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Neil deGrasse Tyson: Life on Europa, Jupiter’s Moons, Ice Fishing and Racket Sports

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Life on Europa, Jupiter’s Moons, Ice Fishing and Racket Sports


Nobody doesn’t love Europa. Let me back up. When we think of places you might find life
we typically think of the goldilocks zone around a star where water would be liquid
in its natural state, and if you get a little too close to the star heat would evaporate
the water and you don’t have it anymore, it’s gone—too far away it would freeze and neither
of those states of H2O are useful to life as we know it. We need liquid water. So you can establish this green zone, this
habitable zone, this goldilocks zone where if you find a planet orbiting there, hey there’s
a good chance it could have liquid water. Let’s look there first for life as we know
it. Now, it turns out that this source of heat,
of course, is traceable to the sun, and if you go farther out everything would or should
be frozen, all other things being equal. But Europa, a moon of Jupiter sitting well
outside of the goldilocks zone, is kept warm. Not from energy sources traceable to the sun,
but from what we call the tidal forces of Jupiter itself. So Jupiter and surrounding moons are actually
pumping energy into Europa. And how does it do that? As Europa orbits Jupiter its shape changes. It’s not fundamentally different from tides
rising and falling on earth. The shape of the water system of the earth
is responding to tidal forces of the moon and when you do that to a solid object, the
solid object is stressing and because of this a consequence of this is that you are pumping
energy into the object. It is no different from when you say, anyone
who’s familiar with racquet sports, indoor racquet sports, it could be racquetball or
squash, you say “let’s warm up the ball before we start playing.” You want to hit it around a few times. You are literally warming up the ball. It’s not just simply “let’s get loose,”
it’s, you are literally warming up the ball. How? You are distorting it every time you smack
it and then the resilience of the ball pops it back into shape, and every time you do
that, every smack you’re pumping energy into the ball. That’s not fundamentally different from what’s
going on in orbit around Jupiter. So you have this frozen world Europa, completely
frozen on its surface, but you look at the surface and there are cracks in the ice. There are ridges in the ice where there’s
a crack and it’s shifted and then re-froze. So this ridge has a discontinuity in the crack
and it continues in another place. So what this tells you is that Europa cannot
be completely frozen because if it were nothing would be moving. You look at the surface of Europa, the frozen
surface, there are like ice chunks that are like shifted and refrozen and shifted again. It looks just like if you fly over the Arctic
Ocean. Fly over the Arctic Ocean in the winter these
are ice sheets that are breaking and refreezing all the time. It’s the same signature as that. So all of us are convinced that beneath this
icy surface is an ocean of liquid water and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t have
been liquid for billions of years. On earth where we find liquid water we find
life. Wherever we find liquid water we find life. Even places like the Dead Sea—why did anybody
call it a Dead Sea? Because the microscope hadn’t yet been invented. Sure maybe there’s no macroscopic vertebrate
fishes, but microbes have no problems thriving in practically any condition under which you
would find liquid water. So what this means is not only do we have
a source of heat outside of the goldilocks zone, we have conditions under which life
could be thriving, and knowing that this is possible has completely broadened the net
that we are casting in search for life in the universe. No longer is it “let’s find a 72 degree
tidal pond and see life forming there,” no, life is pretty hearty and if it takes
liquid water that may be the other place in the solar system that is teeming with some
form or another of life. So yeah we all want to go to Europa, period. We’ve got to go ice fishing though, because
you’ve got to cut a hole or melt a hole, you’ve got to get there somehow because the sheet
of ice by some estimates are several kilometers thick, and so it will take some effort to
get through that, which we haven’t really fully figured out yet. But it’s an engineering problem not a science
problem. So a clever engineer should be able to figure
that one out. One of the challenges of mounting a mission
to Europa is that we don’t yet really know how to dig through the ice yet. And yet there are other missions to the outer
planets and their moons that we know how to do and yet we haven’t ever done before. So one of the challenges we face in my field
and surely other sciences is there’s a mission you want to mount, an experiment you want
to conduct but it’s expensive and you don’t really know how to do it yet, but it’s tantalizing,
whereas there are other experiments where you know how to conduct the experiment and
you’ve never done it before so there’s a higher sort of return on that investment and a more
immediate return. So you’re always jockeying these two ways
you might be spending limited resources. So we all want to go to Europa but sensibly
it might not be the first or second or even third of the missions to the moons of the
outer planets because it poses special challenges to us, not only to our science but especially
to our engineering. And by the way, Europa is not the only one
of these moons in the outer solar system that is kept warm by these sort of title stress
forces, there are other moons that feel the same influx of energy. So for example, Io, that’s the innermost moon
of Jupiter that suffers from this phenomenon even more. And that moon is so hot there are volcanoes
erupting from within. It is rendered molten, whatever solid parts
of that moon there are, so in fact the most volcanically active place in the solar system
is Io, one of the moons of Jupiter. And we don’t know how to sustain life under
temperatures that hot, but it’s a reminder that if you’re looking for sources of energy
we no longer need to be anchored to a host star in our search for life in the universe.

