Our search for life on Europa may require these ultrathin solar cells - here's why
- University of Cambridge researchers have now designed radiation-resistant ultrathin solar cells one thousandth the thickness of a human hair.
- The solar cells have been designed to improve Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites so they can withstand greater amounts of radiation.
- The ultra-thin cells deliver the same amount of power as thicker cells after 20 years of operation and would be more cost-effective.
Science fiction writers have long speculated about the potential of extraterrestrial life thriving in an ocean beneath the frozen surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa. We only have to look back at Frank R. Paul's Life on Europa (1940) and Glass City of Europa (1942) as examples.
Since then, the concept has brought Europa out of the shadows and into the spotlight, where it has remained, kindling the dreams of people inside and beyond the scientific community who hope that humanity may one day discover life elsewhere in the universe.
Experts say this year's monsoon rains in Pakistan were the worst ever, flooding one-third of the South Asian country, ruining crops on hundreds of thousands of acres, and uprooting at least 33 million people of its 220 million population.