Planets and Moons  ID: 12375

Hubble Directly Images Possible Plumes on Europa

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took direct ultraviolet images of the icy moon Europa transiting across the disk of Jupiter. Out of ten observations, Hubble saw what may be water vapor plumes on three of the images. This adds another piece of supporting evidence to the existence of water vapor plumes on Europa - Hubble also detected spectroscopic signatures of water vapor in 2012. The existence of water vapor plumes could provide NASA's Europa flyby mission the opportunity to study the conditions and habitability of Europa's subsurface ocean.

Read the full story here:
Read the full science paper here:
Full details on the images can be found on

Additional Resources:
JPL's "Europa: Tempting Target for Future Exploration" video file is downloadable here:
Read the Dec 2013 press release about Hubble's previous observations of Europa here:

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Lead Producer:
Katrina Jackson (USRA)

Katrina Jackson (USRA)

Katrina Jackson (USRA)

Greg Bacon (STScI/Aura)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center