97 comments on “Neil deGrasse Tyson: Life on Europa, Jupiter’s Moons, Ice Fishing and Racket Sports

  1. Why can't, as a human race. Instead of trying to kill one another and investing all our funds into armed forces. Start investing into new discoveries and finding out about the universe we live in?

  2. Could Jupiter be considered a " SUN " like planet; as it gives life to IO and Europa ? Our son gives us heat and life. Jupiter gives them heat and friction. Without our sun, we would be in serious trouble. Without Jupiter they would be the same.

  3. We will bring that Europa water back and it will cause a plague that wipes out all life on Earth, then the Europa life will propagate our planet and play all our vidyas and eat all our tacos

  4. the Goldie locks zone is redundant, a planets core temperature could possibly keep liquid water, if it has enough core temperature of course

  5. I find it hilarious how people in the comments are so triggered and in denial about all of the "crazy science" Neil talks about. Yet here there are…on YouTube…a website that wouldn't be possible without an extremely advanced understanding of software, hardware, physics, electricity, electromagnetism, etc…..things they have zero clue about. Yet they take all that in depth science at face value simply because it allows them to drool over their keyboard and post about how flat the earth is…

  6. It's not all gravity-based tides. There is a lot more electricity involved than what's suggested here. Learn.

  7. Let's go to Europa! heat plumes are erupting , really it's a space whale! Fuck years of study get humans on Europa now!! Big ship stays in orbit with many detachable ships to explore the surface. You don't have t pay me ether lets go!!!

  8. This made me think: Suppose there are macrobiotic species, animals, things with eyes and a brain, that live on Europa.
    Or probably more correctly inside Europa, in that ocean between it's surface ice and whatever is the core of the planet (I don't assume it's 100% an ice-covered water ball).
    What would the ice sheet look like when you looked up to where we would normally see sky?
    Or would it be so dark on the inside, so little light if any that would penetrate deep enough, that you couldn't see a thing?
    Do you think the interior oceans of Europa get any light at all?
    Would a macrobiotic animal even evolve to have eyes in such conditions?
    I know Earth has fish with eyes that live at depths that are so far down light doesn't reach, but perhaps a Europan fish wouldn't.
    It could be even darker in the depths of the Europan ocean than the deepest of Earth's oceans.

  9. If there were intelligent beings on Eurpoa, with a technology about even with outs, would they have any way of knowing there was anything outside their world?

  10. "Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing." – Dr. George Wald, evolutionist, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University at Harvard, Nobel Prize winner in Biology.

    "One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom, a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not been written." – Dr. Hubert P. Yockey

    "All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We all believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that life's complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did." – Dr. Harold Urey, Nobel Prize winner

    "The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop." – Dr. Edwin Conklin, evolutionist and professor of biology at Princeton University

    "One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are-as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation." – Dr. George Wald Evolutionist, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University at Harvard, Nobel Prize winner in Biology

  11. Abiogenesis has been proven false and impossible. Atheists simply refuse to accept a mountain of scientific knowledge that has been aquired sin the 1850's.

