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September 25 2012

Ocean on Jupiter's Moon Europa Likely Deep Underground

Missions hoping to explore the huge subsurface ocean thought to exist on Jupiter's moon Europa may have to dig deep really deep.

Water stays in a liquid state near Europa's surface for just a few tens of thousands of years or so, new research suggests. That's a blink of an eye in geological terms, since our solar system is more than 4.5 billion years old.

"A global water ocean may be present, but relatively deep below the surface around 25 to 50 kilometers," Klára Kalousová, of France's University of Nantes and Charles University in Prague, said in a statement today (Sept 24).

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