What If Europa Became a Moon of Earth

Europa, moon of a gas giant Jupiter. Europa is the smallest of the four Galilean Moons orbiting Jupiter, and the sixth-closest to the planet. It is also the sixth-largest moon in Solar System. Europa was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei and was named after Europa, the legendary mother of King Minos of Crete and lover of Zeus (the Greek equivalent of the Roman god Jupiter). Slightly smaller than Earth’s Moon, Europa is primarily made of Silicate rock and has a water-ice crust and probably an iron-nickel core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. Its surface is striated by cracks and streaks, whereas craters are relatively rare. The apparent youth and smoothness of the surface have led to the hypothesis that a water ocean exists beneath it, which could conceivably harbor extraterrestrial life. The predominant model suggests that heat from tidal flexing causes the ocean to remain liquid and drives ice movement similar to plate tectonics, absorbing chemicals from the surface into the ocean below.Europa has been examined by a succession of space probe flybys, the first occurring in the early 1970s. Europa has the smoothest surface of any known solid object in the Solar System. So many fascinating findings such as that Europa has an underwater ocean Europa gained a lot of attention. So then, what if Europa were to become our moon. let’s say for some reason it started drifting towards the Earth in general Europa would make a lot of changes, but mostly changes to itself. As we read Europa’s surface is made mostly out of water ice. So if it were to drift towards the earth where it would get many times closer to the Sun, it would cause the surface temperature to go up on Europa by a lot which would cause the water ice on its surface to melt resulting in a gigantic surface ocean throughout whole Europa. Now let’s say, that happens very quickly so it’s formed an atmosphere now the ocean lasts forever, since the gravity would eventually let go of the atmosphere resulting in a boiling of the oceans but for a brief moment like hundred or thousand years it should be there. So when it finally approaches the earth it would not be very predictable whether or not it would settle into orbit without interfering with the moon or with it crash into the Earth, but let’s say it settles that around five hundred thousand kilometers of a distant. At that distance from Earth Europa would appear a bit smaller than the moon but also brighter than the moon, which would as well make the night on earth to be a bit brighter. Now the downside would be that Europa and moon would make tides so those tides could collide resulting in quite large waves, so the shores would not be so safe to visit but other than that there are actually way more upside than downside for us humans. The most important one being that we would be in scenario that have a nearly habitable world just next to earth and a habitable world with a huge chunk of ocean even larger than all the oceans on earth combined. Europa’s oceans are around hundred kilometres of dept. Now we could set up some type of water base or even city on its watery surface, but the only problems would be that there would still be a lot of radiation assuming there is no protection from it. The gravity would also be way too low causing the human bones to be very weak and making the return to Earth hard. The last big problem is that the oceans won’t last forever, but if we could find a way to keep the atmosphere it would be a very nice place to do some science. In search for any form of life, if it survived in hundred kilometer deep oceans and that’s another change that could possibly happen. If there was life in Europa’s ocean, previously it is not certain whether or not life would survive in such case since geologic activity would as well change on Europa. Which would as well make all those hydrothermal vents weak and would not provide enough energy for life when Europa but that is still not very predictable. So all in all if Europa a were to become our moon it would definitely have more upside than downside. It would provide a nice place for humans to settle in for a while, so if anything bad happens on Earth there would be humans on Europa. Now this is all hypothetical and it won’t actually happen, but if it were to happen it would be quite a nice event.

Post Author: Shivam

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