Scientists will get help in future missions
By estimating the layer of frozen water it was assumed that there are environmental conditions on Europa that could adapt to simpler forms of life. …
Deepak Dubey, Intern Journalist: A group of researchers from Germany-based Max Planck Institute for Solar Systems Research (MPS) has found new evidence of the presence of water near Jupiter’s moon Europa. During a fly-by Europa, NASA’s unmanned spacecraft Galileo also saw something similar 20 years ago. This was followed by an attempt to reproduce the data collected by computer simulation by an onboard particle detector developed at MPS in the US. Until now it was believed that Europa has water. By estimating the layer of frozen water it was assumed that there are environmental conditions on Europa that could adapt to simpler forms of life. This concept of the presence of water in such a situation offers the possibility of direct contact of water reserves in future missions on Jupiter.
The internal structure consisting of a liquid iron core, a thin oxygen-rich atmosphere, magnetic field, resembles more with a planet than a primitive moon in Jupiter’s fourth-largest moon, Europa.
The accumulated water is covered by an 18 km thick outer layer
Another special feature is that the subsurface ocean present here is covered by an 18 km thick outer layer of frozen water. New calculations by a group of researchers, led by the European Space Agency (ESA) and MPS, reveal evidence that Europa releases this water into space only occasionally.
Europa also spills water in space
Neptune’s moon Triton and Pluto’s moon Charon are also known to exhibit similar behaviour. During NASA’s Cassini mission, onboard cameras captured stunning images of the water reserves extracted by Saturn’s moon Enceladus. However, there is no evidence that Europa also spills water in space. In this regard, MPS scientist Dr Elias Russo says that various theories, models and observations show that Europa also circulates water in space.
In recent years, researchers from several institutions in Europe and America have also found evidence of this. Some of these groups evaluated data obtained from magnetometers in NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. During a Europa flyby in 2000, the data showed a deviation in Jupiter’s magnetic field near Europa. At the same time can be caused by plums occurring.
Flyby data revisited
In 2000, Dr Hans Hubrighs, a scientist in his doctoral thesis at MPS and his colleagues, also revisited Flyby’s data in 2000. However, this time, he looked at the data collected by the Energetic Patrol Detector (EPD). The device was developed and disallowed at the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory and MPS. Among other things, EPD recorded the distribution of high-energy protons trapped in Jupiter’s magnetic field.
MPS researcher Dr Norbert Krupp said, “Jupiter’s magnetic field is 20 times more powerful than that of Earth and spans a distance of several millions of kilometres.”
Europa revolves around Jupiter within this massive magnetic shield. During the flyby, EPDs recorded significantly fewer protons than expected near Europa.