Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day - Jupiter's Europa from Spacecraft Galileo
Posted on 09/27/2016 4:33:30 AM PDT by ThomasMore
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2016 September 27
Explanation: What mysteries might be solved by peering into this crystal ball? In this case, the ball is actually a moon of Jupiter, the crystals are ice, and the moon is not only dirty but cracked beyond repair. Nevertheless, speculation is rampant that oceans exist under Europa's fractured ice-plains that could support life. This speculation was bolstered again this week by released images from the Hubble Space Telescope indicating that plumes of water vapor sometimes emanate from the ice-crusted moon -- plumes that might bring microscopic sea life to the surface. Europa, roughly the size of Earth's Moon, is pictured here in natural color as photographed in 1996 by the now-defunct Jupiter-orbiting Galileo spacecraft. Future observations by Hubble and planned missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope later this decade and a Europa flyby mission in the 2020s may further humanity's understanding not only of Europa and the early Solar System but also of the possibility that life exists elsewhere in the universe.
(Excerpt) Read more at apod.nasa.gov ...
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That poor moon has a very bad rash and one huge zit!
Thank you! I needed a chuckle this AM.
If plumes of water vapor are erupting through the ice from a deep liquid ocean beneath the ice, we won’t have to drill through 20 or 30 miles of ice to get a pretty good idea about what’s in the ocean... organic material, for instance, maybe? NASA has scheduled a press conference for today about Europa, and it’s probably about that very subject... Can’t wait to see what they are going to say!
But if life did exist there wouldn't there be some traces of it, gaseous byproducts, for example, detected by way of spectroscopy? Certain key molecules indicative of life, such as methane.
However, I’ve heard them say silicon is less likely than carbon due to its greater weight.
I spy I35.
Traffic jam? Where? ‘-)
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