Planetary Science blog-post

Is There Life on Jupiter?

No, life as we know it cannot survive on Jupiter due to its distance from the Sun, unsuitable atmosphere, and frigid temperatures.



Is There Life on Jupiter?

The Solar System boasts many worlds with the requisite conditions to support life, with Europa, Jupiter's moon, being the most promising. Jupiter is entirely inhospitable for life as we know it, but its moon Europa has been proposed as a possible habitable zone. Given the similarities between Jupiter's moons and the Earth, Europa has emerged as the most promising place to find extraterrestrial life.

To search for alien life, we need to send a space probe that can drill down the moon's icy shell on Jupiter. Underneath Europa's icy crust is an ocean estimated to hold double the amount of water in the entire oceans of the Earth combined. Three of Jupiter's four largest moons are icy, and NASA's Galileo spacecraft detected tantalizing clues in 1998 of an ocean underneath one, Europa.

It is hoped this work could be built on, using the spacecraft, to investigate the habitability of the other four Jupiterian moons in more detail. Before the spacecraft arrives, scientists are already engaged in studying those moons, looking for signs of habitability, and setting themselves up to gain valuable data. Data from a spacecraft and NASA's Europa Clipper mission, which is set to arrive at a similar point in the Jovian system for Europa studies, may yield valuable insights into Jupiter's potential habitability.

NASA's Europa Clipper mission is studying Jupiter from a polar orbit in order to understand how Jupiter and the rest of the Solar System formed, which may reveal insights into how extraterrestrial planetary systems may have evolved. Knowing how much water is present on Jupiter would help us determine whether an idea is accurate and to get an idea of how the solar system was when planets were formed.

There could certainly not be any possibility of oxygen on Jupiter, so the life forms, if there are any, would have to be anaerobic. Oxygen -- Although it has a rich atmosphere with hydrogen, there is no oxygen, making liquid water impossible on this gas giant. While it is exciting to think of landing at the nucleus of Jupiter and finding life, the gas is so vastly thick, gravity is so crushing, and without liquid water, absolutely nothing would survive.

The answer is no. A gaseous planet cannot sustain life as we know it, whether it is this gas giant or any other gas giant. It is highly unlikely life will ever be found on Jupiter. However, some speculation has been made that maybe a few small, rocky moons on that planet could possess the necessary ingredients to support life as we know it.

This gas giant, however, is too far from the Sun to have any utility in growing organic life, like plants. The only hope of a life within the vicinity of a gas giant would be in one of its moons, where a thinner atmosphere and rocky surface would provide the best opportunity for organic life to establish itself and flourish. Recently, scientists have begun to think that a handful of Jupiter and Saturn moons may also have life-bearing conditions. Such possibilities are real, and they are frequently mentioned regarding the origins of life on Earth.

Just as early missions to Mars assessed its habitability, then later missions--such as the Perseverance rover NASA recently landed--were sent in search of life, similar searches may well take place on the Jovian moons. There has been great interest in studying the Jovian ice moons in detail due to the potential of liquid subsurface oceans on Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto

Scientists believe life could exist on Europa, as evidence suggests that liquid water could exist below its icy surface. 1 Early microbe on Earth evolved in a salty, liquid environment of the planet's oceans -- which is why hints of salty water on another nearby neighbor are so tantalizing.

In a surprising scientific find, researchers found clouds of water within Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The Jupiters Great Red Spot raises the prospect that life could be present on Jupiter. Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a storm that has been observed consistently since the 1830s, remains mysterious to NASA and most of the scientific community.

Still, the surprising scientific find could lead to greater insights into the planet, its atmosphere, and whether it has ever harbored life, said Clemson University astrophysicist Mate Adamkovics. Adamkovics was quick to caution that although the surprising scientific finding that Jupiter's waters are wet is promising, that does not mean that they are the harbinger of life.

