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May 14, 2018

NASA just found evidence of a plume spewing from Europa — buried inside the data of an old spacecraft

<em>Jupiter’s moon Europa, as seen from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft</em>

Scientists have uncovered the biggest evidence yet that water may be spewing from the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa — a revelation that was buried deep within the archives of a long-dead NASA spacecraft. In 1997, the Jupiter probe Galileo flew near a geyser when it passed close by Europa, collecting data that went overlooked at the time. But now, the rendezvous has been unearthed 20 years later, and it provides scientists with their first up-close measurement of one of Europa’s water plumes.

Up until now, scientists have strongly suspected that water is pouring out from Europa, but the matter hasn’t been fully settled. The only evidence we have for these geysers comes from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which captured images of...

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