Astrobiology of Jupiter's icy moons

  title={Astrobiology of Jupiter's icy moons},
  author={Jere H. Lipps and Gregory T. Delory and Joe Pitman and Sarah Rieboldt},
  booktitle={SPIE Optics + Photonics},
Jupiter's Icy Moons, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, may possess energy sources, biogenic molecules, and oceans below their icy crusts, thus indicating a strong possibility that they were abodes for present or past life. Life in Earth's icy areas lives in a wide variety of habitats associated with the ice, in the water column below the ice, and on the floor of the ocean below the ice. Similar habitats may exist on JIM, have been transported to the icy crust, and be exposed in tectonic or impact… 
7 Citations

Biogeochemical fingerprints of life: earlier analogies with polar ecosystems suggest feasible instrumentation for probing the Galilean moons

Abstract We base our search for the right instrumentation for detecting biosignatures on Europa on the analogy suggested by the recent work on polar ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic at Ellesmere

Life Detection-Past and Present

In this chapter we go beyond the search for geoindicators and biosignatures that might point to the presence of life, with the specific aim of detecting and confirming the presence of life. First, we

ANME-1 archaea may drive methane accumulation and removal in estuarine sediments.

It is concluded that ANME-1 perform AOM in the SMTZ and methanogenesis in the MZ of White Oak River sediments, which may expand habitable zones in extraterrestrial environments, since it enables greater energy yields in a fluctuating energetic landscape.

Multiple Instrument Distributed Aperture Sensor (MIDAS) for planetary remote sensing

An innovative approach that enables greatly increased return from planetary science remote sensing missions is described. Our concept, called Multiple Instrument Distributed Aperture Sensor (MIDAS),

Multiple instrument distributed aperture sensor (MIDAS) for remote sensing

The MIDAS concept inherently provides nanometer-resolution hyperspectral passive imaging without the need for any moving parts in the science instruments, thereby enabling real-time, wide-area remote sensing of dynamic changes in planet surface processes.

Remote sensing space science enabled by the multiple instrument distributed aperture sensor (MIDAS) concept

The science capabilities and features of an innovative and revolutionary approach to remote sensing imaging systems aimed at increasing the return on future planetary science missions many fold are



Europa's dynamic icy crust

Abstract— Europa's icy crust records active resurfacing by tectonic and thermal processes over tens of millions of years, as rapidity demonstrated by a paucity of craters. Tidal working causes

Geology of Europa

Europa is a rocky object of radius 1565 km (slightly smaller than Earth s moon) and has an outer shell of water composition estimated to be of order 100 km thick, the surface of which is frozen. The

Habitability of Europa's crust: The role of tidal‐tectonic processes

Jupiter's satellite Europa has been identified as one of the most likely sites for life in the solar system. The tidal-tectonic processes that appear to have governed Europa's geology seem to require

Does Europa have a subsurface ocean? Evaluation of the geological evidence

It has been proposed that Jupiter's satellite Europa currently possesses a global subsurface ocean of liquid water. Galileo gravity data verify that the satellite is differentiated into an outer H2O

Cometary Delivery of Biogenic Elements to Europa

Abstract Jupiter's moon Europa may harbor an ocean beneath its ice cover, but the composition of that ocean and the overlying ice is nearly entirely unknown. Regardless of uncertainties in models for

Terrestrial Sea Ice Morphology: Considerations for Europa☆

Abstract The Galileo mission has returned the first high-resolution (21 m/pixel) images of the surface of Europa. These images reveal structures with morphologies reminiscent of those seen on

Cryomagmatic Mechanisms for the Formation of Rhadamanthys Linea, Triple Band Margins, and Other Low-Albedo Features on Europa

We investigate cryomagmatic mechanisms for the formation of the diffuse low-albedo margins of triple bands and haloes associated with elliptical lenticulae on Europa. One mechanism involves explosive

Near-infrared detection of potential evidence for microscopic organisms on Europa.

The NIMS data of disrupted terrains exhibit distorted, asymmetric nearinfrared absorption features consistent with the presence of water ice, sulfuric acid octahydrate, hydrated salts, and possibly as much as 0.2 mg cm(-3) of carbonaceous material that could be of biological origin.

A habitat for psychrophiles in deep Antarctic ice.

  • P. Price
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2000
A habitat consisting of interconnected liquid veins along three-grain boundaries in ice in which psychrophilic bacteria can move and obtain energy and carbon from ions in solution is proposed, which could help search for living microbes in deepest Antarctic ice.

Formation of cycloidal features on Europa.

For this model to work, the tensile strength of Europa's ice crust must be less than 40 kilopascals, and there must be a thick fluid layer below the ice to allow sufficient tidal amplitude.