LIFE IN A DEEP FREEZE?

THE DISCOVERY OF POSSIBLE SEAS ON JUPITER'S MOON EUROPA HEATS UP THE SEARCH FOR ALIEN ORGANISMS--AND THERE ARE MANY MOONS STILL TO EXPLORE

The solar system, to be brutally honest, has turned out to be something of a bust. There was a time when the planets seemed to have a lot of potential, but only if scientists didn't look too closely. Once they did, things got ugly fast. The planets were either flash-frozen or deep-fried, uninhabitable gas giants or uninhabitable rocky pellets, smothered by a toxic atmosphere or almost totally airless--altogether poor company for a glamour world like Earth.

But planets aren't all there is to the sun's family. The solar system is also packed with moons--more than five dozen of them. Increasingly, astronomers...

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