Nasa's Galileo spacecraft points to new evidence of watery plumes over Europa

15 May, 2018, 22:22 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Jupiter's moon Europa harbors a saltwater ocean beneath an icy crust

Sometimes, when the telescope has looked, it has observed water vapor emissions coming from the surface of Europa. Of those places, Jupiter's moon Europa is perhaps the most promising, and the planet's warm ocean is incredibly tantalizing to researchers.

According to a study released previous year, the Hubble Space Telescope showed a water plume erupting on the warmest part of the surface of Europa, whose ocean contains twice as much water as Earth's seas. Instead, these groundbreaking finds came from a flyby done by the now-retired Galileo Jupiter probe. The orbiter had a close encounter with Europa in late 1997, and what at the time was thought to be a unusual anomaly in its data is now believed to be evidence that Galileo actually flew through one of Europa's water plumes. That was close enough to capture data about any geysers the moon might host, which in turn would give scientists a clue about the habitability of the ocean beneath the ice.

Almost 15 years have passed since NASA sent its Galileo spacecraft flying into Jupiter's outer atmosphere to die-eliminating the possibility of contaminating nearby Jovian moons with any traces of Earth bacteria.

A Nasa probe that explored Jupiter's moon Europa flew through a giant plume of water vapour that erupted from the icy surface and reached a hundred miles high, according to a fresh analysis of the spacecraft's data. Mike Brown, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology, said in a tweet he is a "big Europa fan", but "so far, all of the evidence for plumes on Europa has been hopeful, rather than truly convincing". No other flybys picked up evidence of these eruptions, though this particular one was the closest that the spacecraft came to Europa's surface.

But it wasn't until past year, at a conference for boffins planning the Europa Clipper spacecraft that's due to head out to the mysterious moon in 2022, that Xianzhe Jia, a space physicist at the University of MI put the pieces together and made a decision to revisit the Galileo data. One version of the model included plumes on the surface of Europa, whereas another did not.

No definitive reason behind the chat has been revealed, other than to discuss the continued intrigue behind Europa harboring some form of alien life.

That said, the discovery could also play a critical part in supporting NASA's Europa Clipper mission which will explore the possibility of life on the icy moon.

Geologists say Kilauea volcano could soon explode
The plant, which is owned by Ormat Technologies of Reno, Nevada, is across a highway from where lava has been erupting. Plant manager Mike Kaleikini said Thursday that all the fuel was moved off-site to a secure location.

California's new homes to have solar by 2020; SunRun shares jump
There are still significant upfront costs of requiring the solar panels on rooftops of new homes. But consumers would get that money and more back in energy savings, according to the commission.

Ajinkya Rahane to captain for inaugural Test against Afghanistan
READ: 44 for England tour, former cricketers stumped! He was part of India's 50-over squad during the South Africa tour. Incidentally, the last Test match that he played was against Australia at Dharamasala in March, last year.

A mission called Europa Clipper was proposed several years ago.

The lawmaker was in the middle of expounding on an annual preoccupation: Putting more money into a robotic space-exploration project expected to cost $8 billion or more by the time it launches sometime after 2022.

"These results provide strong independent evidence of the presence of plumes at Europa", he concluded in a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The researchers initially suspected Europa's surface to be releasing water by seeing the images received with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope.

As to if this finding strengthened the situation for possible life On Europa, not one of the scientists around the discussion would say that right.

The revelation has again emphasised the scientific consensus that Europa, which has a salty ocean twice the size of Earth's, could be home to extraterrestrial life.

Xianzhe Jia is the first author on Monday's paper and a planetary scientist at the University of MI; he's also working on instruments that will fly on both Clipper and JUICE.

Recommended:

  • Zarif embarks on journey to save nuclear deal by first visiting China

    Zarif embarks on journey to save nuclear deal by first visiting China

    FM says Tehran is "ready for all options" as he embarks on tour with pact's other signatories in wake of U.S. withdrawal. Earlier in the week, France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed "regret and concern" over the US' withdrawal.

    SpaceX's Upgraded Falcon 9 Rocket Finally Soars To The Skies

    Though this was the first landing for a Block 5 first stage, it was the 25th overall for a Falcon 9 during an orbital launch . But in the eight-year history of flying Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX has only ever sent the same rocket to space twice.
    How Google is trying to fix your phone addiction

    How Google is trying to fix your phone addiction

    It's common to look at your smartphone and realize that all the apps you've left open have sucked away the battery life. Typically, Android Auto essentially mirrors your phone - with a special on-screen interface designed for the vehicle .
  • Wayne Rooney said his final goodbyes at Everton on Saturday

    Wayne Rooney said his final goodbyes at Everton on Saturday

    Which is not that different from the challenge Rooney faced at Everton . "I have a contract - a one-year contract". Rooney's angry response was littered with expletives that were picked up on television.
    Utah homicide suspect arrested in southeast Colorado

