Jupiter’s Icy Moons Explorer: The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life in Our Solar System

Is Alien Life Present in the Solar System? – The Science Quiz

Jupiter’s Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) is set to launch in 2023, with a mission to study the moons Ganymede, Callisto and Europa for signs of life.

Io, the Jovian moon known as the most geologically active planetary body in the Solar System, keeps itself warm despite its high level of activity. However, this leaves only a slight chance for life to exist on it.

Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Solar System, may harbor a subsurface ocean of water. Evidence collected between 2015-2018 suggests that Ceres has a large subsurface ocean of water. While not strong enough to confirm it, experts believe that very salty water could flow to its surface potentially containing microbial life.

Titan is the only planetary body besides Earth to have a complete cycle of liquid on its surface. Instead of water, Titan’s liquid is made up of hydrocarbons, presenting an opportunity for unique life forms to exist on it.

Triton is another moon in the Solar System that rotates opposite its host planet Neptune. Scientists believe that radioactive decay within Triton releases heat enough to keep its mantle composed of water in a liquid state, raising possibilities of life existing on it.

Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons has been found with an underground ocean potentially containing an environment suitable for extraterrestrial life. The moon releases plumes from its subsurface through its ice shell which contain saltwater and organic molecules suggesting there might be some form of life existing on it.

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