A team led by researchers at the Godard Space Flight Center at NASA in Greenbelt, Maryland, confirmed traces of water vapor above the surface of Jupiter's icy Europe.
And that's a big deal, because the small space rock is one
according to NASA's extraterrestrial extraterrestrial life-seeking goals.
"While scientists have not yet directly discovered the liquid water, we have found the next best thing: water in the form of money," said NASA lead researcher and planetary scientist Lucas Paganini in a NASA statement.
According to a document published in the journal by Nature Astronomy on Monday, the NASA team found enough steam to be released from Europe to fill the Olympic-sized pool in minutes.
But while that sounds great, it was just enough to be discovered from Earth.
Of the 1
"We assume that water vapor accumulation in Europe is observed to be lower than previously predicted, with only rare localized events with greater activity," Paganini and his team wr
For many years, scientists have suspected that there is water on the surface of Europe and several observations are emerging to support this suspicion.
More than two decades ago, NASA's Galileo spacecraft found evidence of electrically conducting fluid on the surface of the moon. Then, an analysis of the 2018 data revealed data about massive jets of fluid. Data collected earlier by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope supported the existence of the flows.
"We have carried out careful safety checks to eliminate possible contaminants from ground-based observations," said planetary scientist Godard Avi Mandel about the discovery of water vapor in a statement. "But in the end, we'll have to get closer to Europe to see what's really going on.
The mission to do just that is already arranged.
The upcoming NASA Europa Clipper mission will get a much closer look at the surface of the ice moon as soon as 2023.
The spacecraft will have a set of cameras, spectrometers and radar to investigate the thickness of Europe's ice shell during 45 flies – and perhaps give a further look at water vapor above the moon's surface while it is there.
This article was originally published by Futurism Read the original article