Comets are able to break through the ice shell of Europe

Comets are able to break through the ice shell According to a very popular theory of organic compounds, which have become the building blocks for the first life forms were delivered to Earth by comets. But if this theory is correct, then in theory this should reduce the chances of the emergence of life in the subsurface ocean satellites of gas giants, which are securely hidden from space visitor’s kilometers of the ice shell. But judging by the results of a recent study, it is possible that the barrier is not such an insurmountable obstacle as previously thought.

A group of researchers conducted a series of simulations of the effects of a collision of Jupiter’s moon – Europe – comets. In the course of them used different values ​​of the ice thickness and the diameters of the comet’s nucleus. According to obtain results to break through the 40-kilometer layer of ice, the comet must have a diameter of 5 – 7 kilometers. Such collisions Europe is now once in 100 million years – and in the early stages of the solar system, they had to happen more often.

In addition to the simulation of the collision itself, the researchers also tried to estimate the total thickness of the ice cover in Europe. They proceeded from the fact that the body that pierce the ice cover in Europe leaves no visible craters – because the water from the depths of the place almost instantly addictive breakthrough.

So they took the diameter of the largest craters on the surface is now available in Europe and the craters on it quite a bit and suggested that the maximum possible craters that may exist there, because whether they have left the body more, they would have struck the ice completely. Based on this, they calculated the approximate diameter of the object left a crater and then substitute these numbers they created the simulation. As a result, they had a number of ice cover thickness satellite in 10 – 15 kilometers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *