CHINA TOPIX

Updated 9:12 AM EST, Tue, Jan 05, 2021

Make CT Your Homepage

Dark Stripes in Europa Rumors as Sea Salt

Experiment conducted by NASA on moon Europa suggests that the appearance of mysterious, dark stripes seen on the surface on the moon is possibly a result of sea salt combined with a space full of radiation.

Space Agency scientists said that based on research there is a bigger chance that the salt coming from Europa's underground ocean has find its way towards the moon's surface. Once it happens the salt will be exposed to high level of radiation that will cause its color to turn dark. They assume that the dark color is what composes the moon's streak. This new study has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters journal.

Like Us on Facebook

For a long time, the scientists have been thinking about the capacity of Europa to cater life for human being. But so far the place has been about just liquid water and quite impossible for human to live in, says Kevin Hand, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California.

The world we are looking for is something that can balance all our basic needs like water and other elements that can create and sustain life to all living things.  

Hand told the Mashable that the world we are looking for is something that can balance all our basic needs like water and other elements that can create and sustain life to all living things.  For him, salts are showing some good signs because it means there is another bodies of water hiding through rocks. All we need to do is search for them

He added that the color reflected in Europa shows the ocean salt and just like Earth, the source of water is possibly hiding in the rocks of the sea floor.

For them to explore the nature of those streaks, scientists find a way using a can as the Europa. Together with his co-author, Rober Carlson, they try to mimic the natural composition of Europa by mixing salt and water. They call it "Europa in a can" where they put their mixture and let it cool to negative 280 degrees Fahrenheit or negative 173 Celsius just to copy the cold temperature in the icy moon. Next is they exposed the sample into radiation similar to Europa's environment.

 During the process, the salt samples transformed into white table salt until it became a yellowish-brown color after ten hours emersion with the radiation. This only explains that the radiation exposure is connected to the timespan of a century on Europa.

So far, researchers still have no exact measurement of Europa's salinity but maybe they will find the answer in the future. 

Real Time Analytics