Jupiter’s moon Europa shows evidence of water plumes

Jupiter’s moon Europa shows evidence of water plumes

Paris : A fresh look at data from a 1997 flyby of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, suggests that NASA’s Galileo spacecraft flew directly through a watery plume, raising hopes of probing the jets for signs of life around the second planet from Earth. The revelations Monday came after scientists revisited a puzzling reading from an instrument aboard Galileo, which in 1995 became the first spacecraft to enter the orbit of a gas giant planet.

What they found was the most direct evidence yet of plumes emerging from Europa’s frozen surface, researchers reported in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy. Europa has long been thought to cover a salty ocean about twice the size of our planet’s.

Given the suspected abundance of warm, liquid water under its thick ice shell, the moon is considered a “top candidate” by NASA for life on a solar system body other than Earth.

In the last several years, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected evidence of plumes on Europa, but from afar. Galileo came much closer during its 11 flybys of Europa. “On one particular pass by Europa, the spacecraft came very, very close to the surface -- as I remember less than 150 kilometres (93 miles) above the surface -- and it was on that pass that we saw signatures that we never really understood,” said Margaret Kivelson, professor emerita of space physics at the University of California, Los Angeles, on NASA TV.

That region was in an area where the Hubble Space Telescope had spotted repeated evidence of plumes. When another researcher presented findings recently on Hubble’s collection of observations, “that led us to realize we had to go back and look at Galileo data,” said Xianzhe Jia, associate professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

For the new study, experts measured variations in the moon’s magnetic field and plasma waves, based on data obtained during Galileo’s close flyby, and found they were “consistent” with the spacecraft crossing a plume. “These results provide strong independent evidence of the presence of plumes at Europa,” they wrote in Nature.

The team reconstructed the spacecraft’s path to pinpoint the plume’s location on the moon’s surface. “These findings will help plan future missions to Europa, such as NASA’s Europa Clipper and ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer spacecraft, both of which are expected to arrive at Jupiter between the late 2020s and early 2030s,” said a Nature summary.




Kyrgios forgets shoes

Kyrgios forgets shoes

Nick Kyrgios has a knack for being the centre of attention and the Australian was at it again on Tuesday as he arrived on court for his first-round match at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday without his tennis shoes. The world number 18 took his courtside chair and kicked off his high-top

‘The Lord of the Rings’ cast reunites

‘The Lord of the Rings’ cast reunites

Stars of one of the popular Hollywood franchises ‘The Lord of the Rings’ reunited, and made it memorable for the fans by filling social media platforms with their reunion pictures. Actor Orlando Bloom, who played Legolas in the film, took to his Instagram and uploaded a photo

India to put a man in space by 2022: Modi

India to put a man in space by 2022: Modi

India will send a manned mission to space by 2022 and introduce health insurance for half a billion of its citizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged yesterday in a keynote speech ahead of an expected election campaign. Modi, speaking from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in New

UK parliament attacker faces murder charges

UK parliament attacker faces murder charges

A British man accused of a terror attack after driving into a barrier protecting the Houses of Parliament faces investigation for attempted murder, police said yesterday. Three people were injured when the 29-year-old, named by media as Salih Khater, drove over a pavement and into cyclist

75 dead as rain pours misery in Kerala

75 dead as rain pours misery in Kerala

The death toll in India’s Kerala has climbed to 75 as the state is reeling under one of the worst floods in history. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that the rain fury claimed 25 lives yesterday.  More than 1.5 lakh people have been lodged in relief across the state,

Qatar defies Trump

Qatar defies Trump

Qatar defied US President Donald Trump yesterday and promised to plough $15 billion into Turkish financial markets and banks, amid a collapse in the value of the lira and a looming trade war between Turkey and the United States. The bail-out followed talks in Ankara between the emir of Qa

At least 48 killed in Kabul blast

At least 48 killed in Kabul blast

A suicide blast in a mainly Shi’ite area of Kabul killed at least 48 people yesterday, the latest in a wave of attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians, soldiers and policemen over recent days. The explosion, targeting an educational center in the west of the Afghan capital, tore thro


Bahrain Financing Company Donates To Relief Fund

Bahrain Financing Company Donates To Relief Fund

Bahrain Financing Company has donated Rs 3.5 Million (nearly BD 19,500) towards Kerala's Chief Minister's Relief Fund in an act to assist the people of Kerala following the disastrous floods over the past week. Delegates of the Bahrain Financing Company include General Manager Mr 

Kyrgios forgets shoes

Kyrgios forgets shoes

Nick Kyrgios has a knack for being the centre of attention and the Australian was at it again on Tuesday as he arrived on court for his first-round match at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday without his tennis shoes. The world number 18 took his courtside chair and kicked off his high-top

‘The Lord of the Rings’ cast reunites

‘The Lord of the Rings’ cast reunites

Stars of one of the popular Hollywood franchises ‘The Lord of the Rings’ reunited, and made it memorable for the fans by filling social media platforms with their reunion pictures. Actor Orlando Bloom, who played Legolas in the film, took to his Instagram and uploaded a photo

India to put a man in space by 2022: Modi

India to put a man in space by 2022: Modi

India will send a manned mission to space by 2022 and introduce health insurance for half a billion of its citizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged yesterday in a keynote speech ahead of an expected election campaign. Modi, speaking from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in New

UK parliament attacker faces murder charges

UK parliament attacker faces murder charges

A British man accused of a terror attack after driving into a barrier protecting the Houses of Parliament faces investigation for attempted murder, police said yesterday. Three people were injured when the 29-year-old, named by media as Salih Khater, drove over a pavement and into cyclist

Traditional café reopens at new location

Traditional café reopens at new location

One of Bahrain’s iconic café reopened at its new location near Bab Al Bahrain.  Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Al Zayani inaugurated the new-look Abdul Qadir Café, after its relocation from its decades-old premises in Manama Suq. The minister congra