Plumes of Water at Europa’s South Pole?
A new study by Lorenz Roth and colleagues identifies what may be transient plumes of water, spouting from beneath the surface of one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa. If confirmed as plumes of water, this would show that the moon’s underground ocean has easy access to the surface — at least sometimes. (And it may also have implications for future explorations of Europa’s potential habitability.)
Read more about this research from the 12 December issue of Science Express here.
[Image courtesy of K. Retherford, Southwest Research Institute. Please click here for more information.]
© 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.
Could Regular Moons Come From Ring Systems?
Most astronomers believe that the massive moons of Jupiter, including Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, were born from a large gaseous disk that surrounded the planet during its formation. However, until now, the processes that brought smaller moons, particularly those around Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, into existence has remained a mystery. Aurélien Crida and Sébastien Charnoz now suggest that most moons in the solar system were born from massive ring systems that once surrounded the planets.
Read more about this research from the 30 November issue of Science here.
[Image courtesy of Frederic Durillon | animea; click the image for more information.]
© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.