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Miami (AFP) - Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, has an underground ocean that contains more water than Earth's, broadening the hunt for places in the solar system where life might be able to exist.
Researchers said Thursday that aurorae glimpsed by the Hubble Space Telescope helped
confirm the long-suspected subsurface saltwater on Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system.
The Galileo spacecraft, which arrived at Jupiter in 1995, had already detected a possible magnetic field on Ganymede.
The Hubble Space Telescope confirmed that discovery by observing changes in the aurorae around the celestial body.
"Since the 1970s, there were speculations and models that Ganymede could possess an ocean," said Joachim Saur of the University of Cologne in Germany.
"We do not have these ambiguities anymore," he told reporters.
The key to confirming the presence of a saltwater ocean came from observing Ganymede's aurorae, which would look bright red to a human able to stand on the surface of the moon and gaze up through its thin oxygen atmosphere. But don't get too excited, it's much too thin to support life as we know it.
originally posted by: amicktd
I think that eventually they will find that life is everywhere. We're just looking for carbon based life as of right now, because thats what we understand so far. I'd be willing to bet there are many differnent forms of life though. Exciting news, thanks for sharing OP.
originally posted by: rickymouse
We should put a colony there instead of on Mars. At least you can go ice fishing there when you're bored.