Water plumes emanating from Europa are apparently real

Water plumes emanating from Europa are apparently real

There is a ray of hope for all those hunting for alien-life as the towering flumes originating from ocean-harboring moon of Jupiter are apparently real.

Back in the end of 2012, the US space agency NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope identified what appeared to be 125-mile-high (200 kilometers) water vapor geysers originating from the south polar area of Europa. The excitement of astrobiologists and space geeks had no bounds at that time as it was sign that a robotic mission could be able to sample Europa's large global ocean, lying underneath the miles-thick icy shell of the moon without even coming in the contact of the surface.

The observation made then kept on enticing for years, however astronomers weren’t able to determine plume again using Hubble in multiple repeated attempts. But on September 26, 2016, scientists have finally made that long-sought repeat detection.

During a 15-month span, a group headed by William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore used Hubble seeking Europa plumes on 10 different occasions. Their efforts born fruits three times: they identified apparent plume activity in January, March and April of 2014.

During a news press conference, Sparks said that they were apparently real. According to Sparks, the statistical importance was quite good, and he doesn’t have any idea regarding any other natural substitute.

Even then, Sparks kept on calling the back to back detection an ultimate confirmation. They have made the recently announced detections when Europa passed ahead of Jupiter from the perspective of Hubble, and plume material appeared to be hindering ultraviolet light heading from the huge planet. Sparks added that the observations made by Hubble were right on edge of the capabilities of the iconic telescope.

He added, “We remain cautious. The problem is that there may be something we don't understand about the instrument, or about our model of the scene, or what Europa looks like in the ultraviolet light”.



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