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(Some Guy)   Astronomy Picture of the Day: All the Water on Europa. Something something, attempt no land... ahhh just look at the cool pics   (129.164.179.22) divider line 38
    More: Cool, astronomy, Europa, alien life, Galileo Probe, global ocean  
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7936 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 May 2012 at 11:23 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-24 11:26:19 AM  
I really hope that in my lifetime, we send a probe to Europa to bore through the icy surface and explore the Europan ocean.

For that matter, a similar probe could be used to explore our own oceans.
 
2012-05-24 11:34:08 AM  
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
 
2012-05-24 11:46:39 AM  
ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS -- EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.

Great geeky graffiti!
 
2012-05-24 11:52:14 AM  
And Im going to be on EUROPA
Saying goodbye to everyone
 
2012-05-24 11:53:16 AM  
We can put seals on the planet then we can turn them into coats.
 
2012-05-24 11:56:36 AM  
With a volume 2-3 times the volume of water in Earth's oceans, the global ocean on Europa holds out a tantalizing destination in the search for extraterrestrial life in our solar system.


FTA. That's kind of an amazing statistic to me. Why would Europa have such a disproportionately high volume of water? Wouldn't you expect the rocky bodies in the solar system to be made up of kind of homogeneous materials?

/please, no "I'm not saying it's aliens" meme
//it's not aliens
 
2012-05-24 12:03:40 PM  

OneFretAway:
FTA. That's kind of an amazing statistic to me. Why would Europa have such a disproportionately high volume of water? Wouldn't you expect the rocky bodies in the solar system to be made up of kind of homogeneous materials?


Well, to be fair, the rocky planets are relatively homogeneous. What we're talking about here is a small moon in the Jovian system. I'm not overly familiar with Europa's hypothesized origins, but it may very well have almost nothing to do with Jupiter in terms of the formation of the solar system.
 
2012-05-24 12:05:01 PM  
I just found out that work blocks the pictures at APOD. I can go to the site but I can't see the pictures!
 
2012-05-24 12:16:16 PM  
 
2012-05-24 12:17:12 PM  
Oh my country
 
2012-05-24 12:22:38 PM  
What I'm getting from this is that Europa is essentially a giant ice cube. Which means I am going to be needing a cosmicly oversized margarita glass, an Alaska and California of tequilla, a Texas of sweet and sour and triple sec, and a Rhode Island of limes.
 
2012-05-24 12:26:12 PM  
My God.....it's full of stars
 
2012-05-24 12:42:15 PM  

btraz70: My God.....it's full of starsfloaty toys

 
2012-05-24 01:08:11 PM  

OneFretAway: FTA. That's kind of an amazing statistic to me. Why would Europa have such a disproportionately high volume of water? Wouldn't you expect the rocky bodies in the solar system to be made up of kind of homogeneous materials?


Most Earth-sized bodies would be a mix of ice and rock out at Jupiter's orbit, because it's cold enough that ice acts like rock anyway. Ganymede and Callisto are even more icy than Europa. Europa is rockier because it gets more tidal heating, which outgasses more of its water. Io is mostly rock for the same reason.
 
2012-05-24 01:13:41 PM  

jack21221: I really hope that in my lifetime, we send a probe to Europa to bore through the icy surface and explore the Europan ocean.

For that matter, a similar probe could be used to explore our own oceans.


That depends on how thick the ice is. A few kilometers might possibly be doable if we drop a nuclear reactor on the surface.

But if it's 10s of kilometers thick....no farking way.
 
2012-05-24 01:14:56 PM  

jack21221: I really hope that in my lifetime, we send a probe to Europa to bore through the icy surface and explore the Europan ocean.

For that matter, a similar probe could be used to explore our own oceans.


The concern there is that whatever sort of probe we might send would likely carry with it Earth microbes that could infect whatever we discover under the ice. So yeah, it would be absolutely incredible if we found some microbial life swimming around under there, but it would really suck if we killed it off at the same time.

The trick is designing a probe that could detect life under the ice without actually coming in contact with it. Would be quite an engineering feat.
 
2012-05-24 01:50:14 PM  

BonesJackson: Earth microbes that could infect whatever we discover under the ice.


Who says the Earth microbes would win an away game? That opinion is awfully geocentric.
 
2012-05-24 02:01:29 PM  

BonesJackson: jack21221: I really hope that in my lifetime, we send a probe to Europa to bore through the icy surface and explore the Europan ocean.

For that matter, a similar probe could be used to explore our own oceans.

The concern there is that whatever sort of probe we might send would likely carry with it Earth microbes that could infect whatever we discover under the ice. So yeah, it would be absolutely incredible if we found some microbial life swimming around under there, but it would really suck if we killed it off at the same time.

The trick is designing a probe that could detect life under the ice without actually coming in contact with it. Would be quite an engineering feat.


Worse than that - a single bit of DNA, RNA or protein material (from non-living cells) could be enough to cause unpredictable changes. Some Earth-based microbes are capable of taking up stray DNA and integrating it into their genome, it'd be horrible if we accidently introduced genes into the "untouched" alien population. If they send probes there, I assume they will take the needed sterilization precautions.
 
