Scientists confirmed the presence of water on of one of the moons of Jupiter (Europa)

NASA scientists observed how about 2,360 liters of water appeared for a second on the surface of Europa.

presence of water on of one of the moons of Jupiter (Europa)
Presence of water on of one of the moons of Jupiter (Europa)

An international team of scientists confirmed the presence of water vapor on the surface of one of Jupiter's moons, called Europa, according to a NASA statement issued on November 18.

"The essential chemical elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur) and energy sources - two of the three life requirements - can be found throughout the solar system. 

But the third, liquid water, is hard to find outside the Earth," said scientist Lucas Paganini, who led the research. "Although scientists have not yet detected liquid water directly, we have found the second best thing: water in the form of steam," he added.

The finding came as a result of observations made over 17 nights, between 2016 and 2017, from the Keck Observatory (Hawaii, USA). The results of the study were published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.

An ocean under the ice

The researchers were able to observe how about 2,360 litres of water appeared for one second on the surface of Europa, in the form of pillars, and say that with that amount it would take only a few minutes to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. 

According to the U.S. space agency, detection of this vapor will help scientists better understand the "inner workings" of that moon. In addition, it supports the theory that Europa has an ocean of liquid water - "possibly twice the size of Earth's" - under a thick layer of ice.

Along with this, there are also other hypotheses that could explain the origin of vapor on jupiter's moon europa, these include the existence of reservoirs of liquid water under the ice and the extraction of water molecules by the effect of the radiation of Jupiter.

Water Vapor on Europa

Scientists led by Goddard Space Flight Center, have detected water vapor for the first time on the surface of Europa.

The team measured steam by observing this moon through one of the world's largest telescopes in Hawaii. Confirming that there is water vapor over Europa helps scientists better understand the inner workings of the moon.

Forty years ago, the Voyager spacecraft took the first foreground images of Europa, one of Jupiter's 79 moons. These revealed brown cracks that cut the icy surface of the moon, which gives Europa the appearance of a venous eyeball. 

Missions to the outer solar system in subsequent decades have accumulated enough additional information about Europa to make it a priority research objective in NASA's search for life.

For the first time, a team directly detected the water vapor launched into space by the geysers of the Europa moon, one of Jupiter's satellites.

Water on of one of the moons of Jupiter (Europa)

On the left, a view of Europe taken from 2.9 million kilometers on March 2, 1979 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. at the center is a color image of Europe taken by the Voyager 2 spacecraft during its close encounter on July 9, 1979. On the right is a view of Europe made from images taken by the Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. NASA / JPL