Nasa team captures vapour in Jupiter’s Moon Europa’s environment
A team of Nasa astronomers at Goddard Space Flight Centre have found water vapour around Jupiter’s moon Europa and suspect that water could be trapped under its mile-thick outer layer of ice. The quantity of water vapour could fill a swimming pool with about 5,202 pounds or 2,3600kg per second.
For a long time, scientists have been suspecting that Europa was spewing large geysers of liquid water out into space. The research opens up the chances of simple microbial life thriving up there and contributes to Nasa’s hunt for extraterrestrial life.
The chief author of the study Lucas Paganini said, “Essential chemical elements – carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur – and sources of energy, two of three requirements for life, are found all over the solar system.”
He also added, “While scientists have not yet detected liquid water directly, we’ve found the next best thing: water in vapour form.” The team study said that the vapour may have come from the ocean-sized bodies of water beneath the surface of Europa.
The discovery was made by researchers from the WM Keck Observatory on top of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano which one of the biggest telescopes in the world. The study was published in Nature Astronomy.