Europa! There’s salt in Jupiter’s moon
If ever want to eat French fries in the Universe, just go for it. Because Jupiter would make sure not to let you go without salt. It has been discovered that a giant ocean on one of Jupiter’s moons contains salt – the kind you’d put on your French fries and chips.
Recently, the Hubble telescope — which has been keeping an eye on one of Jupiter’s moons called Europa — has identified the presence of sodium chloride on it otherwise known as table salt.
Sodium chloride is what makes Earth’s sea salty.
Researchers say it could mean that Europa’s oceans are hydrothermally active, which means having volcanic activity.
That is exciting because it increases the chance of there being signs of extraterrestrial life on the moon.
On Earth, life is often thought to start near hydrothermal vents.
The US space agency NASA is about to send probes to this moon – with the first mission due to take off in 2023. Until then, the only time scientists have viewed the moon up close was back in the late 1990s and early 2000s – with a spacecraft called Galileo.
Using infrared light, scientists looked for various elements.
The salt appeared most often near the patterns of ice and ridges that criss-cross the surface.
Don’t be surprised if in the future you’ll be putting salt on your dinner that comes from another world.
Jupiter has 67 moons. The largest planet in our solar system has a 67 confirmed and named satellites. However, it is estimated that the planet has over 200 natural moons orbiting it. Almost all of them are less than 10 kilometers in diameter, and were only discovered after 1975, when the first spacecraft called Pioneer 10 arrived at Jupiter.