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Jupiter’s Moon Europa Has Jets Like Enceladus!

Rendering of Europa's vapor plumes, seen by Hubble UV observations (NASA, ESA, and M. Kornmesser)

Rendering of Europa’s vapor plumes, seen by Hubble UV observations (NASA, ESA, and M. Kornmesser)

“Attempt no landings there?” Ok, FINE. We’ll just fly a spacecraft through Europa’s newly-discovered plumes and get a taste of its underground ocean that way!

Because it has them, and so we could.

This was the big news from NASA, ESA, and Hubble researchers today: Jupiter’s ice-covered moon Europa (yes, the one from 2010) has Enceladus-like plumes of water vapor near its south pole. What’s more, these plumes appear to vary depending on the moon’s distance from Jupiter; the giant planet’s gravity is “squeezing” Europa, causing the plumes to shut off when it’s closer and turn on when farther away. Now I’m no scientist, but I’d call that pretty solid evidence for a subsurface ocean… and darn good reason to scramble some exploration missions out to Europa tout de suite!

Read more in my article on Universe Today here.

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About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on December 12, 2013, in Jupiter and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Still an exciting new that this discovery.
    Also yeah “tout de suite ” a new probe for go to see “de visu” these water vapor plumes !!
    Jeff Barani from Vence (France)

    Like

  1. Pingback: A Ceres of Surprises: the Largest Asteroid is a Water World | Lights in the Dark

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