Today, NASA said it would announce a new discovery, which could be about Europa, an ice-encrusted moon of Jupiter that may be just like Earth in its features such as warm, liquid, and potentially habitable water.
The US space agency has sent out a teaser saying it would reveal some "surprising activity" 390 million miles from Earth, based on the images from the Hubble Space Telescope.
"Surprising evidence … a subsurface ocean … one of humanity’s sharpest eyes in space … could this be the discovery of extraterrestrial life?," said some questions on the teaser of NASA.
The NASA teaser said the details can be viewed via a live video stream on Monday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m. EDT. http://www.nasa.gov/live
Back in 2012, Hubble showed plumes of water vapor, shown as blue pixels above the Europa, likely rocketed more than 20 times the height of Mount Everest above Europa. In 2013, it was explained as "By far the simplest explanation for this water vapor is that it erupted from plumes on the surface of Europa," by Lorenz Roth of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
NASA scientists were hoping that once the subsurface water ocean of Europa was unraveled, then they can investigate the chemical makeup of Europa’s potentially habitable environment without drilling through layers of ice. Now they might have just achieved that.
As the growing line of research increasingly shows that Europa is not a cold, dead world but rolling with giant ice slabs that are cracking, breaking up, sinking, and melting, allowing ocean water hidden deep below to spray out into the vacuum of space around Jupiter.
NASA’s teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 26, will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity on Europa, the teaser said.
Participants in the teleconference will be:
Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington
William Sparks, astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore
Britney Schmidt, assistant professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta
Jennifer Wiseman, senior Hubble project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
To participate by phone, media must contact Dwayne Brown at 202-358-1726 or dwayne.c.brown and provide their media affiliation no later than noon Monday.
Audio of the teleconference will stream live on NASA’s website at:
It is expected that NASA will go beyond the "water is shooting out of Europa" version and give us a new twist about Europa now.