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Technology New evidence for water plumes on Jupiter's moon, Europa

20:56  14 may  2018
20:56  14 may  2018 Source:   msn.com

Grab Your Telescope: Jupiter Will Shine Its Brightest Tonight

  Grab Your Telescope: Jupiter Will Shine Its Brightest Tonight This weekend I got to experience the dark skies over a nameless lake somewhere between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Bemidji, Minnesota. It was my first time seeing the faint band of our own Milky Way. But we had our telescope pointed on something we could have seen just as easily from a Brooklyn stoop: Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter is in opposition today, meaning it’s exactly opposite the sun in the sky, like the Moon when it’s full. The gas giant will be brighter than any star in the sky. I was able to see the bands of gas and dust and the four brightest moons, Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, and Io, with a small telescope.

MIAMI,: More evidence of possible water plumes erupting from the surface of Jupiter ’ s icy moon Europa has been spotted using NASA’s Hubble “Today, we are presenting new Hubble evidence for water vapor plumes being expelled from the icy surface of Europa ,” William Sparks, astronomer

“Today, we are presenting new Hubble evidence for water vapor plumes being expelled from the icy surface of Europa ,” William Sparks, astronomer Last year, data from Hubble confirmed that Jupiter ’ s largest moon , Ganymede, has an underground ocean that contains more water than Earth’s

Jupiter's icy moon Europa, seen here in a NASA image, has long been thought to cover a salty ocean about twice the size of Earth's © Provided by AFP Jupiter's icy moon Europa, seen here in a NASA image, has long been thought to cover a salty ocean about twice the size of Earth's

Scientists presented further evidence Monday for water plumes on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, raising hopes of probing the jets for signs of life around the second planet from Earth.

Europa's frozen surface has long been thought to cover a salty ocean about twice the size of our planet's.

Given the suspected abundance of warm, liquid water under its kilometres-thick ice shell, the moon is considered a "top candidate" by NASA for life on a Solar System body other than Earth.

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More evidence of possible water plumes erupting from the surface of Jupiter ’ s icy moon Europa has been spotted using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the US “Today, we are presenting new Hubble evidence for water vapor plumes being expelled from the icy surface of Europa ,” William Sparks

More evidence of possible water plumes erupting from the surface of Jupiter ' s icy moon Europa has been spotted using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the US space agency said Monday.

But sending a robot craft to land on Europa and drill through its surface would be a much more costly and complicated endeavour than, say, flying through a plume of water ejected from the moon's innards, and measuring its composition.

Twice before has NASA reported evidence, from its Hubble Space Telescope, for the existence of water plumes on Europa, though this interpretation has caused much debate.

The new data, reported in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy, comes from measurements made from much closer up during a flyby of NASA's now-expired Galileo spacecraft.

The data was captured on Galileo's closest encounter with the moon on December 16, 1997, and has now been re-examined for evidence that a blip in the data it captured was caused when it crossed a water plume.

What plumes on this ocean world tell us about its potential to host life

  What plumes on this ocean world tell us about its potential to host life Although Jupiter's icy moon Europa was discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610, astronomers are still uncovering the secrets beneath its frozen crust. And it's fitting that the latest surprise has been found hidden in 21-year-old data from NASA's Galileo mission to Jupiter in 1997. Europa has been a high priority for scientists because, as an ice-covered moon with a subsurface salty liquid ocean, it has been identified as one of the ideal spots for hosting life in our solar system.

More evidence of possible water plumes erupting from the surface of Jupiter ' s icy moon Europa has been spotted using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the US space agency said Monday.

“Today, we are presenting new Hubble evidence for water vapor plumes being expelled from the icy surface of Europa ,” William Sparks, astronomer Last year, data from Hubble confirmed that Jupiter ’ s largest moon , Ganymede, has an underground ocean that contains more water than Earth’s

The spacecraft, launched in 1989 to examine the fifth planet from the Sun with its dozens of moons, became the first in 1995 to enter the orbit of a gas giant planet.

Before ending its mission in 2003 with a planned crash into Jupiter's atmosphere, Galileo reported the first data suggestive of a liquid water ocean under Europa's surface.

For the new study, experts measured variations in the moon's magnetic field and plasma waves as measured during Galileo's close flyby, and found they were "consistent" with the spacecraft crossing a plume.

"These results provide strong independent evidence of the presence of plumes at Europa," they wrote.

The team reconstructed the spacecraft's path to pinpoint the plume's location on the moon's surface.

"These findings will help plan future missions to Europa, such as NASA’s Europa Clipper and ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer spacecraft, both of which are expected to arrive at Jupiter between the late 2020s and early 2030s," said a Nature summary.

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