Jupiter’s Moon Europa shows enough oxygen for 1 million humans

Jupiter's Moon Europa

Jupiter’s Moon Europa shows enough oxygen for 1 million humans

A new study shows Jupiter’s moon Europa produces enough oxygen for one million humans to breathe. The Juno spacecraft orbiting the ice moon Europa of Jupiter gathered data.

According to this data, Europa produces 12kg of oxygen every 24 hours. It is enough to keep one million humans breathing. Nature Astronomy has the publication of this study. Juno’s Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) sensor analyzes the quantity of hydrogen emitted from cold surface of moon.

Jupiter's Moon Europa

According to previous studies, there were estimates that Europa produces 1,000 tons of oxygen. However, recent research shows it is significantly lower compared to the previous studies but this amount shows huge potential for humans to exist.

Europa is the sixth-closest moon to Jupiter. It is slightly smaller than the moon of Earth. Europa has a rocky mantle and an iron core like Earth.

But the question is whether Jupiter’s Moon Europa is habitable for humans. Some planetary scientists believe that some of the oxygen produced on Jupiter’s moon makes it one of the best places in the Solar System to search for habitable conditions beyond Earth.

Research Scientist Jamey Szalay said Europa is like an ice ball gradually releasing water in a flowing stream. The stream is a fluid of ionized particles rotated around Jupiter by its powerful magnetic field.

Jupiter's Moon Europa

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When these ionized particles hit Europa, they break up the water-ice molecules on the surface, releasing hydrogen and oxygen. In this way, the chance of human survival on Europa increases.

The principal investigator of Juno, Scott Bolton, said their ability to fly near the Galilean satellites during their extended mission. Hence, it enabled them to begin exploring a wide range of science, which included some unique chances to contribute to exploring habitability on Europa.

Juno also stated they have not finished their research yet. More moon flybys and the first exploration of Jupiter’s near ring and polar atmosphere are still to come.

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