By Annie Palmer For Dailymail.com
Published: 01:04 BST, 13 June 2019 | Updated: 01:07 BST, 13 June 2019
A subterranean ocean thought to be beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa could be strikingly similar to the seas here on Earth.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope spotted the presence of sodium chloride, also known as simple table salt, on the icy planet's surface.
Sodium chloride is also what makes the Earth's oceans so salty, leading scientists to believe there may be more similarities between the two bodies of water that are yet to be discovered.
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A subterranean ocean thought to be beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa could be strikingly similar to the seas here on Earth, as scientists found traces of table salt
The findings are detailed in a new study led by researchers from the California Institute of Technology and published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.
While the oceans are beneath Europa's surface, the exterior is basically made up of frozen seawater.
This means that below its icy exterior, there's likely to be a vast salty sea containing large amounts of sodium chloride.
Scientists confirmed that it was sodium chloride on Europa's surface by obtaining four observations of the moon from the Hubble Space Telescope from May to August in 2017.
Researchers scanned Europa's surface with the Hubble, as well as infrared light, which revealed traces of sodium chloride.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (pictured) spotted the presence of sodium chloride, also known as simple table salt, on the icy planet's surface
They compared these observations with previous data gathered by the Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer on the Galileo spacecraft in 1998, which indicated that the moon may contain table salt on its surface.
However, that study didn't indicate whether the surface salt had