NASA announced that its famous Hubble telescope has found evidence of water inside Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. The immense ocean holds saltwater and scientists believe it could probably support life.
According to the scientists, the massive underground ocean probably has more water than Earth has on its surface.
Finding evidence of water is essential in the scientists’ search for any potential habitable planets that could have forms of life.
John Grunsfeld, NASA scientist, said that the discovery of water of Ganymede is very important and it highlights what Hubble is capable of. Grusnfeld added that a vast ocean under the icy exterior of Jupiter’s largest moon can open up the possibilities that there could be life beyond our planet.
Ganymede is considered the biggest moon in our solar system and scientists say that it’s also the only moon to have its own magnetic field. This magnetic field can cause aurorae, which are patches of hot electrified gas that glow. The aurorae take place in the regions that circle the south and north poles of the moon.
Due to the fact that Ganymede is very close to Jupiter, it’s also affected by Jupiter’s magnetic field. When Jupiter changes its magnetic field so do Ganymede’s aurorae, changing back and forth.
While observing the way in which the aurorae rock back and forth, the scientists could determine that Ganymede may hold a large amount of saltwater under its crust, which is affecting the magnetic field.
Joachim Saur and his team of scientists from the University of Cologne in Germany, had an idea of using NASA’ Hubble telescope and learn more about the inside of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede.
According to Saur, due do the fact that the aurorae are influenced by the magnetic field, it can reveal important information about that magnetic field. Knowing the magnetic field can reveal something about the interior of the moon, says Saur.
Scientists assume that the ocean hidden beneath Ganymede’s crust is probably 100 km thick, which means it’s 10 times deeper than our oceans. Also, experts believe that this ocean could be under a frozen crust of more than 150 km.
Image Source: smnweekly
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