ganImeds, the largest satellite in Jupiter, has steam from Water in its atmosphere, as a result of the thermal escape of water vapor from its frozen surface, according to the first evidence it found دليل Hubble Space Telescope.
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The ninth largest object in Solar System can hold more Water Of all the oceans on Earth, according to previous research, but temperatures are so cold that they freeze at the surface and the ocean is about 160 kilometers under the crust, so water vapor wouldn’t evaporate for that.
Where there is water there can be life as we know it, and identifying it on other worlds is “crucial” in the search for habitable planets beyond Earth. Now, for the first time, evidence of hydro-atmospheric sublimation (the direct transition from a solid to a gaseous state) has been found.
Astronomers have re-examined observations made by Hubble over the past two decades to find such evidence of water vapor, he notes. NASA It is a statement.
In 1998, the Space Telescope’s imaging spectrograph took the first ultraviolet images of the satellite, which revealed colorful bands of electrified gas, called auroral bands, and provided further evidence that Ganymede’s field has a weak but permanent magnetic field.
The similarities between the two UV observations were explained by the presence of molecular oxygen, O2, and the differences were attributed, at the time, to the presence of atomic oxygen, O, which produces a signal affecting the ultraviolet color more than the other. .
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A team from the Royal Stockholm Institute of Technology, led by Loris Roth, has conducted various studies to support Juno’s mission NASA, focused on the study of Jupiter. The goal was to capture Ganymede’s UV spectra using the Hubble Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) instrument to quantify atomic oxygen and perform a combined analysis of this data with other files also from the space telescope.
Contrary to the original interpretations of the 1998 data, the team found that there was hardly any atomic oxygen in Ganymede’s atmosphere, so another explanation had to be found for the apparent differences between the auroral images.
The team found that the explanation lies in the relative distribution of aurora in the two images. Surface temperature varies greatly throughout the day, and at noon, near the equator, it can be warm enough that the icy surface releases some small amounts of water molecules.
In fact, the observed differences between the ultraviolet images are directly related to where you’d expect water to be in the moon’s atmosphere, according to the report. European Space Agency (ESA) in a note.
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Initially, only O2, which is produced when charged particles erode the surface of the ice, was observed. “The water vapor we have now measured arises from ice sublimation caused by thermal escape of water vapor from warm icy regions,” Roth explained.
These results precede ESA’s Jupiter ICy moon Explore (Juice) mission, which is due to launch next year and will reach Jupiter in 2029. Juice will spend at least three years making detailed observations of Jupiter and three of its largest moons, focusing Especially on Ganymede as a planetary body and a potentially habitable world.
“Our results can provide Juice devices with valuable information that can be used to improve their monitoring plans for better utilization of the spacecraft,” Roth added.
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