Can Humans Live on Europa?

Can Humans Live on Europa?

Europa has a thin atmosphere, composed mostly of oxygen and water vapor. The chances for life there were always iffy, as a global ocean lay under a few miles of ice, which separated it from oxygen being produced on the surface from energetic charged particles (similar to cosmic rays). Europas geophysical features, including its likely subglacial ocean, have made it a possible place where human life may be supported at or below the surface.

Life as humans might not thrive in Europas Jovian moons topography, but there may be some minor microbes living in the moons small subsurface. Scientists have long suspected that underneath Jupiters Europas fractured, icy surface lies a large liquid-water ocean, double that of the planets Earth. Researchers looking for signs of life beyond Earth have long been drawn to Jupiters moon Europa, as several features on the moons icy surface--including its vibrant colors, networks of long cracks, and crater-free terrain--suggest the moon contains a massive ocean hidden under its ice.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Europas ice shell itself will be thick enough to shield against the radiation, one of the reasons scientists believe life may already exist beneath the waters. Because Europas icy surface is constantly shifting and breaking up because of tides created by both the sun and Jupiters gravity fields, the ice would be crumbling away into a huge expanse. If there were a 100-kilometer-deep ocean beneath Europas icy shell, it would be 10 times deeper than any on Earth, and would hold twice the amount of water that the planets oceans and rivers combined.

The thin oxygen atmosphere contains abundant nitrogen and methane. Although no evidence for life exists on Titan to date, its complex chemical composition and unique environment certainly makes it the target for ongoing investigation. Scientists have recently observed, for the first time, that on an epigenetic level, astronauts aged slower over a prolonged, simulated journey through space as opposed to when their feet were planted on planet Earth. So, if Europa were moved around and placed near the planet, Europa would suddenly be in the habitable zone, where Europa would begin melting. A thin oxygen atmosphere contains plentiful nitrogen and methane. Although there is so far no evidence of life on Titan, its complex chemistry and unique environments are certain to make it a destination for continued exploration.

Scientists have recently observed for the first time that, on an epigenetic level, astronauts age more slowly during long-term simulated space travel than they would have if their feet had been planted on Planet Earth. So, if Europa were moved and placed next to Earth, Europa would suddenly find itself within the habitable zone, and it would start to melt. A New evidence has emerged suggesting that the massive, ice-encrusted ocean, Europa could harbour life similar to that on the planet. New studies show there is enough oxygen available throughout the worlds oceans to sustain oxygen-based metabolic processes for similar-looking life on Earth.

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Read More About Europa:

Is There Life On Europa?
There is currently no evidence of life on Europa but the existence of Europa’s sub-surface oceans and complex chemistry makes Europa a great candidate for life.
Can Europa be Terraformed?
Based on what we know about Europa, humans could live there if they were willing to modify how they use resources on the planet.

Read About The Possibilities of Living On Other Planets:

Can Humans Live on Mercury?
No, humans can not live on Mercury due to extreme temperature fluctuations, solar radiation, and a thin atmosphere.

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