17–19 September 2018
Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando, Florida

New Evidence Of Water Plumes Make Europa “Prime Candidate For Life”

15 May 2018
Reuters reports that a “new look at old data” has made Jupiter’s moon Europa a “leading candidate in the search for life beyond Earth, with evidence of water plumes shooting into space.” A “bend in Europa’s magnetic field” observed by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 1997 appears to have been “caused by a geyser gushing through its frozen crust from a subsurface ocean, researchers who reexamined the Galileo data reported on Monday.” According to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Planetary Scientist Elizabeth Tuttle, “Europa has a lot of the ingredients necessary for life,” and the potential “habitability of Europa is one of the big questions that we want to understand.” The plumes are especially promising because they mean “there may be ways that the material from the ocean – which is likely the most habitable part of Europa,” may be able to be sampled. Europa’s ocean is warmer than the rest of the planet and is protected from radiation by an ice shell. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Reuters)

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