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First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede 5nvklj





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First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede

Dragon
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First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede Empty First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede

Post by Dragon Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:59 am

Though larger than the blistering planet Mercury, the Jovian moon Ganymede is no place to go sunbathing.

Located ½-billion miles from the Sun, the water ice on its surface is frozen solid in frigid temperatures as low as minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

This makes the ice as hard as rock.

Still, a rain of charged particles from the Sun is enough to turn the ice into water vapor at high noon on Ganymede.

This is the first time such evidence has been found, courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope’s spectroscopic observations of aurora on Ganymede spanning two decades.


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First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:02 am

First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede Artists-Impression-of-Ganymede-1536x864
Credit: ESA/Hubble, J. daSilva

This image presents an artist’s impression of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.

Astronomers have used archival datasets from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to reveal the first evidence for water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, the result of the thermal escape of water vapor from the moon’s icy surface.


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First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:07 am

First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede Hubbles-Ultraviolet-Observations-of-Ganymede-in-1998-1536x920
Credit: NASA, ESA, Lorenz Roth (KTH)

In 1998, Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph took these first ultraviolet images of Ganymede, which revealed a particular pattern in the observed emissions from the moon’s atmosphere.

The moon displays auroral bands that are somewhat similar to aurora ovals observed on Earth and other planets with magnetic fields.

This was illustrative evidence for the fact that Ganymede has a permanent magnetic field.

The similarities in the ultraviolet observations were explained by the presence of molecular oxygen.

The differences were explained at the time by the presence of atomic oxygen, which produces a signal that affects one UV color more than the other.


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First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:08 am

First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede Hubbles-View-of-Ganymede-in-1996
Credit: NASA, ESA, John Spencer (SwRI Boulder)

This image presents Jupiter’s moon Ganymede as seen by the NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in 1996.

Ganymede is located half a billion miles (over 600 million km) away, and Hubble can follow changes on the moon and reveal other characteristics at ultraviolet and near-infrared wavelengths.

Astronomers have now used new and archival datasets from Hubble to reveal evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede for the first time, which is present due to the thermal escape of water vapor from the moon’s icy surface.


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First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:09 am



Astronomers have used new and archival datasets from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to uncover evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.

The vapor is present due to the thermal excitation of water molecules from the moon’s icy surface.

Previous research has offered circumstantial evidence for the moon containing more water than all of Earth's oceans.

However, temperatures there are so cold that water on the surface freezes, and the ocean lies roughly 100 miles below the crust.


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First Evidence of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede 334pu7m

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