Europa’s Secrets by Celia Berrell
There’s hope Europa has a sea
where living things could really be
because this moon of Jupiter
has lots of solid ice water.
The pictures of Europa show
a crusty surface white as snow
with many lines and ridges mixed
like ice sheets that have cracked and fixed.
As Jupiter’s great gravity
distorts Europa’s cavity
that energy and friction heats
and melts some water underneath.
We think this frozen water layer
could make a sea that’s hiding there.
So just below that crusty shell
it’s possible some microbes dwell.
Or what if it turns out to hold
some animals both weird and bold
that roam Europa’s chilly sea.
True aliens to you and me!
First published in Scientriffic (March 2011)
Reproduced with permission of CSIRO
Discovering life exists in places beyond Earth – like Jupiter’s icy moon Europa – could be a reality in our lifetime. Thinking about it makes my imagination run wild! What will these creatures be like?