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In a low valley on an ice-covered island near the top of the world, sulfur-rich waters seep from the top of a 200-meter-thick glacier. Although chilled nearly to freezing temperatures, the waters possess a complex chemistry that likely originates in microbial activity under the ice. Sulfur-rich compounds stain the ice, marking the springs with bright yellow splotches that are easily visible from the air.
There are places on Europa where the icy surface is stained with what appears to be the remnants of a chemical brew that originated within the ice or even within the salty ocean below it.
The spring system at Borup Fiord Pass might possess several characteristics analogous to Europa's dark spots. There may be chemical similarities: sulfur-bearing materials appear common in both places. There may be hydrological similarities: the subsurface network of cracks and fissures within the glaciers on Ellesmere Island could provide insights to how the plumbing works on Europa. And study of the microbial life beneath the Borup Fiord glaciers could lend insights into the kinds of habitats for life that might exist beneath Europa's crust.
Some scientists think the origin of life on Earth occurred at volcanic vents in the ocean. They suspect Europa has similar volcanic activity thanks to the gravitational influence of Jupiter, which squeezes Europa as it orbits from one side of the planet to the other. This "tidal flexing" should keep Europa's core molten and result in volcanic activity – just look at Europa's neighbor Io as an example. Io orbits even closer to Jupiter than Europa, and its surface is pockmarked with active volcanoes that spew sulfur and other chemical compounds into space. Many of these same compounds are found at Earth's hydrothermal vents, and may be associated with early life on our planet.
Originally posted by Illustronic
reply to post by Nicolas Flamel
It stands to reason that early life began in the deep oceans of early volcanic earth, insulated by miles of water above, from the changing volatile surface with vastly changing atmosphere. The oceans would be more stable of a climate than the surface. I believe life on earth started much earlier than 3.2 billion years ago. Now wouldn't that make animals older than plants on earth, being that plants main source of energy is photosynthesis?
But there is evidence of a warmer and wetter past -- features resembling dry riverbeds and minerals that form in the presence of water indicate water once flowed through Martian sands. Since liquid water is required for all known forms of life, scientists wonder if life could have risen on Mars, and if it did, what became of it as the Martian climate changed. New research reveals there is hope for Mars yet. The first definitive detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars indicates the planet is still alive, in either a biologic or geologic sense, according to a team of NASA and university scientists.
If microscopic Martian life is producing the methane, it likely resides far below the surface, where it's still warm enough for liquid water to exist. Liquid water, as well as energy sources and a supply of carbon, are necessary for all known forms of life.
Originally posted by OpusMarkII
www.adventurebound.com... ever see this red barteria in Ant Arctica , been pondering if the red striations on Europa might be something similar
The microbes that survive in Blood Falls are some of the most versatile organisms on the planet as they can survive without oxygen, using iron and sulfate to survive. As these microbes survive without oxygen, an important process for these microbes are that they are evidence of how possible life outside of earth would survive.
Originally posted by OpusMarkII
www.adventurebound.com... ever see this red bacrteria in AntArctica , I've been pondering if the red striations on Europa might be something similaredit on 2-10-2011 by OpusMarkII because: (no reason given)
Researchers have found microorganisms surviving in this ancient subglacial lake with no oxygen. They believe that the microbes might have adapted to use sulfate to breathe the iron. This could be an explanation on how life survived when Earth froze over hundreds of millions of years ago or give astrobiologists hope for finding subsurface life on other planets with harsh environments like Mars. Not all life on our planet breathes oxygen.
As the zircons were radioactively dated to be as old as 4.25 billion years, the new findings suggest that carbon-based life may have been present on Earth within the first 300 million years after planetary formation.