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STScI Public Lecture Series

The Plumes of Europa: Ice, Water, Life?

Presented by: Susana Deustua (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Category: Education and Outreach   Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes   Broadcast date: April 03, 2018
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Europa is one of the four moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo in 1610. Four hundred years later, the Voyager and Galileo space probes took stunning images of Europa, revealing an icy surface criss-crossed by linear fractures. Four years ago, astronomers using Hubble Space Telescope found evidence for plumes of water emerging from Europa's icy surface. Ultraviolet spectroscopy detected emission indicative of water, and ultraviolet imaging of Europa as it transits Jupiter showed absorption patches suggestive of plumes. If there is liquid water on Europa, will future missions to Europa find evidence of life?