Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Europa spouting off again

 News in Brief Planetary Science Europa spouting off again

Hubble images of plumes on Jupiter’s icy moon revive talk of hidden ocean

By Christopher Crockett 5:18pm, September 26, 2016 illustration of plumes from Europa  Europa spouting off again 092616 CC Europa brief main free 1

COME INTO VIEW Plumes erupting from Europa (illustrated) stand out against light from Jupiter in observations from the Hubble Space Telescope.

A. Field/STScI

  • EMail logo  Europa spouting off again mail 57 EMail
  • Print logo  Europa spouting off again print 57 Print
  • Twitter logo  Europa spouting off again twitter 57 Twitter
  • Facebook logo  Europa spouting off again facebook 57 Facebook
  • Reddit logo  Europa spouting off again reddit 57 Reddit
  • Google+ logo  Europa spouting off again google plus 57Google+

Sponsor Message i  Europa spouting off again ad

Jupiter’s moon Europa might once again be venting water into space, further supporting the idea that an ocean hides beneath its thick shell of ice, researchers reported September 26 at a news conference.

Plumes erupting from the moon’s surface, silhouetted against background light from Jupiter, appear in several images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in early 2014. The geysers — presumably of water vapor or ice particles — showed up in the same location as an eruption captured by Hubble in 2012 (SN: 1/25/14, p. 6). The eruptions also appear to be intermittent, appearing in only three out of 10 images. Material hovering over the moon’s southern hemisphere and absorbing ultraviolet light coming from Jupiter made the plumes visible.

“The plumes are a sign that we may be able to explore the ocean without having to drill through unknown miles of ice,” said William Sparks, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “We presume it to be water or ice particles because that’s what Europa is made of and those molecules do absorb at the wavelengths we observed,” he said. Future spacecraft could plow through the plumes and sample the water to better understand its chemistry and look for by-products of life.

Europa spouting off again 092616 CC Europa brief inline free


Teleconference on findings from Jupiter’s moon Europa. September 26, 2016.

Further Reading

M. Rosen. Seismic experiment might reveal thickness of Europa’s ice. Science News. Vol. 189, June 25, 2016, p. 13

A. Grant. Europa’s geysers play hard-to-see. Science News. Vol. 187, January 24, 2015, p. 7.

A. Grant. Europa vents water, Hubble data suggest. Science News. Vol. 185, January 25, 2014, p. 6.

  • Printer-friendly version
  • Send by email

This post first appeared on Futura-Sciences | Le Savoir Directement Chez Vous, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Europa spouting off again


Subscribe to Futura-sciences | Le Savoir Directement Chez Vous

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription