Home » News & Blogs » A Thermal Map of Europa (& an Intriguing Anomaly)
Bookmark and Share
Centauri Dreams

A Thermal Map of Europa (& an Intriguing Anomaly)

24 Oct 2018, 17:12 UTC
A Thermal Map of Europa (& an Intriguing Anomaly)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Europa stays in this news this morning as we continue to correlate recent observations with the invaluable results of the Galileo mission. Hubble data have played a role in this, with researchers identifying plume activity in 2013 that recalled the geysers of Enceladus, a possible indication of venting from the subsurface ocean. But analysis of Cassini data from its 2001 Jupiter flyby enroute to Saturn showed no evidence of plume activity through its ultraviolet imaging spectrograph (UVIS).
So what exactly did Hubble see? Yesterday’s post highlighted Julie Rathbun’s contention that if they are there, Europan plumes show no thermal signature in Galileo data, while Xianzhe Jia (University of Michigan) and the SETI Institute’s Melissa McGrath have used Galileo magnetometer data to support possible plume activity. We may need Europa Clipper to resolve the matter.
Now the 66 dish antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have been turned on Europa in an attempt to study the entire moon — not just the areas of possible plume activity — to develop a thermal model. The data allow us to find what the authors of the paper on this work describe as “significant thermal structure.” What we get out of this ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day