Jupiter's massive magnetic field entraps electrically charged particles within a violent belt of electrons and other electrically charged particles, which periodically bombards the Jovian moons and rings with radiation that is over 1000 times more deadly than that to humans and is sufficient to harm even highly shielded spacecraft like NASA's Galileo probe. All the charged particles floating around Jupiter's planet are zipping around the massive magnetic field in a chaotic fashion, like a large circuit.

One way to study lots of the radiation that is bad for you is to look at aurorae, produced by Jupiter's four largest moons as charged particles strike the magnetic fields surrounding them. Jupiter produces lots of destructive radiation, enough so that spacecraft getting too close to it could damage themselves. Dreamers of Europa-Pean life might also be encouraged by magnetic field results, which provide compelling evidence for induced fields, as well as by the fact that another neighbor orbiting around Jupiter has very strong magnetic fields of its own.

In 2022, the European Space Agency will launch the JUICE spacecraft to study the Jovian moons, including the One. Ganymede will be the primary target for Europes Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in 2023 and will arrive in Jupiter's orbit in 2030. In 2023, the European Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer will begin its 12-year voyage, during which it will investigate Europa, Callisto (another Jovian moon), and Ganymede in order to determine whether any have the potential for supporting life.

Send Us Some Stars ✨

Our content relies on support from our readers.

Donate To Us 💛

Read More About Jupiter:

Why Does Jupiter Have A Red Spot?
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is an anticyclonic storm in a persistent high-pressure region the size of Earth.
Why Does Jupiter Have So Many Moons?
Jupiter has many moons due to its strong gravitational pull, proximity to the asteroid belt, and large size.

Read About The Possibility of Life On Other Planets:

Is There Life on WASP-39b?
While we have not found life on Kepler 452b, Kepler 452b is a candidate for alien life because of its apparent abundance of water in its atmosphere.
Is There Life on Kepler 452b?
While we have not found life on Kepler 452b, Kepler 452b is a great candidate for alien life because it shares many similarities with Earth.
Is There Life On Proxima B?
Proxima B is a great candidate for containing life due to its similar mass to the Earth, the possibility of liquid water, and its proximity to its host star, Proxima Centauri.
Is There Life In TRAPPIST-1?
The TRAPPIST-1 system is a great candidate for containing alien life due to its respective planets, their chemistry, proximity to the parent star, and early solar formation.
Is There Life On Neptune?
No, there is no evidence supporting the possibility of life on Neptune due to extreme temperatures, atmospheric activities, and distance from the Sun.
Is There Life On Saturn?
No, life as we know it cannot exist on Saturn due to extreme temperatures, pressures, and lack of a surface. Saturn’s moons have been found to be highly hospitable for life to exist.
Is There Life on Mercury?
No, life as we know it would not be able to survive on Mercury due to extreme temperature fluctuations, proximity to the Sun, and being void of an atmosphere.
Is There Life on Io?
It is highly unlikely that life as we know it could survive on Io due to extreme atmospheric and surface activities.
Is There Life On Ganymede?
It is possible for certain types of life to exist on Ganymede due to subsurface oceans, but we do not have evidence of life at this time.
Is There Life On Callisto?
Callisto is on the list of possible places where life could exist in our solar system beyond Earth due to its subsurface oceans.
Is There Life on Titan?
There is currently no evidence of life on Titan but its complex chemistry and unique environments make Titan a great candidate for life.
Is There Life On Enceladus?
There is currently no evidence of life on Enceladus but its complex chemistry and subsurface oceans make Enceladus a great candidate for life.
Is There Life On Europa?
There is currently no evidence of life on Europa but the existence of Europa’s sub-surface oceans and complex chemistry makes Europa a great candidate for life.
Is There Life on Venus?
Scientists may have eliminated the possibility of extraterrestrial life on Venus due to extreme temperatures, volcanic activity, and acidic rain.

Enjoy Universe? ✨

Join the Universe community - one of the most active communities for scientists, space enthusiasts, and biohackers! As a free member, you get access to discussion boards, astronomy quiz of the day, universe launch updates, commenting, knowledge quizzes, and more.

Join The Community for Free 💫