One of Jupiter's satellites, the ocean below the surface of Europe, is now considered by many scientists as the best candidate for extraterrestrial life in the solar system.
However, this ice covering the sea interferes with the detailed study of its composition. Nonetheless, by applying spectral analysis of visible light, Caltech's planetary scientists and NASA's Caltech-managed Jet Propulsion Laboratory have found that in some areas of visible yellow Europe, Sodium chloride (NaCl), known as Earth Salt, a major component of sea salt, was reported on the science portal Phys.org.
Jupiter's Moon Europa is salty! Using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists found table salt on European surfaces. Pass the chip through: https://t.co/6Te66voV3i
– Royal Observatory (@ROGAstronomers) June 13, 2019
Since the outer layer of satellites is only frozen water, the researchers concluded that there is a large amount of salt in the composition, which makes this environment more enriching. This discovery was announced on June 12 in Science Advances.
To reach this conclusion, scientists have reproduced European surface conditions in a vacuum chamber to analyze the reflected light on the surface. After cooling the chamber to the required temperature and pumping the air, scientists collided the salt sample with an electron gun to understand how the radiation could change the color of the chemical.
This study suggests that European underground surfaces chemically resemble Earth's oceans more than previously thought, thus ignoring decades of assumptions about water composition and making the study even more interesting to the experts.