2012-05-24 02:14:26 PM  

Girl Pants: it'd be horrible if we accidently introduced genes into the "untouched" alien population.


NO NO NO. Our universe doesn't work like star trek! You can't just go off and fark a Klingon from the other side of the galaxy and viable hybrids come out!

There is no reason to think that the central dogma of terrestrial biology would be in any way compatible with any sort of extra terrestrial biology. They could use something completely different from protiens and amino acids. They could use something completely different from DNA/RNA. Even if they use the same things the actual protocols and patterns of their genetics would be completely different. Saying that an environment with an entirely different chemistry and resource distribution would yield the same system as has appeared on earth is science fiction.

Our genetic material in the foreign ecosystem would be to them like weird chemicals are to us. Yeah toxic stuff can get into and cause some weird side effects, but you don't see rogue strains of dioxin multiplying themselves in the wild and taking over earth.

But, if it does happen to turn out that life on Europa uses the same biology as life on earth, then the universe has a lot of explaining to do. "I'm not saying aliens..." man levels of explaining.
 
2012-05-24 02:41:26 PM  

Larofeticus: Girl Pants: it'd be horrible if we accidently introduced genes into the "untouched" alien population.

NO NO NO. Our universe doesn't work like star trek! You can't just go off and fark a Klingon from the other side of the galaxy and viable hybrids come out!

There is no reason to think that the central dogma of terrestrial biology would be in any way compatible with any sort of extra terrestrial biology. They could use something completely different from protiens and amino acids. They could use something completely different from DNA/RNA. Even if they use the same things the actual protocols and patterns of their genetics would be completely different. Saying that an environment with an entirely different chemistry and resource distribution would yield the same system as has appeared on earth is science fiction.

Our genetic material in the foreign ecosystem would be to them like weird chemicals are to us. Yeah toxic stuff can get into and cause some weird side effects, but you don't see rogue strains of dioxin multiplying themselves in the wild and taking over earth.

But, if it does happen to turn out that life on Europa uses the same biology as life on earth, then the universe has a lot of explaining to do. "I'm not saying aliens..." man levels of explaining.


All of that's true except the last part. If there is life on Europa, it could very well share a common ancestor with life on Earth. Cosmically, we're not all that far away from each other. I'm not the biggest fan of panspermia, but it can't be discounted that easily.
 
2012-05-24 02:43:29 PM  
Anyone know where I can find larger pics?
 
2012-05-24 03:03:56 PM  

BonesJackson: jack21221: I really hope that in my lifetime, we send a probe to Europa to bore through the icy surface and explore the Europan ocean.

For that matter, a similar probe could be used to explore our own oceans.

The concern there is that whatever sort of probe we might send would likely carry with it Earth microbes that could infect whatever we discover under the ice. So yeah, it would be absolutely incredible if we found some microbial life swimming around under there, but it would really suck if we killed it off at the same time.

The trick is designing a probe that could detect life under the ice without actually coming in contact with it. Would be quite an engineering feat.


I'm pretty sure that's why a probe would be built in a completely sterile environment. NASA has had the same concerns in the past with probes sent to Mars and have taken steps to make sure that wouldn't happen.
 
2012-05-24 03:08:26 PM  

Larofeticus: BonesJackson: Earth microbes that could infect whatever we discover under the ice.

Who says the Earth microbes would win an away game? That opinion is awfully geocentric.


Acknowledging it as a possibility is prudent, not geocentric.
 
2012-05-24 03:56:16 PM  
Step 1. Invent technology capable of moving Europa-sized moons.
Step 2. Crash Europa into Mars.
Step 3. Move to Mars with the 1995 version of Natasha Henstridge. Profit.
 
2012-05-24 04:13:33 PM  

Trolljegeren: Step 1. Invent technology capable of moving Europa-sized moons.
Step 2. Crash Europa into Mars.
Step 3. Move to Mars with the 1995 version of Natasha Henstridge. Profit.


I was thinking that maybe steering a few dozen comets into Mars might work.

Problem is: no magnetic field to keep the water there. Over time it would leave, but it would take millions of years.
 
2012-05-24 04:18:43 PM  
I love that image of Earth because I used to think of the oceans as giant gouges in the planet filled with water, when they're really not. The deepest part of the ocean is, what, 35,000 feet deep (give or take) which is about 7 miles vs. Earth's diameter of nearly 8000 miles.
 
2012-05-24 04:20:02 PM  

jigger: Problem is: no magnetic field to keep the water there. Over time it would leave, but it would take millions of years.


Keep civilization going to solve the problem continuously, or put comets into Mars-grazing orbits that impact every five million years or so.

Problem solved!
 
2012-05-24 04:21:23 PM  

The Why Not Guy: I love that image of Earth because I used to think of the oceans as giant gouges in the planet filled with water, when they're really not. The deepest part of the ocean is, what, 35,000 feet deep (give or take) which is about 7 miles vs. Earth's diameter of nearly 8000 miles.


Earth is not really a water world, or even a rocky world. It's more of a metal ball with a shell of silicon and a film of water and organic slime.
 
