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  • This artist's rendering shows Cassini diving through the Enceladus plume in 2015. New ocean world discoveries from Cassini and Hubble will help inform future exploration and the broader search for life beyond Earth. Image
    NASA/JPL-Caltech
    This artist's rendering shows Cassini diving through the Enceladus plume in 2015. New ocean world discoveries from Cassini and Hubble will help inform future exploration and the broader search for life beyond Earth. Image
  • This graphic illustrates how Cassini scientists think water interacts with rock at the bottom of the ocean of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, producing hydrogen gas.
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Southwest Research Institute
    This graphic illustrates how Cassini scientists think water interacts with rock at the bottom of the ocean of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, producing hydrogen gas.
  • These composite images show a suspected plume of material erupting two years apart from the same location on Jupiter's icy moon Europa. The images bolster evidence that the plumes are a real phenomenon, flaring up intermittently in the 
same region on the satellite.  Both plumes, photographed in ultraviolet light by NASA's Hubble's Space 
Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, were seen in silhouette as the moon passed in 
front of Jupiter.  

The newly imaged plume, shown at right, rises about 62 miles above Europa's 
frozen surface. The image was taken Feb. 22, 2016. The plume in the image at left, observed by Hubble on March 17, 2014, originates from the same location. It 
is estimated to be about 30 miles high. The snapshot of Europa, superimposed 
on the Hubble image, was assembled from data from NASA's Galileo mission to 
Jupiter.  

The plumes correspond to the location of an unusually warm spot on the moon's icy crust, seen in the late 1990s by the Galileo spacecraft. Researchers 
speculate that this might be circumstantial evidence for water venting from the moon's subsurface. The material could be associated with the global ocean that is believed to be present beneath the frozen crust.
    Science: NASA, ESA, and W. Sparks (STScI); Image: NASA, ESA, W. Sparks (STScI), and the USGS Astrogeology Science Center
    These composite images show a suspected plume of material erupting two years apart from the same location on Jupiter's icy moon Europa. The images bolster evidence that the plumes are a real phenomenon, flaring up intermittently in the same region on the satellite. Both plumes, photographed in ultraviolet light by NASA's Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, were seen in silhouette as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. The newly imaged plume, shown at right, rises about 62 miles above Europa's frozen surface. The image was taken Feb. 22, 2016. The plume in the image at left, observed by Hubble on March 17, 2014, originates from the same location. It is estimated to be about 30 miles high. The snapshot of Europa, superimposed on the Hubble image, was assembled from data from NASA's Galileo mission to Jupiter. The plumes correspond to the location of an unusually warm spot on the moon's icy crust, seen in the late 1990s by the Galileo spacecraft. Researchers speculate that this might be circumstantial evidence for water venting from the moon's subsurface. The material could be associated with the global ocean that is believed to be present beneath the frozen crust.
  • These images of the surface of the Jovian moon Europa, taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, focus on a
    NASA, ESA, W. Sparks (STScI), and the USGS Astrogeology Science Center
    These images of the surface of the Jovian moon Europa, taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, focus on a "region of interest" on the icy moon. The image at left traces the location of the erupting plumes of material, observed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 2014 and again in 2016. The plumes are located inside the area surrounded by the green oval. The green oval also corresponds to a warm region on Europa's surface, as identified by the temperature map at right. The map is based on observations by the Galileo spacecraft. The warmest area is colored bright red. Researchers speculate these data offer circumstantial evidence for unusual activity that may be related to a subsurface ocean on Europa. The dark circle just below center in both images is a crater and is not thought to be related to the warm spot or the plume activity.




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