UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — One of Jupiter’s moons just shot to the top of the list of best places to look for alien life.
We’re talking about Europa. Many astronomers think the moon is hiding an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust.
Researchers were sifting through data collected by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft when they found evidence supporting that theory.
When Galileo passed over Europa in 1997 it picked up strange signals that scientists couldn’t explain.
A new study published May 14 in the journal Nature Astronomy suggests that Galileo detected a giant plume of water vapor.
The idea of a plume on Europa is supported, though not conclusively, by data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope.
We may finally find out if Europa really is spurting water when NASA launches its Europa Clipper mission in the 2020s.
The Clipper probe will attempt to find evidence of life by catching some of the water from Europa’s theoretical plume.