Europa

  • Jupiter’s moon Europa is a fascinating world, with a global subsurface ocean encased in an icy shell and plumes of water that vent into space. A new study has simulated how these plumes might originate, revealing a surprisingly dynamic ice ball.
  • Giving a new meaning to the word "moonshine," NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, have concluded that Jupiter's moon Europa glows in the dark due to being constantly bombarded with high-energy radiation.
  • Jupiter’s moon Europa is increasingly seen as one of the more likely bodies to harbor life in our solar system. Scientists at NASA have now directly confirmed water vapor in its atmosphere for the very first time.
  • NASA has given the official go-ahead for the Europa Clipper deep-space mission to make a detailed survey of one of Jupiter's largest moons. The unmanned mission can now proceed to its final design phase ahead of the building and testing of the spacecraft and its instruments.
  • A new study by Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California indicate that the subterranean world ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa may be more Earthlike than scientists believed, with the waters containing common salt.
  • A key element of NASA's Europa Clipper is being put through its paces as a prototype of the probe's High-Gain Antenna (HGA) undergoes testing at the Experimental Test Range (ETR). The HGA will be used to keep the Clipper in contact as it conducts a series of flybys of Jupiter's moon Europa.
  • While NASA has plans to possibly send a lander to Europa in the coming years, a new discovery might make touchdown tricky – there’s a chance that large swathes of Europa’s surface are covered in ice spikes almost 50 ft (15 m) high.
  • Europa is regarded as one of the most likely places in the solar system to find life, but where to look for evidence of it? To aid future space missions, a team has drawn up comprehensive maps of the radiation bombarding the moon to determine where explorers must look to find signs of life.
  • One of the most promising places in the solar system to search for life is Jupiter’s moon, Europa, an icy world with a slushy, salty, subsurface ocean. Old data has turned up new evidence of water plumes spraying through the icy shell into space.
  • Science
    New types of bacteria have been found in one of the most alien environments on Earth: a subglacial lake buried beneath almost a thousand feet of ice. Conditions could be strikingly similar to oceans of Europa or Enceladus, so studying these organisms could aid the search for extraterrestrial life.
  • A new NASA report says that the Cassini probe has found evidence that hydrogen exists on Enceladus. The finding adds to the idea that the moon might harbor life in its subsurface ocean, as microbes could feed on the gas. Plus, Hubble has spied a plume on Europa for the second time.
  • New evidence revealed by NASA today suggests Europa might offer us a helping hand when it comes to studying its presumed subsurface ocean, by ejecting water plumes out into space and spraying its surface with more easily sampled material in the process.​