Jupiter's moon Europa may glow in the dark

NASA scientist Murthy Gudipati and study co-author Bryana Henderson conducting experiments using an instrument developed to study the effect of high-energy electron radiation on a replica of Europa's icy surface.

(CNN)Jupiter's icy moon Europa is considered one of only a few bodies in our solar system that has the potential to host some form of life.

It has a ocean deep beneath a frozen crust, which like Earth's, may contain salt, and plumes of water vapor have been discovered above the surface.
Now, scientists say the moon may visibly glow green in the dark as high levels of radiation from Jupiter's powerful magnetic field interact with its moon's icy surface.
    Laboratory simulations found that irradiated ice emits a greenish light in a process called "electron-stimulated luminescence."
    "The night-time ice glow occurring on Europa may be very unique and unlike any other phenomenon in our solar system," the study said.
    The findings were published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday.
    An upcoming mission by NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft, which is expected to launch later this decade, could observe the glow and map the chemical composition of Europa's surface by measuring how much ice glow is seen at different wavelengths, the authors of the study said.
    A lab simulation shows how Jupiter's moon Europa might glow in the dark.