Saturday, October 10, 2009

UA research offers hope for oxygen, life in Europa's oceans

New research by UA planetary scientist Richard Greenberg about the liquid ocean suspected to lie below the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, suggests that "there may be plenty of oxygen available in that ocean to support life, a hundred times more oxygen than previously estimated."

In a talk yesterday at a meeting of the Div. for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, in Puerto Rico, Greenberg described the basis for his conclusions that "the concentrations would be great enough to support not only microorganisms, but also “macrofauna”, that is to say more complex animal-like organisms which have greater oxygen demands. The continual supply of oxygen could support roughly 3 billion kilograms of macrofauna, assuming similar oxygen demands to terrestrial fish."

1 comment:

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