NASA astronomers have obtained a new confirmation of the version about the existence of an ocean beneath the surface of Jupiter’s moon – Europe. The images obtained using the orbital telescope Hubble, they saw the outlines of who believe a picture of the geyser erupting from beneath the surface of Europa, according to the website NASA.
According to scientists, the geysers erupt to a height of about 200 kilometers. With their help, the researchers hope to obtain samples of materials under a thick crust of ice that covered Europe without the need to drill the planet’s surface.
According to NASA, the under-ice ocean on Europa contains twice as much water than all the oceans of Earth combined. “Europa’s ocean is one of the most promising places in the Solar system, where potentially may be hiding extraterrestrial life,” – said the representative of the scientific management of NASA Jeff Yoder.
Previously, scientists have assumed that in Europe the water is presumably from the saltwater ocean to a depth of 100 km, breaking the ice periodically breaks out, forming fountains and leaving a tiny drop of moisture in an extremely rarefied atmosphere. This water emission was recorded in Hubble in 2012 near the South pole of Jupiter’s moon, notes TASS.
Then the astronomer Lorenz Roth has discovered on ultraviolet photographs of the bright spots near the South pole of Europe. In the course of further study astrophysics came to the conclusion that the spots are geysers, rising by about 160 kilometers above the planet’s surface. However, scientists do not have enough data to precisely confirm their hunch.
In 2014, astrophysicists of the American space Agency began additional monitoring in Europe. They “caught” moments when the satellite passed through the disk of Jupiter, it was assumed that the background emissions of geysers more visible, writes “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”.
Several made “Hubble” photographs, there were signs in the ultraviolet and optical flares, potentially associated with the eruptions of the geysers. “This work is a confirmation of the findings of the team Rota on the presence on the moon of Jupiter fountains of water and steam”, – said the employee of the Institute for space telescope in Baltimore, William sparks, who led the team of astrophysicists.
In spite of this, while scientists are not ready to say that they found the geysers, since, according to sparks, the monitoring data are within the permissions and capabilities of Hubble. Clearer information about geysers and other information about Europe, astrophysicists hope to gain from using the space telescope “James Webb”, which is scheduled to launch in 2018.