This composite image shows the suspected water vapor plume injection position on Europa, seven o'clock in the direction of graph Europa (southwest). The plume image was acquired by the Harbert space telescope imaging spectrometer. The Harbert telescope in Europa after Jupiter ahead, the jet plume silhouette, which happens in the range of UV sensitivity within the Harbert telescope. The jet plume height of 160 km, is thought to come from beneath the ice in the ocean of europa. Harbert data in the image part of the acquisition in January 26, 2014, from Harbert, Galileo Europa image, Voyager data superposition.
Video presentation: in front of Europa after Jupiter, Harbert telescope ultraviolet image of europa. In more than ten observations, Harbert gets the image three times suspected water vapor plume jet, which is supported by another evidence exists on the surface of Europa jet plume. In early 2012, the Harbert telescope will detect suspected injection water vapor spectral characteristics of Europa in.
Beijing time at 2:00 on September 27th, NASA held a telephone conference, announced the Europa images taken in the Harbert space telescope on a major discovery.
The astronomers using the Harbert telescope to the ejecta plume suspected of vapor on the surface of Europa, this finding supports the Harbert telescope other observations on Europa, suggesting that the icy satellites will spray high altitude water vapor plume.
The findings raise the possibility of obtaining direct future Europa mission in the sea ice samples of Europa in orbit, no longer need to send a lander landing on the surface of the ice broke.
Europa's surface ice water vapor jet plume imagination.
Before scientists think these plumes can be injected into a 200 km high altitude, and bring some material fall back to the two surface of Ganymede, like rain. Europa has a huge global ocean of liquid water, the ocean contains water is two times the earth's oceans! A huge ocean of Europa's surface ice cold by the hard shell cover, but the ice shell thickness is still unknown. From the ocean under the ice crust from these plumes provides direct access to Europa's internal samples of attractive opportunities, do not need to go to the landing Europa scuttling up to several miles thick ice.
In 2012 and 2014, two independent observations show near the Antarctic Europa team suspected the existence of water vapor jet plume. Source: NASA, ESA, Sparks W. (image left) Roth L. (image right) ()
Two groups of independent observations all point to the same result
The Sparks team's initial goal is to confirm whether the observed Europa have an almost rarefied atmosphere, extended (San Yiceng), their observation has also been used to determine the orbiting other stars extrasolar planets have the atmosphere. The team believes that if there is water vapor is discharged from the method of Europa's surface, the observation is very helpful.
Three 2014 Harbert images show there is water vapor plume Antarctic Europa jet evidence. Source: NASA, ESA, Sparks W. (STScI)
In 10 independent observations span of 15 months, the Sparks team observed three times may be jet vapor on the surface of Europa plume event. This observation is confirmed as another evidence exists on the surface of Europa jet plume.
While Sparks and Ross's team used the Harbert telescope imaging spectrometer, but the two teams used a completely independent approach, the same conclusion was obtained.
But as of now, the two team failed in the use of independent technical conditions are observed on Europa jet plume. But the current observation seems to suggest that the injection event on the moon is changeable, full of uncertainty. They may erupt at a certain period of time, and then silence. For example, a Zhouneisipakesi team first observed a case of injection events, but then Ross team failed to observe.
Europa detector can obtain directly or under the sea ice of Europa information from the vapor plume, without landing.
Confirm the water vapor plume there will change the future of Europa detection
Once confirmed, there will be water vapor plume Europa jet satellites in the solar system second surface. In early 2005, the Cassini probe NASA detection to eject the Titan two surface water vapor plume and dust. Two Titan is Saturn's sixth largest moon, about 500 kilometers in diameter.
Before the NASA meeting spoilers on social media, new discoveries and aliens on Europa has nothing to do.
The discovery of the Sparks team will be published in the 29 issue of the journal astrophysics.
Europa close-up photos. Source; NASA
Europa subject and terrestrial planets are similar, mainly composed of silicate rocks, and there may be an iron nickel core. Its surface covered by water, it is speculated that the depth of up to one hundred kilometers. The upper layer is a frozen smooth shell, which is a liquid water ocean. 1995 to 2003, the data collected by the detector, a magnetic field around the Galileo scientific research shows that, under the influence of magnetic field in Europa Jupiter itself can produce a magnetic field, the findings suggest that there may be similar to the internal Europa saltwater ocean conduction layer, polar ionic salt water of the sea ice is the origin of the magnetic field the. In addition, the rotation speed of Europa's surface ice faster than the inside, under the ice ocean separates the ice shell and the lower mantle, the ice shell is torn in Jupiter's gravitational pull down. Comparison of the Voyager and Galileo photographs can be measured and the ice shell about every 10 thousand year who two will than its internal rotation a week.
The spectral analysis of evidence, slightly reddish material surface cracks in Europa may be water under the ice exudation after volatilization deposited salt, such as Magnesium Sulfate. Hydrogen sulfide is also a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon. But because these two substances are colorless or white, some other substances are also used to explain the origin of light red, such as a mixture of sulfur and so on.
It is suspected that the ocean under the ice of Europa life may exist, the living environment and the earth deep sea hot spring or Antarctic Lake Vostok (Lake Vostok) similar to the form of life or with some extremophiles on earth, even though there is no evidence. NASA will be in 2020s sent a special mission to visit Europa detector.