Life on Europa? | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios


The Hubble Telescope found more evidence of vast plumes of water bursting through the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. What does this tell us about the potential for life on Europa?

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Previous Episode

New findings have increased the likelihood that there is a vast ocean lying under the surface of Europa. Jupiter’s moon is emerging as one of the most likely places in our solar system to find life. Why do we think Europa is such a good bet for extra-terrestrial life? What would might that life look-like? And how soon will we be able to confirm this?

Written and hosted by Matt O’Dowd
Produced by Rusty Ward
Made by Kornhaber Brown (

Hydrothermal Vents:

Winter Flounder – Antifreeze Protein

Sky Whale:
Hypothetical advanced underwater life such as might exist in Europa’s ocean.
Image: © Adolf Schaller

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  1. we have the technology + the resources! All the space agencies i.e. NASA, ESA, SpaceX, ISA and iSpace should team up and quickly launch several rockets with probes and rovers bound for the jovian moons to uncover their secrets once and for all.. it should have been done 2 decades ago! Humanity needs to stop wasting time and cross the moons off our bucket list already! Planning and planning and planning.. just get it over with guys!

  2. A guess about Europa's ocean… – STERILE. Do I want to see anything else? – of course. But not likely. – We will find 1) – The ocean is much much smaller than we thought… and 2) – nothing is there.

  3. This idea is really is a religion. Its amazing how a lethal environment brings life Not nurtured environment that we have seen in our surrounding in environment in which we live in. Interesting how this evolution religion try's to explain life and it completely backwards on what we know that support life.

  4. might be just every action in the universe is conscious…. but if you're not looking with the right eyes you don't know where the system of that consciousness begins and ends. In other words we're experiencing the universe rather than a free part of it.

  5. there is properly intelligent octopus creatures watching videos about sending a probe to earth and what life could be there

  6. But why does it take so long to send a probe to Europa, if they already know for decades that there possibly is a liquid ocean?

  7. 50 billion years ago…
    Aliens: that planet made out of only water is sick and it has nice weather let’s give it a name hmmmm

  8. If Europa has been around since the dawn of our planet with geysers and an ocean, then it should be possible for life to exist

  9. If there are alien sea creatures and they are safe enough like a shark or something not too dangerous I hope they bring some back here

  10. Having water is not enough for life. There is no reason why the conditions on earth to start life temperate conditions, stagnant water and oxygen are an exception but absolutely necessary, even if there are creatures that don't require oxygen to exist on earth

  11. Astronauts and even Stephen Hawking always asking if there is any life out there but don't know what's under the surface. If people were the aliens telling things have no purpose but work then you could have alien workers.

  12. Remember the H.G.Wells book "War of the Worlds". Perhaps, to keep the book short enough to enjoy, he cut the chapters where the alien warships carried earth bacteria back to the "World" they came from. It's extremely dangerous and ignorant to visit other planets with machines and biological organisms, then bring them back to earth. Just because we got away with it on the moon, so far, doesn't mean it can't end life on earth as we know it, if we bring physical objects back from Mars or any other World. Ever wonder where Prions came from?, and even if they are earthly in origin, we should consider that other bio-chemically destructive chain reactions can exists everywhere in outer space. No surprise that we are a species that kills each other by the millions, we are dumb, really dumb, and sooner or later dumbness will make us extinct, and we just have to hope we don't take all life on earth with us into extinction


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