After claiming that Jupiter’s moon Europa has strong evidence for an ocean of liquid water beneath its crust which could host conditions favourable for life, the US space agency is set to announce a “surprise finding”.
astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa.
The images were taken during the spacecraft’s first flyby of the planet with its instruments switched on.The images show storm systems and weather activity unlike anything previously seen on any of our solar system’s gas-giant planets.
JIRAM co-investigator said that These first infrared views of Jupiter’s north and south poles are revealing warm and hot spots that have never been seen before. And while we knew that the first-ever infrared views of Jupiter’s south pole could reveal the planet’s southern aurora, we were amazed to see it for the first time.
The Juno spacecraft was launched on August 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.
NASA announced last year that it intends to send a robotic spacecraft, equipped with a suite of scientific instruments, to circle Europa in the 2020s.