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Learn about planets outside our solar system through Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems by Tahir Yaqoob, Ph.D., a book in our online store book collection.
This is a close-up image of Europa
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NASA

Can there be Life in the Environment of Europa?

At first glance Europa may seem unfriendly to life as we know it on earth.

Like other icy moons, Europa is small, with no air to breathe, with direct exposure to space and the charged particle environment of Jupiter's magnetosphere. On the surface, the temperature is very very cold.

Nevertheless, the interior of Europa may have been warm enough at one time to contain a liquid layer just under the surface. On Earth, we know that there are some creatures which can survive in an environment of very cold water, such as under the ice of the north pole.

This means that, if the conditions are just right, there may be living creatures on Europa under the icy surface!

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