    Utah homicide suspect arrested in southeast Colorado

    A man wanted for murdering and sexually assaulting a teenager in Salt Lake City Utah was taken into custody in Rocky Ford. The warrant stems from earlier sexual involvement with the Bagshaw, police have said.
    Google and JBL have made a Hybrid Android TV soundbar

    Google and JBL have made a Hybrid Android TV soundbar

    The Link Bar plugs into a TV set using HDMI and enhances a TV with support for Google assistant and Android TV . Undoubtedly, one of the major announcements at this year's Google I/O will be the updates on Android P .
  • Fighting in West Afghanistan as Taliban Attempts to Capture City

    Fighting in West Afghanistan as Taliban Attempts to Capture City

    Reinforcements including commando units as well as the Afghan air force were battling Taliban fighters around the city, he said. In 2017, insurgents tried to overrun the capital three times, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
    Carlos Carvalhal to leave Swansea City

    Carlos Carvalhal to leave Swansea City

    Huddersfield sealed a huge point against Manchester City at the weekend and you'd expect that to be just about enough for them. Yet that season was over 42 games not 38 so, by any yardstick, City have been truly exceptional.
    BT to cut 13000 jobs

    BT to cut 13000 jobs

    Around 80 per cent of its staff are now based in around 50 locations, with some cities hosting multiple offices. As part of the restructuring the firm will abandon its London HQ in favour of 30 "modern strategic sites".
  • North Korea invites the world to watch its destruction of nuclear site

    North Korea invites the world to watch its destruction of nuclear site

    Kim revealed plans to shut down the nuclear test site during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month. Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!", Trump wrote on Twitter. "I really think a lot of progress has been made".
    Boris Johnson tears into Prime Minister's

    Boris Johnson tears into Prime Minister's "crazy" customs plan

    Main Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg mentioned immediately it was one other instance of "Mission Concern" taking up once more. The UK would collect tariffs set by the EU customs union on goods coming into the UK on behalf of the EU.
    Britons set to sizzle in record-breaking Bank Holiday heat

    Britons set to sizzle in record-breaking Bank Holiday heat

    The record highest temperature for May is 32.8C (91F) which was recorded in 1922 and 1944. Cloudier over Northern Ireland and Scotland with some patchy light rain at times".


Popular

Iran Calls for Clarity Over Nuclear Deal After Talks With China
European governments are scrambling to save billions of dollars in trade with Iran that resumed thanks to the 2015 accord. Tehran has repeatedly said that it would never accept re-negotiating the nuclear deal.

Here's when: Vodafone boss to stand down after 10 years
Chief financial officer Nick Read, 53, has been promoted to the top job, having been groomed as the preferred internal candidate. Margherita Della Valle, VOD's Deputy CFO, will take over as CFO on July 27, 2018.

Amanda Nunes Says Raquel Pennington's Corner Failed Her at UFC 224
Nunes mentioned how her 18-month layoff might have impacted her conditioning, and led to her asking out early. Pennington could land a takedown, and Nunes could suffer some awkward, fight-ending injury during the fall.

Food drive aims to stamp out hunger
Last year, postal carriers collected 75.3 million pounds of food, assisting an estimated 30 million families. Residents were encouraged to leave non-perishable, non-breakable and non-expired food at their mailboxes.

Mourinho: Pogba, Rashford not leaving Manchester United next season
Unless you can do that, and you go in the direction of the flawless squad, you have to keep players you don't love. He also admitted that Manchester United need to invest more to reach the level of rivals Manchester City .

National Football League suspends Saints running back Mark Ingram
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and the NFL Network reported the suspension on Twitter and NFL.com announced it on the league's website. Ingram is headed into a contract season, and the Saints will probably be preparing to move on.

What will happen when our sun dies?
According to Science Daily, a team of researchers designed a new model predicting the lifespan of stars. Data from the model also sheds insight on a problem that had astronomers confused for years.

California to mandate solar panels on new homes
A KB Home official said his firm has built more than 6,000 solar homes in the past seven years, mostly in California. Buildings with roofs that are too undersized for standard solar systems are debarred from the projected standards.

Delhi, UP, Haryana Brace For Thunderstorms Today
"Normal movement of trains will be restored once the wind speed is less then 85kmph for continuous five minutes", the DMRC said. Keep away from doors, windows, fireplaces, stoves, bath-tubs, or any other electrical charge conductors", the advisory stated.

Windows Timeline is coming to Android in the Microsoft Launcher
Diane Bryant, a former Intel executive who is now at Google's cloud, told Wired that Microsoft was the reason Intel bought Altera. Sets will allow you to open multiple instances of your apps in tabs, just like you would use your browser.