This image obtained 31 October, 2002 shows reddish spots and shallow pits peppering the enigmatic ridged surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa in this composite view captured by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft during two different orbits around Jupiter. (AFP/NASA)
Could vast, long-hidden oceans be teeming with alien life in our very own Solar System? A new chapter in humanity’s search for extraterrestrial life opens on Thursday as Europe’s JUICE spacecraft blasts off on a mission to investigate the icy moons of Jupiter. First discovered by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei more than 400 years ago, these ice-covered moons are so far from the Sun that they were long dismissed as possible candidates to host life in our backyard.
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