New research from the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a very interesting discovery about one of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, Europa: it contains table salt, just like Earth’s oceans!
Scientists have long studied the dark cracks on Europa’s surface to learn more about the mysterious ocean which lies beneath. This new discovery means that Europa’s ocean – despite containing twice as much water as Earth – is more similar to our oceans than we previously thought.
This salt was discovered not by directly looking inside the ocean, but by finding it on the surface of Europa. Meaning, there is likely some mechanism which drives it to the surface.
There is still a lot more research to be done. However, this discovery alone – that Europa’s ocean isn’t so different from ours – is pretty spectacular!
Interested in learning more? We’re covering this breaking story all weekend in our all-live show, “Wonders of the Night Sky,” in LSC’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.