Let’s return to an experiment conducted years in the past to grasp this one higher. Again in 2015, JPL scientist Kevin Hand put ocean salt samples in a lab beneath Europa-like situations and bombarded it with radiation. His sodium chloride pattern modified coloration, turning a shade that appears like a yellowish space on the moon referred to as Tara Regio. Because the STIS additionally noticed a spectral signature matching irradiated sodium chloride on Tara Regio’s scars, the brand new research’s outcomes recommend that the realm really is plentiful in sea salt.
Since Tara Regio or chaos terrain is youthful than the remainder of the moon’s floor, scientists imagine the salt got here from the floor’s interplay with the ocean beneath. It was beforehand believed that the moon’s oceans contained magnesium sulfate salts, not sodium chloride. As Discover Magazine notes, if Europa’s hidden ocean really does include table salt, then it is also potential that it has hydrothermal vents just like Earth’s, which provide the chloride wanted to type the compound. Whether or not which means the Jovian moon is pleasant to life stays to be seen — NASA is gearing as much as launch the Europa Clipper to research its habitability.