Jupiter's Moon Europa Sprays Water into Space

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected geysers on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa that cause massive amounts of water to spray into space. The water vapor produced by the geysers, which is compressed like a sponge by the gravitational force of Jupiter and sprays water, reaches a length of 200 km.

Astronomers have found traces of hot springs on Europa, the moon of gas giant Jupiter. The Hubble telescope took pictures of two geysers that it detected on the surface of the satellite and spewed 200 km of water into outer space. The length of the ejected water vapor is about 20 times that of Everest.

"We've made an exciting discovery… Our results are much more decisive than we expected," said Lorenz Roth of the US Southwest Research Institute, who took part in the research published in the journal Science.

Scientists stated that Europa's geophysical activities strengthen the possibility of life.
Europa is not the only celestial body in the Solar System that has been found to spray water into Space. It was determined that the Encedalus moon, whose surface is covered with scratches due to Saturn's gravity, sprays water from the south polar region.

The effect of gravity between the planets and their moons is seen mutually in both celestial bodies. The influence of the Moon causes tides on Earth, while Saturn's gravity causes cracks in the surface of its small moon.

Scientists plan to intensify research on Europa after the latest findings. With its surface only 65 million years old, Europa is one of the youngest celestial bodies in the Solar System, at around 4.6 billion years old.

The first detection of water vapor detected by Hubble was made by the Voyager spacecraft, which passed by Europa in 1977, but the detection could not be confirmed. The Galileo spacecraft again obtained a water vapor-like image in 1989, but it was understood that the image was caused by a digital error.

Astronomers are now considering the possibility of life on Europa, which appears to be geophysically still alive.

A new study from the American Geophysical Union has detected clay rich in organic matter on Europa's surface. It was stated that if the clays, which are thought to be carried by asteroids and comets, reach the sea under the glacial layer of Europa, they may contribute to the formation of life in a highly nutritious environment.

Robert Pappalardo of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said: "We are investigating whether there could be life on Europa today. This requires more observation,” he said.



In the photo revealing the dimensions of Jupiter and Europa, the water vapor released from the satellite is evident (NASA).

Source : ntvmsnbc



Günceleme: 15/12/2013 23:26

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