Planets and Moons  ID: 13163

Water Vapor Plumes on Europa

What makes Jupiter’s moon Europa so alluring is the possibility that it may possess all the ingredients necessary for life. Scientists have evidence that one of these ingredients, liquid water, is present under the icy surface and may sometimes erupt into space in huge geysers. However, no one has been able to confirm the presence of water in these plumes by direct measurement of the water molecule itself. Now, an international research team led out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland has detected the water vapor for the first time above Europa’s surface. The team measured the vapor by peering at Europa through one of the world’s biggest telescopes in Hawaii. Confirming that water vapor is present above Europa helps scientists better understand the inner workings of the moon.

Credits

David Ladd (USRA): Lead Producer
Walt Feimer (KBRwyle): Lead Animator
Michael Lentz (USRA): Lead Animator
Michael Lentz (USRA): Lead Artistic Director
Bailee DesRocher (USRA): Animator
Lucas Paganini (American University): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Music Provided by Killer Tracks


Keck Observatory visuals by Sean Goebel


Science Paper:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-019-0933-6

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13163

Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Jupiter
SVS >> Galilean moons >> Europa
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
SVS >> Europa Clipper
SVS >> Water Vapor Plume