'Lake District' discovered on the moon

Updated: 


Rex


Forget Cumbria, experts have discovered that Jupiter's moon, Europa, could be covered in liquid lakes, just below the surface.

A new report published in the Nature journal predicts that there are small lakes that exist just below the moon's icy crust.

Recent analysis of its surface suggests areas of warmer water bubble beneath, fracturing the outer layers.

The news is exciting as it has long been thought that the presence of liquid water could be a potential habitat for life, so the new discovery makes a space mission to recover water from the moon much more of a reality.

Scientists have believed for a long time that a large ocean about 100 miles deep exists 10 to 30km beneath the ice crust.

The discovery of shallow lakes could mean a transfer of nutrients between the surface water and the ocean's depths, which could make its waters 'more habitable', say scientists.

Glaciologists have long been studying the surface of Europa, to understand what formed its fractured look, and Martin Siegert from the University of Edinburgh believes we can learn a lot from looking at Antarctica.

He told the BBC that the new study shows how 'upwelling of warmer water causes melting of surface ice, forming cracks'.

Could 'moon safaris' one day be a reality? Leave your thoughts below...


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