Scientists study the unusual processes of how the accumulation of ice Beneath Earth’s ice shelves, where they could hold lessons for exploring habitability on Jupiter’s moon Europa. In a new study, researchers studied two types of underwater snow on Earth as a measure of understanding how Europa’s crust thickens from below.
According to the “Space” website, the ice forms in supercooled water columns and floats up to attach to the bottom of the ice shelves, while the frozen ice grows directly from the bottom of the ice shelf.
The researchers revealed, that the ice formed from these processes retains a small part of the salt from the water from which it was formed, according to the study, as ice retains only 0.1% of the ocean salinity and could be common on Europa, indicating that Europa’s ice shell could be It is more pure than previous estimates.
“When we explore Europe, we’re interested in salinity and ocean composition, because that’s one of the things that will govern the potential habitability or even the kind of life that might live there,” said study lead author Natalie Wolfenberger, a graduate researcher at the University of Texas Institute of Geophysics.
Also, NASA’s Europa Clipper mission is expected to begin in 2024 and reach the ice world in 2030, and the level of salt trapped in the ice can affect how deep the radar on the spacecraft can see inside the ice crust, getting a good idea of The formation of the crust before arrival will help scientists understand the data after the spacecraft has started.
Europa is one of Jupiter’s four large moons and is roughly the size of Earth’s moon, while containing a rocky mantle much like Earth’s mantle.
Scientists believe that Europa’s mantle is surrounded by a hidden ocean of water and ice between 50 and 105 miles (80 and 170 kilometers) thick.
Previous studies also indicate that the temperature, pressure, and salinity of Europa’s ocean closest to the ice crust are similar to those under the ice shelf in Antarctica.