Tuesday 22 May 2018 ,
Tuesday 22 May 2018 ,
Latest News
  • British PSVI experts to train orgs working on Rohingyas: Report
  • Ecnec clears revised Padma Bridge Rail Link Project
  • Myanmar to sign deal with UN resolving Rohingya crisis
  • CNG stations to remain open for 24 hrs during Eid: Quader
  • 10 killed in separate ‘gunfights’ early Tuesday
16 May, 2018 12:20:06 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 May, 2018 12:33:36 AM
Print

Signs that Jupiter moon could host life

CNN
Signs that Jupiter moon could host life
Jupiter’s moon Europa, which has a subsurface ocean beneath an icy crust, has also been found to have plumes that eject water vapor and icy material. CNN PHOTO

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, reports CNN from Washington.

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. A new study detailing findings of plumes on Europa was published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, in conjunction with a NASA news conference at its headquarters in Washington.

The question of whether plumes of water vapor and icy materials erupt on Europa has circulated for decades. During its closest flyby of Europa in 1997, less than 93 miles above the surface, the Galileo craft collected signatures of changes in Europa's magnetic field that the scientists didn't understand, said Margaret Kivelson, study author and professor emerita of space physics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Kivelson was the principal investigator for Galileo's magnetometer and helped make the discovery of the subsurface ocean on Europa. Kivelson and Xianzhe Jia, associate professor in the department of climate and space sciences and engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, decided to take a second look at those signatures.

According to a study released last 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. This was the second time a plume has been observed in this exact spot, which had researchers excited that it could prove to be a feature on the surface. Observations of plumes were made by Hubble in 2012 and 2016. But the sensitivity of telescopic data is limited, and more was needed to be sure that these were really plumes, the researchers said.

Jia was inspired by the Hubble detections to look back at the Galileo flyby data. The 1997 flyby was close to the site of the repeat detection by Hubble. The Galileo data were unique because the magnetometer was trying to detect changes in Europa's magnetic field as the probe approached the moon, like a boat going through water and creating waves. But the data didn't match that signature for this flyby. Something was wrong: There was a three-minute "bend" where there shouldn't be.

"The data were there, but we needed sophisticated modeling to make sense of the observation," Jia said. "One of the locations mentioned rang a bell. Galileo actually did a flyby of that location, and it was the closest one we ever had. We realized we had to go back. We needed to see whether there was anything in the data that could tell us whether or not there was a plume."

They also looked at the Hubble observations for dimensions of the plumes and Galileo's Plasma Wave Spectrometer data, which measured signatures of plasma waves that are caused by charged particles in the gases around Europa's atmosphere.

SR

 

Comments

Poll
Today's Question »
Civil rights body Shujan claims that Khulna city elections were a questionable election, which was not completely free, fair and flawless. Do you agree?
 Yes
 No
 No Comment
Yes 0.0%
No 33.3%
No Comment 66.7%
Video

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting