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Exploring Space - The Quest for Life Exploring Space - The Quest for Life Exploring Space - The Quest for Live
The Search for Aliens - Is There Anyone Else Out There?

Designs of Alien Life

Europa Quiz

Europa

Facts: Europa is covered with a layer of ice. Space probe photos reveal scar-like fractures in the ice, and many scientists believe that these cracks could only be made by a massive tidal force from a hidden ocean beneath the planet's frozen surface.

Artist's Conception: Hagen has imagined a world where two distinct ecologies have arisen, one at the surface where ice and water meet, and another at the sea bed where geologic forces have created regions of hydrothermal vents with chimney structures. According to Hagen's vision, these two biomes have evolved separately and each has produced distinct life forms.

The icy surface of Europa
The icy surface of Europa


 
Due to the ocean's depth and the ice layer, it's thought that Europa's ocean floor would be in perpetual darkness. Hagen imagines that bacterial life forms are independent of sunlight, oxygen and organic nutrients. They serve as food for more complex life forms, or provide nutrients for more complex life indirectly through the organic matter they produce as by-products.

Can you guess? »