There’s an enigmatic news release at the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) website today: NASA to Hold Media Call on Evidence of Surprising Activity on Europa
Surprising activity? What’s going on? The news release says:
NASA will host a teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 26, to present new findings from images captured by the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa.
We gotta wait until Monday? What else do they say? Not much, but there’s this:
Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa.
Wow — an ocean! After listing the participants in the Monday teleconference, they say:
Audio of the teleconference will stream live on NASA’s website at NASA Live.
That’s all there is, but speculation is already running wild. This headline appears in London’s Daily Express: Is there LIFE on Europa? NASA to announce major news in breakthrough press conference. They say:
The US group sent out a cryptic message, stating that there is “surprising activity” on Europa – the most well known of Jupiter’s 67 moons. NASA has been analysing data from its Hubble Space Telescope which is currently prowling the universe.
The space experts said in a statement announcing the event on Monday, to be broadcast live at 7PM UK time: “Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa.”
Most scientists agree that where there is water, it massively increases the chances of finding life.
Then they quote someone named Steve Levin, described as a “project scientist” (he isn’t one of the NASA teleconference participants), who says:
We think Jupiter’s icy moon Europa has a subsurface ocean of liquid water; and because everywhere on Earth that we’ve found water, we’ve also found life, this is a good place for us to search.
But then they add a note of caution:
However, many are not convinced and believe the announcement will relate solely to the discovery of water on Europa.
So there you are. That’s all we’re likely to know until the conference on Monday. Stay tuned to this blog!
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