A New Look at Old Data gives scientists a new reason to consider Europe, a moon orbiting the planet Jupiter, as a leading candidate in search of life beyond Earth.
Evidence that water is being shot from the moon into space.
In 1997, NASA discovered an unusual shape – a curvature – in the European magnetic field. This year, NASA's Galileo spacecraft passed the moon. For a while it was about 200 kilometers above the surface.
Scientists reported earlier this month on their re-examination of Galileo data. They now think that this curvature of the magnetic field could be explained by an active geyser in an underground ocean. The scientists believe that the spacecraft travels through a spring of water.
Elizabeth Turtle is a planetary scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University. She told reporters that Europe has many qualities that are necessary for life, if we know it.
"There is water, there is energy, there is some carbon material, but Europe's habitability is one of the big issues we want to understand," Turtle said.
"And one of the really exciting things about [1
The findings support other evidence of feathers from Europe whose ocean can twice contain as much water as all the world's oceans. In 2012, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope collected evidence of ultraviolet radiation suggesting a cloud.
NASA will take a new look at a new spacecraft as part of the Europe Clipper mission of the Space Agency . This spacecraft could already be launched in June 2022. The agency says this could provide a chance to examine the plumes for signs of life in Europe's ocean, some of which are microscopic.
Experts consider Europe one of the best candidates living in our system solar . But it is not the only one.
For example, NASA's Cassini spacecraft examined feathers from Enceladus, a moon of the planet Saturn. The water from the Enceladus ocean contained hydrogen from Hydrothermal Sources an environment that may have produced life on Earth.
Europe is a bit smaller than the Earth's Moon. His ocean is buried under about 15 to 25 kilometers of ice. Experts believe that the ocean itself is between 60 and 150 kilometers deep.
I'm Pete Musto.
Will Dunham reported this story for the first time to Reuters News. Pete Musto has adapted his report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the publisher.
What do you think scientists will find in Europe's oceans? Write us in the comment section or on our Facebook page.
Words in this story
Data – n. Facts or information normally used to calculate, Analyzing or planning something used
geyser – n. A hole in the ground that shoots hot water and steam
Plume – n. something like smoke, steam or water rising into the air in large, thin form
habitability – adj. the ability of a place or place to support life
exciting – adj. Causing feelings of interest and enthusiasm
Discovery – n. The act or process of discovering, finding or noticing something
Journal – n. a journal that reports on things of particular interest to a particular group of people
mission – n. a task or an assignment to which one is indebted
solar system – n. our sun and planets moving in it
Hydrothermal Source ( s ) – n. an opening in a planetary surface that produces naturally heated water