Thursday, 22 September 2016

jupiter ii

Considering the train of exciting news from space, from gravitational waves to tantalising close planetary systems and much in between, the announcement that potentially revolutionary findings about the Jovian, Galilean satellite Europa will be released after the weekend is certainly something to anticipate. Astronomers have long speculated that beneath the icy crust of the planet sloshes a salty, global sea that could harbour alien life.
Perhaps the press-release will confirm the watery substrate or confirm that the outer crust is thick enough to protect supposed oceans from the harshness of space and radiation from Jupiter and thus more conducive to the development of life. Perhaps space agencies could deliver a surprise that surpasses whatever has been previously vetted. Thoughtfully, ESA (the European Space Agency) has been considerate enough to build a containment facility in case we do come back with potential contaminates (EURO-CARES it’s called). Considering how delicate our ecology is—especially from the perspective of an outsider looking at our vulnerable planet protected by only a few diffuse kilometres of gas that living things generate—I hope that regardless of the discovery that we aren’t ham-fisted about our further exploration.