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LIFE ON EUROPA Could this change our understanding of life?

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Presentation on theme: "LIFE ON EUROPA Could this change our understanding of life?"— Presentation transcript:

1 LIFE ON EUROPA Could this change our understanding of life?
By: Michael Brunette Sayan Basu Two Rivers Middle Magnet School East Hartford, Connecticut

2 Europa Facts One of the 4 Galilean moons of Jupiter
Discovered by Galileo on January 7,1610 Avg. Orbital Speed = km/s Surface Temperature = 102k (-171C)

3 On Europa we have… Surface of ice Many cracks in the ice
Possible salt water ocean under the ice surface Atmosphere of molecular oxygen

4 Could there be life on Europa and how can we prove it?
Our Investigation… Could there be life on Europa and how can we prove it? Idea: Send a probe to Europa to find evidence of life that could be there. Challenge: We need to know what Europa's conditions are

5 A Solution? Scan surface for crevice on the ice
Send another probe down to take ice samples If biological matter or chemical markers are found, then we can take equipment to Europa and use cryobots to explore the ocean

6 Problems Ice surface is miles thick
Deepest we have dug is 7.6 miles taking 15 years It will be expensive and take lots of time and energy to take equipment to Europa Equipment malfunctions would end the project

7 Why Would There Be Life On Europa
Evidence suggests that… Liquid salt water ocean Likely more salt water than on Earth Molten core allows for a possibility of sulfur based ecosystems Hydrothermal Vents

8 Why would there not be life on Europa?
Radiation dangerously high being 540rem Pressure is far less than normal pressure on Earth Surface Temp. Avg. 102K

9 Tidal Flexing Caused by the gravitational torque of Jupiter on Europa’s tides Energy from angular momentum and total energy turn to heat The heat will cause convection currents on the surface warming the ocean

10 Hydrothermal Vents Live near geologically active areas
Give off minerals and chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide that life forms require to survive Through a process known as chemosynthesis, methanogens can gain energy to survive

11 Chemosynthesis The specimen takes in carbon or methane with other nutrients to turn into organic matter This is done by oxidizing inorganic molecules such as hydrogen sulfide

12 Tardigrades Phylum: Tardigrada Commonly known as “water bears”
Polyextremophiles Most are phytophagous Found in many regions: Himalayas, hot springs, ice, lakes

13 Tardigrade Experiment Data
Radiation Extreme heat Extreme cold

14 Explanation Cryobiosis: An ametabolic stage tardigrades go through to withstand effects of radiation, high and low temps., pressure and toxins. Tardigrades acquire it through anhydrobiosis Able to survive from high levels of trehalose to protect their membranes during desiccation

15 Methanogens Produce energy from chemosynthesis
Have been living in the ice of Greenland Are anaerobic Can survive cold temperatures Are chemotrophs

16 Extremophiles Can live in very harsh conditions
Hyperthermophiles live near hydrothermal systems Cryophiles live well in conditions 15 degrees or lower

17 Conclusions We could find evidence of life by first sending an orbiter and then using a probe. There is a high possibility of a liquid ocean due to tidal flexing Life on Europa would have to survive through chemosynthesis Most likely life form living there are methanogens Tardigrades can survive in extreme conditions for an limited amount of time

18 Possible Careers Astronaut Astro-biologist Space Exploration Programs
Mechanical Engineer

19 Areas Of More Study Amphipods Technology used in exploration missions
Organic molecules and how they are formed Hydrothermal vent construction

20 What We Have Learned What Chemosynthesis is and how it works
How early life forms lived on Earth What Heterotrophs are What Methanogens, Tardigrades and Extremophiles are What Tidal Flexing is and how it impacts planets/moons

21 Resources
Popular Science: Chemistry, Biology, Physics Popular Science:

22 Thank you for watching our presentation!
We would like to thank Mr.Smith, Mrs.Hazen, Two Rivers and NASA for giving us this opportunity to share our thoughts!


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