Is There Alien Life in the Solar System? – The Science Quiz

Jupiter’s icy moons, Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa are the focus of a new NASA spacecraft mission, the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUCE), which is set to launch in 2023 and reach Jupiter in 2031. This mission aims to study these moons for signs of life.

Io, a moon of Jupiter, is known for its geological activity and constant movement. While this makes it unlikely that life could exist on Io, scientists believe that the warmth generated by its geological processes could potentially support life.

Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Solar System, may also have a subsurface ocean of water. Data collected between 2015 and 2018 suggested that very salty water could flow to its surface, hinting at the possibility of microbial life existing on Ceres.

Titan, a moon of Saturn, is unique in that it has a complete cycle of liquid on its surface. However, unlike water on Earth, Titan’s liquid is made of hydrocarbons. While this raises questions about the possibility of hosting life on this moon, scientists continue to study Titan for signs of extraterrestrial life.

Triton, another moon of Neptune, is rotating in the opposite direction to its host planet and is unique in that it has an internal ocean made up mostly of water with some ammonia dissolved within it. Scientists believe that the heat generated by radioactive decay keeps Triton’s mantle in a liquid state and provides conditions for potential life existence.

Enceladus is one more moon under NASA’s spotlight as it ejects plumes of saltwater and organic molecules from beneath its ice shell into space suggesting that there might be an underground ocean containing possible signs of life on Enceladus

By Samantha Johnson

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