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Sublimation Producing Water Vapor on Ganymede

29 Jul 2021, 15:58 UTC
Sublimation Producing Water Vapor on Ganymede USGS Astrogeology Science Center/Wheaton/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Hubble observations from the past two decades have been recently re-examined as a way of investigating what is happening in the tenuous atmosphere of Ganymede, the largest moon in the Solar System. It was in 1998 that the telescope’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph took the first images of Ganymede at ultraviolet wavelengths, showing auroral bands — ribbons of electrified gas — that reinforced earlier evidence that the moon had a weak magnetic field. Now we have news of sublimated water vapor within the atmosphere, an earlier prediction now verified.

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