Scientists are turning their attention in the search for life beyond Earth to the icy moons of some planets in our solar system.
According to a report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the moons of several planets in our solar system including Uranus, Saturn, Neptune, and Jupiter are mainly composed of ice. These icy moons are believed to have liquid water at their core. The presence of water could, in turn, indicate the presence of life in the alien world, according to the author of the paper, Adam Mann.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is making preparations to send an explorer to study Jupiter’s moons Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede. NASA plans to also launch a spacecraft to conduct close flybys of Europa in the same year to gather more data about the frozen moon. The goal of these missions is to determine if Jupiter’s icy moons have the required conditions for life to thrive.