New evidence of water jets from the surface of Europe

15.05.2018

Re-analyzing the data obtained in 1997 during the flight of NASA's Galileo spacecraft ("Galileo") by the satellite of Jupiter of Europe, scientists led by Margaret Kivelson (Margaret Kivelson) from the University of California in Los Angeles, USA, found signs indicating that the probe flew directly through the water jet. These findings suggest a hypothesis that there is a global ocean beneath the surface of Europe, where experts believe there may even be life.

For a long time, researchers suggest that under the surface of Europe is hiding the ocean of salt water, the size of which is about twice the size of the world's oceans of our planet.

Given the expected abundance of liquid, warm water, NASA considers Europe as one of the most promising places for the existence of extraterrestrial life in the Solar system.

In the last few years, the NASA Hubble space telescope (Hubble) has detected signs of water jets on the surface of Europe, but these observations were made from too far a distance to be conclusive about the presence or absence of these jets.

However, the Galileo device came much closer to Europe – once it flew at an altitude of only 150 kilometers above the surface of the Jupiter satellite. According to the researchers, it was at that time the satellite entered the water jet, beating from the subsurface ocean of Europe. In favor of this version indicated by the onboard instruments of the probe, re-evaluate Kivelson. An additional confirmation of this hypothesis is that the observational evidence obtained for these jets by Hubble points to the same area of the surface of Europe, the authors note.