Jupiter pulls Europa by gravity, keeping the groundwater world in a liquid state instead of heat from the sun.
Europa is characterized by chaotic terrain with scars on its surface. This is caused by turbulent groundwater near Europa in low latitudes. Europa has also undergone structural changes that may bring surface material to the underground ocean. There is no doubt that Europa is regarded as one of the most suitable planets in the solar system to breed primitive life.
Ganymede is the largest satellite of Jupiter, and there is also a hidden ocean world on this satellite. As early as 2015, NASA scientists observed the strange swaying motion of Europa, and used this as evidence of the existence of the underground ocean. Relevant calculations show that this super satellite has an ocean depth of 100 kilometers and is very rich in liquid water. In contrast, the depth of the Earth’s ocean does not exceed 10 kilometers.
Another underground ocean exists in Enceladus. Like Europa, this snowball-like satellite occasionally sprays water jets into space. NASA’s Cassini probe detects the intermission from Enceladus. The traces of salt and silica dust in the spring indicate that there is a complex chemical process under the ice crust of the satellite. There are “tiger cracks” on the surface of Enceladus, and liquid water is often leaked out.
Liquid water has existed on the surface of Enceladus for billions of years, mainly in the southern hemisphere. The underground ocean is like a sandwich between the surface and deep layers of Enceladus. The depth of the underground ocean is about 8-10 kilometers, and its water content is equivalent to Lake Superior.
Enceladus’s highly elliptical orbit around Saturn and the accompanying tidal forces keep the rocky core warm. The hot and porous core of the moon is made of silicate, which helps to carry out complex chemical reactions. The reaction may support the existence of life. In fact, scientists have detected organic molecules on Enceladus, but further research is needed to find strong evidence for the existence of microorganisms.
For the dwarf planet Ceres, the heat generated by the collision of celestial bodies has long since disappeared, but the water and salt content of this planet is high and it has been in a silt state. Sometimes, some liquid water seeps from the surface of the planet, leaving behind highly reflective sediments. The reservoir of this dwarf planet is located 40 kilometers below the surface and is hundreds of kilometers in diameter. For Ceres, which is only 950 kilometers in diameter, these water storages are considerable.
There used to be vast oceans and turbulent rivers on the surface of Mars, but now most of the water has disappeared, and water has been lost to outer space. But there are still some water resources on Mars today, almost all of which are ice. Research in 2018 showed that there may be stable liquid water near the Antarctic ice cap of this red planet.
The instrumental radar signal of the “Mars Express” probe reflected on the surface of Mars, showing a peculiar underground structure with a diameter of 20 kilometers. Based on the physical properties of the underground structure, Italian scientists boldly proposed that there may be liquid water, believing that this is a salt pool , Or a quagmire filled with soil. This may be good news for future Mars explorers, because liquid water will be a scarce resource on Mars.
A study earlier this year indicated that the dwarf planet Pluto may have an underground ocean. Data returned by NASA’s New Horizons probe showed that Pluto has an abnormally dynamic surface. Since the historic flyby of New Horizons in 2015 Since then, scientists have been studying the area.
Pluto seems to have gone through a high temperature phase at the beginning of its formation, allowing it to support the early underground oceans. Over time, these liquids gradually freeze and expand, and Pluto’s crust begins to expand and crack. Eventually, there may still be some under the cold surface of Pluto. Liquid water is very similar to Ceres.
7. “Ice Giants”: Uranus and Neptune
It is incredible that the solar system ice giants Uranus and Neptune may also have liquid oceans. Although this is only a speculation, a 2007 study shows that this is most likely to be true. Liquid water may exist between the bottom of the atmosphere and the inner core, where the temperature and atmospheric pressure are just right for the existence of the liquid ocean. According to NASA, if Neptune and Uranus really have oceans, the oceans may account for two-thirds of their total mass.
8. Lake Vostok, Antarctica, Earth
Lake Vostok in Antarctica is the most mysterious water area on earth. It is the largest underground lake in Antarctica. It is located 3770 meters below the eastern Antarctic ice sheet. The lake is 260 kilometers long, 50 kilometers wide, and has a maximum depth of about 500 meters. Incredibly, this lake is located 4 kilometers below the ice.
Lake Vostok was formed 14 million years ago. Its water has been isolated from the rest of the world for about 1 million years. Therefore, this underground lake provides a unique environment for scientists studying ancient ecosystems, because this water area may have some These unknown species. More importantly, Lake Vostok may be an analogous instance of Europa and Enceladus. Liquid water exists under their ice crust.
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