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Astronomers discover signs of water vapor on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon

Astronomers discover signs of water vapor on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon

Astronomers have detected signs of water vapor in the atmosphere of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, by studying archival images from the Hubble Space Telescope, announced by the European Space Agency (ESA), which operates the telescope, yesterday.

“Water vapor [na atmosfera] The ones we are now measuring stem from ice sublimation caused by thermal seepage of water vapor from the regions. [da superfície gelada] The team’s coordinator, Lorenz Roth, of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, said in a statement from the European Space Agency.

According to the study, published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy, the temperature at the surface of Ganymede, the ninth largest celestial body in the Solar System, “varies greatly throughout the day, and at noon, near the equator, can be made. It’s hot enough to launch the surface.” glaciers are some small amounts of water molecules.”

Water, in its liquid state, is a prerequisite for life as it is known. Its identification on other worlds is “critical” to the search for habitable planets outside Earth, the ESA statement says, noting that Ganymede “may contain more water than all of Earth’s oceans.”

However, temperatures on Jupiter’s moon, the largest in the solar system, are “so cold that water on the surface freezes and the ocean is about 160 kilometers below the crust,” according to the European Space Agency, which plans to send a satellite in 2022 to study the planet. Jupiter and the moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, where scientists believe there may be liquid water under the surface ice.

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The satellite will take eight years to reach the orbit of the “gas giant”, and in three and a half years it is expected to make detailed observations of the planet, in particular its turbulent atmosphere, and the third. The moons, which can eventually orbit Ganymede, are the largest and brightest.

According to the European Space Agency, Ganymede “provides a natural laboratory for analyzing the nature, evolution and habitability of icy worlds in general” and stands out “for the role they play within the Galilean satellite system and their magnetic and magnetic interactions and their environment”.

The European mission to Jupiter, Portugal, is involved by aerospace company Active Space Technologies, which will build the operating mechanism for the satellite’s antenna that will allow data to be collected and transmitted back to Earth.