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Table salt may be hidden in the underground sea of ​​Europe

What flavors our food can also season the sea of ​​Jupiter Europe.

The sulphate salts were thought to lurk in the watery ocean beneath the moon's ice sheet. However, data from the Hubble Space Telescope suggests that common table salt dominates in marine chemistry, scientists say on June 12 Scientific progress.

"This may mean that ocean chemistry is more similar to what we have become accustomed to on Earth and what we see on Enceladus, which is the lunar ocean of Saturn," says Samantha Trumbo, a graduate of planetary sciences at Caltech.

Researchers investigated chaos in Europe or regions where surface ice has been severely disturbed, probably by swelling the material from below. "If it were to represent the interior composition anywhere, it would be these places," says Trumbo.

Data from the Galileo mission from the 90s suggested a hidden sea containing salts suspected of sulfate. However, later studies on infrared light reflected from Europe did not allow to find chemical signatures for sulphates from the ocean. New data from Hubble & # 39; ve focused on the visible spectrum of Europe and revealed that the chaos of one of the hemispheres of the moon contains a fingerprint of irradiated sodium chloride.

When electrons break down into sodium chloride, as expected on Europe, the collision throws chloride ions. The electrons fill these vacancies in salt, changing the color from white to yellowish hue. This color fits what you see in some rough patch of the moon.

It is believed that liquid water is essential for life. If the ocean of Europe turns out to be more Earth-like than it was thought, it might trigger tempting questions about the moon's ability to sustain life. "People think that if there is a place elsewhere in the Solar System where life can exist, Europe is a candidate," says Trumbo.

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