NASA‘s Maryland Space Center experts in have confirmed that there are traces of water vapor above the surface of Jupiter‘s icy moon Europa, Science Alert reported.
They analyzed data obtained from the Hawaiian Keck Observatory over 17 observations with a spectrograph to study the chemical compositions of other planets’ atmospheres by scanning the infrared light they release or absorb
The researchers concluded that the release of water vapor is not as active as previously thought, but in the form of separate intense eruptions.
“While scientists have not yet detected liquid water directly, we’ve found the next best thing: water in vapor form,” lead researcher and NASA planetary scientist Lucas Paganini said in a NASA statement.
The existence of liquid water on the moon Europa has not yet been proven. However, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday, the NASA team discovered enough water vapor being released from Europa to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool within minutes, Science Alert reported.
NASA‘s forthcoming Europa Clipper mission will allow us to investigate the surface of Jupiter‘s ice moon in detail in 2023. The spacecraft will make 45 orbits around the Jupiter moon in question. It will be equipped with cameras, spectrographs and radars to examine its ice cover.