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Jupiter's moon Europe may have water reservoirs just below its ice surface, BTA reports, citing US scientists.

The hypothesis of experts from Stanford University is based on observations on the surface of Greenland.

Astronomers have discovered vast reserves of water in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Europa

The moon Europe is a major candidate for the search for extraterrestrial life in the solar system due to the alleged presence of a huge amount of liquid water.

This ocean is probably located under a thick layer of ice, at a depth of between 20 and 30 kilometers, according to data collected by space probes.

However, some of this water may be much closer to the surface than previously thought, according to a study published in the Nature Communications Association.

According to American scientists, Jupiter's moon Europe is "young and geologically active."

The most common structure there consists of double ridges stretching for hundreds of kilometers and rising to a height of several hundred meters.

They are strikingly similar to the formations found on the Greenland ice sheet.

Scientists have several hypotheses about the formation of these ridges on the Jupiter moon Europe, in particular the interaction between the water below the surface and the ice that covers it.

This is exactly what a team of geophysicists from Stanford University in Greenland, an island covered mostly with ice, has found.

"They have discovered a double ice ridge that has a shape similar to that of European formations," Riley Culberg, a PhD student at Stanford University and lead author of the study, told AFP. The ridge is about 800 meters long and has an average height of 2.1 meters and is located about 60 kilometers from the coast in northwestern Greenland.

His colleague Dustin Schroeder, a professor of geophysics at Stanford University, explains that they "worked on something completely different related to climate change and the impact on the surface of Greenland when we saw these little double ridges."

"Satellite imagery and data collected with special radar made it possible to see something similar (like Jupiter's moon Europe) on Earth for the first time and to observe the processes below the surface that led to the formation of the ridges," said Riley Culberg.

Scientists are modeling a process leading to the formation of a double ridge.

"The water we observed in Greenland is in the top thirty meters of the ice sheet," explains Culberg.

According to his calculations of Jupiter's moon Europa, whose ridges are much higher and longer, "water reservoirs can form at a depth of between one and five kilometers."

If the formation mechanism is really the one being proposed, these water reservoirs could be very widespread. 

Two space missions will make it possible to understand more around 2030. NASA's will be equipped with radar similar to that used in Greenland's research.

The European Space Agency's mission will study not only Jupiter's moon Europa, but also Io and Ganymede.