Forget Mars—Jupiter’s moon Europa is one of the most promising worlds in the solar system to look for alien life, in large part because it boasts a huge liquid ocean sitting below a sheet of ice. Although Europa is just one-fourth the diameter of Earth, its ocean may have twice as much water as our planet’s oceans combined. And where there is water, there is the chance for life as we know it to settle down. But actually discovering whatever alien life might live on Europa will be an extremely tough challenge. The moon’s icy shell is thought to be 10 to 15 miles thick. The furthest humans have ever dug into Earth is 7.67 miles. However, it might not be as daunting as we think. A new study published in Nature Communications on Tuesday reveals that the icy shell itself might be much more porous than previously thought. In fact, the ice might be home to multiple pockets of water that could support life as well. The key to these new findings? Greenland. New data collected with ice-penetrating radar shows the formation of “double ridge” features in the Greenland ice sheet—features that are present on Europa as well. The researchers behind the new paper believe that the mechanism for how these double ridges formed in Greenland ought to apply to Europa—which suggests that there is more liquid water on the Jovian moon than we could ever have imagined. “It was really a bit of serendipity,” Riley Culberg, an electrical engineer pursuing a PhD at Stanford University who led the new study, told The Daily Beast. “One of my colleagues on this paper, who is a planetary scientist, was giving a presentation on the big open questions in Europa science and showed a picture of these double ridges on the surface. It struck me that I had seen a similar looking feature in my own data from Earth while working on a totally different project related to climate change impacts on the Greenland ic . . . read the full article here.