    In the absence of enzymes, there is no chemical reaction that produces the sugar ribose, the "backbone" of RNA and DNA. – Shapiro, R., Prebiotic cytosine synthesis: A critical analysis and implications for the origin of life, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96,8:4396–4401, 1999, Shapiro, R., Prebiotic cytosine synthesis: A critical analysis and implications for the origin of life, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96,8:4396–4401, 1999.
    Shapiro, R., The prebiotic role of adenine: A critical analysis, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 25:83–98, 1995.
    Shapiro, R., Prebiotic ribose synthesis: A critical analysis, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 18:71–85, 1988.
    Abiogenesis is impossible for many reasons. One of which is that neither RNA nor DNA can be synthesized in the absence of enzymes, and enzymes cannot be synthesized in the absence of RNA and ribosomes. In the absence of enzymes, there is no chemical reaction that produces the sugar ribose, the "backbone" of RNA and DNA. How is biogenesis possible then?
    If you deny the existence of a Creator, scientific studies demonstrate that you must believe each of the following things about the origin of life:
    Scientific Facts Solution
    Homochirality somehow arose in the sugars and amino acids of prebiotic soups, although there is no mechanism by which this can occur (1) and is, in fact, prohibited by the second law of thermodynamics (law of entropy). (2) reject the second law of thermodynamics
    In the absence of enzymes, there is no chemical reaction that produces the sugar ribose (1), the "backbone" of RNA and DNA. Ribose is an essential compopnent for RNA and DNA. Enzymes are produced by genetic information programming nanomachines in the cell. The ribose is therefore a irreducibly complex component and cannot have arisen naturally, which disproves evolution theory.
    Presentation of Ligands on Hydroxylapatite
    Barbara C. F. Chu and Leslie E. Orgel*
    The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, P.O. Box 85800, San Diego, California 92186-5800.
    Received December 17, 1996 "science of the gaps"
    Chemical reactions in prebiotic soups produce other sugars that prevent RNA and DNA replication (1). discard chemistry data
    "science of the gaps"
    Pyrimidine nucleosides (cytosine and uracil) do not form under prebiotic conditions and only purine (adenine and guanine) nucleosides are found in carbonaceous meteorites (1) (i.e., pyrimidine nucleosides don't form in outer space either). discard chemistry data
    "science of the gaps"
    Even if a method for formation of pyrimidine nucleosides could be found, the combination of nucleosides with phosphate under prebiotic conditions produces not only nucleotides, but other products which interfere with RNA polymerization and replication (1). discard chemistry data
    "science of the gaps"
    Purine and pyrimidine nucleotides (nucleosides combined with phosphate groups) do not form under prebiotic conditions (3). discard chemistry data
    "science of the gaps"
    Neither RNA nor DNA can be synthesized in the absence of enzymes "science of the gaps"
    Enzymes cannot be synthesized in the absence of RNA and ribosomes. "science of the gaps"
    Nucleosides and amino acids cannot form in the presence of oxygen, which is now known to have been present on the earth for at least four billion years (4), although life arose ~3.8 billion years ago (5). discard geological data
    discard chemistry data
    A massive increase of meteor bombardment occurred in the inner Solar System 3.9 billion years ago (6), which would have destroyed all complex organic molecules on the earth up to that point. The first rocks date to that era, but contain no carbon. The first evidence of carbon (3.85 billion years ago) was formed from living organisms (determined from 12C/13C ratios) (5). There is no evidence of a "prebiotic soup." discard geological data
    Comparison of the dates of meteor impacts on the moon, Mercury, and Mars indicate that at least 30 catastrophic meteor impacts must have occurred on the earth from 3.8 to 3.5 billion years ago (7). These impacts were of such large size that the energy released would have vaporized the entirety of the earth's oceans (8), destroying all life. Life spontaneously arose by chance at least 30 separate times, each within a period of ~10 million years

  12. In no way can heat support any form of life. It does not have a high enough energy level. Mr. Tyson, you should already know this.

  13. Can planets which are too close to the star and ,thus too hot for water, be somehow tempered by other natural phenomena to cool it down to be habitable? Say, a dense asteroid belt which would partially reflect sunlight?

  14. What if Earth is the only planet in the universe that contains life ? Have you ever considered that.
    Then would you believe in a higher power?

  15. He must find it very hard, Nae Impossible not to break his bollocks laughing uncontrollable when he is spewing this shite out . Just look at the condescending look and tone he always has. He's been getting away with this nonsense all his life. HOW???. If he was to go for an interview in Mc Donalds they'd fuck him out for being such a fucking Moran.

  16. Wasting time , and a lot of money , to go out in the space searching for living insects , or in the best cases , fishes . while here on earth , they kill human beings , the most known advanced life according to evolution . well done douche bags.

  17. Honestly? We need to create an artificial atmosphere in Europa, then make it have some greenhouse effects to warm it up. We will have lots of water before we even know it.

