2021-10-16

Evidence of persistent water vapor found on Europa

By yqqlm yqqlm

Evidence of persistent water vapor found on Europa

scientists using Hubble found that water vapor exists only in one hemisphere of Europe. Scientists believe that this discovery improves our understanding of the atmospheric structure of icy satellites and helps prepare for future scientific missions to explore satellites orbiting Jupiter

Jupiter has 79 moons, of which Europa is the sixth closest to the giant planet. It is an icy moon larger than the dwarf planet Pluto. Europa’s surface is smooth, covered with ice, with cracks and cracks on the surface. Europa’s average surface temperature is minus 170 degrees Celsius, and its atmosphere is the thinnest among its sibling satellites

scientists have long suspected that there is a huge ocean under the ice shell of Europa. For the first time, astronomers found evidence of continuous water vapor in the atmosphere of this giant satellite. Water vapor was found in the tail hemisphere, which means that the satellite always moves in the opposite direction to its orbit around Jupiter

scientists were surprised to find continuous water vapor on Europa because its surface temperature was very low. Hubble used the space telescope imaging spectrometer to observe and found water vapor. The instrument allows researchers to determine the abundance of oxygen, one of the molecules that make up water. The researchers used measurements of oxygen abundance in Europa’s atmosphere and explained its emission intensity at different wavelengths to infer the existence of water. Astronomers have previously found water vapor on Europa in the form of an instantaneous plume ejected through the ice, similar to geysers on earth