2012-05-24 04:23:48 PM  

Larofeticus: There is no reason to think that the central dogma of terrestrial biology would be in any way compatible with any sort of extra terrestrial biology. They could use something completely different from protiens and amino acids. They could use something completely different from DNA/RNA. Even if they use the same things the actual protocols and patterns of their genetics would be completely different. Saying that an environment with an entirely different chemistry and resource distribution would yield the same system as has appeared on earth is science fiction.


There are plenty of reasons to think that the biologies would be similar.

First, this moon is "an environment with an entirely different chemistry and resource distribution" from what? A tropical rainforest? An isolated sub-Antarctic lake? A hydrothermal vent? A crevice two kilometers underground?

I'd say that the difference between the hypothetical Europan environment and some of our deep-ocean or deep-subterranean niches is comparable to, and perhaps smaller than, the difference between those niches and your neighborhood park.

Second, we have ample evidence of material from one planet's surface getting redistributed to another planet's surface, and significant evidence that biological molecules -- possibly even viable organisms -- can sometimes survive that redistribution.

Third, we continue to get surprises about the extremes under which Earth life can survive, and even thrive.

And, finally, we still don't have a firm grasp on the preconditions for life to emerge from non-living precursors. It's possible that it's easy, much easier than interplanetary contamination. But it's by no means a sure thing.
 
2012-05-24 05:52:11 PM  

Trolljegeren: Step 1. Invent technology capable of moving Europa-sized moons.
Step 2. Crash Europa into Mars.
Step 3. Move to Mars with the 1995 version of Natasha Henstridge. Profit.


GET EUR SPLASH TO MARS!
 
2012-05-24 09:51:05 PM  
I guess this is where they sailed:

i.ebayimg.com
 
2012-05-24 11:42:51 PM  

OneFretAway: With a volume 2-3 times the volume of water in Earth's oceans, the global ocean on Europa holds out a tantalizing destination in the search for extraterrestrial life in our solar system.

FTA. That's kind of an amazing statistic to me. Why would Europa have such a disproportionately high volume of water? Wouldn't you expect the rocky bodies in the solar system to be made up of kind of homogeneous materials?

/please, no "I'm not saying it's aliens" meme
//it's not aliens


It may just be that Europa is the norm and we're the oddball.

After all, Earth is just 0.02% water....yet it covers 3/4ths of the surface. Just a smidge more and we suddenly live on a water world.
 
2012-05-25 12:02:20 AM  

theorellior: OneFretAway: FTA. That's kind of an amazing statistic to me. Why would Europa have such a disproportionately high volume of water? Wouldn't you expect the rocky bodies in the solar system to be made up of kind of homogeneous materials?

Most Earth-sized bodies would be a mix of ice and rock out at Jupiter's orbit, because it's cold enough that ice acts like rock anyway. Ganymede and Callisto are even more icy than Europa. Europa is rockier because it gets more tidal heating, which outgasses more of its water. Io is mostly rock for the same reason.


Thanks. Interesting.
 
2012-05-25 12:03:49 AM  

John Nash: After all, Earth is just 0.02% water....yet it covers 3/4ths of the surface. Just a smidge more and we suddenly live on a water world.


Also interesting. I hadn't realized the margins were nearly that thin.
 
2012-05-25 12:20:03 AM  

jigger: Trolljegeren: Step 1. Invent technology capable of moving Europa-sized moons.
Step 2. Crash Europa into Mars.
Step 3. Move to Mars with the 1995 version of Natasha Henstridge. Profit.

I was thinking that maybe steering a few dozen comets into Mars might work.

Problem is: no magnetic field to keep the water there. Over time it would leave, but it would take millions of years.


I suppose we could add a few nice iron asteroids, maybe add a nice new Martian moon to keep the newly molten core molten longer with some sweet tidal action (I hear Io isn't busy). And maybe some shrubbery.
 
2012-05-25 10:23:43 AM  

Trolljegeren: jigger: Trolljegeren: Step 1. Invent technology capable of moving Europa-sized moons.
Step 2. Crash Europa into Mars.
Step 3. Move to Mars with the 1995 version of Natasha Henstridge. Profit.

I was thinking that maybe steering a few dozen comets into Mars might work.

Problem is: no magnetic field to keep the water there. Over time it would leave, but it would take millions of years.

I suppose we could add a few nice iron asteroids, maybe add a nice new Martian moon to keep the newly molten core molten longer with some sweet tidal action (I hear Io isn't busy). And maybe some shrubbery.


Yeah if we had the technology to crash celestial bodies into each other terraforming would be as simple as baking a cake.

Take two bazillion tons of water
Mix vigourously with dry ingredients
Place in middle rack of solar system for 2 million years
 
2012-05-25 02:32:32 PM  
I know it's SCIENCE! and all, but I just for some reason don't buy that that's all the water there is on earth.
 
2012-05-26 12:40:04 AM  

sure haven't: I know it's SCIENCE! and all, but I just for some reason don't buy that that's all the water there is on earth.


And what are you basing this on? A gut feeling?

You sound Republican.
 
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