  18. Its quite scary that for all we know, we are the only life in the universe which is really depressing that the universe is infinite in all directions and that we seem to be the only life

  19. Lets bring the Microbes over to earth and kill our species off!!!!!!! Anyone who goes there shouldnt come back, really, they could kill us all, or they could bring the microbes over and then they kill us, they had billions of years to form, they will be deadly

  20. Could this be a new energy/heat source for the galaxy instead of stars? Could We off of a gas planet without a star?

  21. I'm sure Neil's onto one of his science fiction speculations again.
    I'm sure Europa's just teaming with life with the balmy highs of -260 degrees Fahrenheit to the lows of – 370 degrees or less at the poles.
    Ya , were getting close to absolute zero , I'm sure it's just teaming with life.
    The problem is it has to reject what we know as far as what's required for even a simple organism.
    I know evolutionary science has been throwing around all sort's of ideas on how this,
    thesis. Thermal vents swirling amino acids around in it's inhospitable toxic waste ,
    or lightening causing them to stick together and then go to form life.
    But there's a new thesis proposed in a statement from The National Academy of
    Science stating that these previously theorized environments that have been
    purported for decades as plausible and questioned by real scientists for just
    as long based on the data , have now a new ( old Darwin) thesis that the amino acids
    from space landed in a pond and over a year formed peptide bonds and got out of
    that warm little pond onto dry land and vela , proteins and life.

    That kinda changed the 100's of millions of years of chemical soup becoming organic.

  22. What if the big red eye of Jupiter is the aliens power source which powers up all their machines on Europa ?? Just a taught

  23. Just send something there to collect a little bit of ice. I wouldn't worry about drilling for now. If that ice is billions of years old and has erupted billions of times I'm sure there will be little microscopic microbial skeletons laying everywhere! Also, pictures I've seen of Europa have red lines all over it and I heard that Europa has salt water on it. Well, the North half of the Great Salt Lake is red because of the brine being restricted and the sun cooks it up and concentrates it to where the red is algae and beta carotene. So maybe that is on that moon.

  24. The liquid life is most likely going to be like the dinosaurs we were lucky enough for the meteor wipe them out so we can live but there is no meteor that wiped them out when they evolved there bacteria I'm positive there's going to be big sea creatures that was able to evolve in those oceans billions of years

  25. So life is most likely formed in water that's how the evolution of the bacteria is able to evolve into a creature

  26. Can we please fund this voyage so we can find extraterrestrial life and finally eradicate most religions? Can't wait to do the "I told you so" dance in front of the skeptics!

  27. if life IS under the ice surface of Europa, what kind of life do you think it'd be? because it probably doesn't need light (i think).

  28. ths message to y team MR TYSON WE BEN CALL SOON AS POSBLE RAISE Y TEAM BY MU INFO TO EUROPA BEF TH HIDIND WAT TH HAVE INSD EUROPA POSBLTY TH TAKE ALL TH ARMY TEAM BY TAKIN TH WEPN WHICH TH USE FR EUROPA AND TAKIN OFF SOON TECN CAN NOT SEE THS MOVE HOW TH TALE FR EUROPA TRANSOR TO NEXT PLAND WHICH NAME IS UNKOWING
    IN THS CASE ID THS HAPPEN Y LOSE FUTURE Y DISTUNY IN SPACE
    IAM SPEAKIN 100000000000000000000000000000000000000 303 x CERTLLION 00000000 WE LOSE in SPACE MONEY

  29. Why would you need to tunnel through the ice if the vents are shooting water vapor into the sky wouldn’t that mean that thats an opening to the sea underneath and a drone could just go in from there?

  30. I live on Earth like you do because Jupiter is gassy Venus is bright Mercury’s hot Neptune’s cold Earth is just right so we call Earth the goldy locks planet

  31. I was wondering… did someone ever dared to show Neil the Netflix movie "IO"?? If not, I really hope he never ever gets to see it. It might actually cause physical harm to him!!

  32. i have an idea. take one of the few thousand nuclear warheads in our arsenal and put it on a rocket, send that rocket a few hours before a 2nd rocket with a submarine on it. and blow a massive hole in the ice. merica.

  33. I pray that in Neil's lifetime he gets to see alien contact and can assist with developing modes of communication and understanding.

  34. I want a bottle of water made from Europa's water content. How much do you think that would be worth on Earth? 😆

  35. PLEASEEEEEEE I NEED EUROPA TO HAVE LIFE. I WANT TO BE ALIVE DURING THE BIGGEST SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY

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