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Looking for Life on Europa

At first glance Europa, Jupiter’s fourth largest moon, may not seem like the most likely place to find extraterrestrial life. The temperature is regularly -260 degrees Fahrenheit. Its surface is covered in a layer of ice several miles thick. And it is constantly being bombarded by fierce radiation. But National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kevin Hand...

At first glance Europa, Jupiter’s fourth largest moon, may not seem like the most likely place to find extraterrestrial life. The temperature is regularly -260 degrees Fahrenheit. Its surface is covered in a layer of ice several miles thick. And it is constantly being bombarded by fierce radiation. But National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kevin Hand is looking for alien life and he says this may be the place to find it. Europa has an enormous ocean, with more than twice the amount of liquid water found on earth. And when searching for life, Hand says it comes down to finding water. “Follow the water,” says Hand. “When it comes to life, that’s the keystone.”

Listen to Kevin Hand on National Geographic Weekend with Boyd Matson
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Meet the Author

Benjamin Shaw
Benjamin Shaw produces the weekly radio program National Geographic Weekend with host Boyd Matson. Hear it on on XM/Sirius satellite radio (XM channel 133 Sundays at noon), subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or get the show streamed to your iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, or Android OS phone with Stitcher Radio.