If we find life on an icy moon of the gas giants by 2200, will we also find evidence of macrofauna?

Metaculus
★★★☆☆
13%
Unlikely
Yes

Question description

The icy moons of the outer solar system are one of the most promising places in the search for life in the present time in our solar system. Several of them, e.g. Europa and Enceladus, are assumed to satisfy the conditions for hosting microbial life: liquid water in vast oceans under an ice cover, sufficient energy and the appropriate chemicals. However, it remains unclear whether an icy moon has the appropriate conditions for hosting macrofauna; for example, whether there are mechanisms available for the transfer of a sufficient amount of oxygen to the ocean.

Several mission concepts exist to search for extant life on one of these moons. The more ambitious of them involve landing a spacecraft and deploying a melting probe to drill through several kilometers of ice to reach the subglacial ocean. Once there, a submersible can investigate the ocean for extant life. Such a challenging mission would most likely take place sometime in the second half 21st century. It would be possible that such a mission could be equipped to not only detect microbial life but also any existing macrofauna.

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Stars
★★★☆☆
PlatformMetaculus
Number of forecasts129

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13%
Unlikely

The icy moons of the outer solar system are one of the most promising places in the search for life in the present time in our solar system. Several of them, e.g. Europa and Enceladus, are assumed to satisfy the conditions for hosting microbial life:...

Last updated: 2024-05-29
★★★☆☆
Metaculus
Forecasts: 129

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