Mysterious dark material on Jupiter's moon Europa might be sea salt


NASA needs to use kickstarter campaigns. Let the people fund the expeditions they most want.

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But no details about the accelerator used. No voltage, no beam current… :frowning:

Jesus Christ. I can just see the foodies now raving how Europan sea salt really brings out the complex flavors of blah blah blah…


If it would pay for a land-sample-return mission, would be worth it.

I had no idea that radiation could color salt, and now that I’ve read a bit about the process, it seems pretty awesome.

If you did try to eat salt colored by radiation, would there be any effect on you? If I understand the mechanics correctly, I guess the salt would lose its awesome color as soon as it dissolves anyway

Radiation colors a lot of things. Browned glass on xray tubes is a good example. Generally it disturbs the structure of the material and creates color centers, e.g. places where some anion is missing and instead of it a lone electron wanders around there.

If nuclear transmutation did not take place (so no neutron radiation, nor very high energy gamma), no effect. Otherwise the associated activated isotopes effects would take place. Unless there’s way too much of them present, the effect on you is not likely to be apparent.

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Ah but is it artisanal sea salt? Is it infused with truffle butter? Can it play the ukulele?

My guess is no, that the color is from dislocations in the crystual structure of the salt, and would vanish as it dissolves.
It’s a guess, though. I dont know with what energy levels they blasted it.

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