¿Es habitable? La Nasa mira a luna de Júpiter

17 May, 2018, 09:30 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • Descubren un enorme géiser en Europa, una de las lunas de Júpiter

La misión espacial Galileo de la NASA, lanzada en 1989 para estudiar Júpiter y sus lunas, transmitió en 1997 una serie de señales inusuales cerca de la superficie de la Luna de Europa, que en ese entonces los científicos no lograron explicar y en la actualidad se sabe que son corrientes de agua.

El informe apunta que Galileo investigó a Júpitery sus lunas durante casi 14 años y voló a través de una enorme pluma de vapor de agua que salió de la superficie helada de Europa en forma de géiser y alcanzó una altura de cientos de kilómetros.

Las pruebas de la existencia de géiseres de agua en la luna Europa fueron obtenidas por la sonda "Galileo", que orbitó Júpiter durante siete años, en 1997, pero no se habían descubierto hasta ahora.

La interpretación de un artista de una pluma de vapor de agua que sale de Europa.

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La investigación fue liderada por Xianzhe Jia, quien informó que los estudios parecen confirmar otra de las observaciones del Telescopio Espacial Hubble tomadas en 2012. Las imágenes transmitidas desde Hubble mostraban lo que parecían ser columnas de agua volando desde la superficie de Europa. "Volvimos y los miramos con más cuidado y descubrimos que eran exactamente lo que esperarías si hubiéramos volado a través de una pluma".

Si los géiseres siguen arrojando vapor el océano de Europa o de los lagos subterráneos, el Europa Clipper podría tomar muestras del líquido congelado y de partículas de polvo.

Las aguas ocultas de Europa se han convertido en un objetivo principal en la búsqueda de vida extraterrestre, y enviar una nave espacial para tomar una muestra de ese tipo de géiser podría ser la forma "más práctica" de verificarlo, indicaron los científicos.

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