New analysis of old data gathered by NASA's Galileo orbiter suggests that Jupiter's moon Europa is likely shooting water into space from geysers on its icy surface. Europa is considered to be the most likely candidate in our solar system to support extraterrestrial life and the plumes may make it easier for scientists to find evidence of oceanic ETs below the moon's frozen shell. Nadia Drake writes about this far out news over at National Geographic:
Finding plumes raises the possibility that the ocean tucked beneath its icy shell might erupt into outer space, which means that tasting that alien sea and searching it for signs of life could be as simple as sending a spacecraft zooming through a plume of ejected water vapor.
That’s still not exactly easy, but it is less complicated than asking a probe to fly all the way to Europa, safely land, burrow through a miles-thick crust of rock-hard ice, and then get to work being an extraterrestrial ocean explorer.
It’s also possible—and perhaps more likely—that any plumes come from a lake or some other reservoir trapped in the ice. But that still means an orbiting spacecraft, like the Europa Clipper mission that’s tentatively scheduled to launch in the early 2020s, could sample a plume and get a glimpse of what lies beneath the moon’s ruddy, crisscrossed rind.
“It’s unlikely that one of these plumes is going to throw a fish into space that’s going to whack into Europa Clipper,” says Cynthia Phillips of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It’s more likely to come from pockets of liquid that are closer to the surface – so, not free ocean samples, but free subsurface samples.”
"Water Geysers Likely Found on This 'Alien' Ice Moon" (Nat Geo)
Here’s an interesting experiment: Using mouse-movement as a lie-detection technique. Cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists have long noted a big “tell” in human behavior: Crafting a lie takes more mental work than telling the truth. So one way to spot lies is to check someone’s reaction time. If they’re telling a lie, they’ll respond fractionally more […]
For €105, the delightful and enchanting silver Neuron Necklace is yours. Its just one of a number of clever items offered by science-inspired jewelry, which include brains, fetuses, spines and thyroid hormones. [Thanks, Heather!]
For more than a century there have been reports of a strange sea “monster” living in Loch Ness yet hard evidence is, er, lacking. Now, evolutionary biologist Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago is hoping that DNA testing could perhaps shed some light on what people claim is Nessie. For two weeks, Gemmell and […]
Businesses big and small use Microsoft Excel for everything from data visualization to bookkeeping, and chances are you’ve already had some exposure to this ubiquitous tool. Whether you’re looking to improve your hiring potential or boost your Excel efficiency, the Ultimate All-Level Excel Bootcamp can get you Excel-savvy with nearly 70 hours of training, and it’s […]
The workday is long, and inevitably, you’re going to find yourself needing to take a break from the daily grind. With Mini Materials Miniature Cinder Blocks, you can take some time for yourself and decompress by turning your desk into a miniature construction site. They’re available today in the Boing Boing Store for $22.49. Handmade […]
Handheld radios might seem a bit archaic, but in an emergency situation, few things will keep you as reliably connected to the outside world. This Emergency Multi-Function Radio & Flashlight takes the utility of the tried-and-true radio and combines it with a powerful flashlight and self-sufficient energy system. It’s available in the Boing Boing Store for […]