Europa moon 'spewing water jets'
Scientists first reported the behaviour in 2013 using the Hubble telescope, but have now made a follow-up sighting.

Further evidence has been obtained to show that Jupiter’s icy moon Europa throws jets of water out into space.

Scientists first reported the behaviour in 2013 using the Hubble telescope, but have now made a follow-up sighting.

It is significant because Europa, with its huge subsurface ocean of liquid water, is one of the most likely places to find microbial life beyond Earth.

Flying through the jets with an instrumented spacecraft would be an effective way to test the possibility.

One could even attempt to capture a sample of ejected material and bring it back to Earth for more detailed biological analysis.

The alternative - of trying to land on the moon and drill through perhaps tens of kilometres of ice to examine the ocean’s water - would be immensely challenging.

Hubble made its latest identification by studying Europa as it passed in front of Jupiter.

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Elon Musk is set to announce his plans for Mars colonization in an hour, at 2:30 Eastern Time. 

Please watch it because this could be history in the making.

The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible to southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan, now understood to be satellite galaxies of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy. About 160,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here in a remarkably deep, colorful, image. Spanning about 15,000 light-years or so, it is the most massive of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies and is the home of theclosest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A. The prominent patch below center is 30 Doradus, also known as the magnificentTarantula Nebula, is a giant star-forming region about 1,000 light-years across.

Object Names: Large Magelanic Cloud

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit & Copyright: Carlos Fairban

Time And Space

This star was so massive it ate itself before it could go supernova

A team of scientists may have confirmed the first failed supernova — and in the process witnessed the birth of a black hole.

Caltech astronomer Scott Adams and his colleagues Christopher Kochanek, Jill Gerke, and Krzystof Stanek of Ohio State University, and Xinyu Dai of the University of Oklahoma, devised a novel observation technique that uses the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) to identify candidates for failed supernovae, that is, massive stars that have died without the typical spectacular explosion. Using the first four years of data from the LBT survey, the team zeroed in on a star in the NGC 6946 galaxy.

This star, N6946-BH1, caught their attention because in 2009 it flared up to more than one million times the brightness of the Sun, then gradually faded — and vanished. But not without leaving a tantalizing clue to what happened: a faint trace of near-infrared radiation (IR) that is consistent with energy emitted from matter as it spirals into a black hole.

Read more ~ Astronomy Magazine

Image: NGC 6946 is a medium-sized, face-on spiral galaxy about 22 million light years away from Earth. In the past century, eight supernovas have been observed to explode in the arms of this galaxy. Chandra observations (purple) have, in fact, revealed three of the oldest supernovas ever detected in X-rays, giving more credence to its nickname of the “Fireworks Galaxy.” ~ Motherboard
  Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MSSL/R.Soria et al, Optical: AURA/Gemini OBs

NASA’s Hubble Spots Possible Water Plumes Erupting on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. This finding bolsters other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high altitude water vapor plumes.

The composite image above shows suspected plumes of water vapor erupting at the 7 o’clock position off the limb of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The plumes, photographed by NASA’s Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, were seen in silhouette as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. Hubble’s ultraviolet sensitivity allowed for the features – rising over 100 miles (160 kilometers) above Europa’s icy surface – to be discerned. The water is believed to come from a subsurface ocean on Europa. The Hubble data were taken on January 26, 2014. The image of Europa, superimposed on the Hubble data, is assembled from data from the Galileo and Voyager missions.

The observation increases the possibility that missions to Europa may be able to sample Europa’s ocean without having to drill through miles of ice.

“Europa’s ocean is considered to be one of the most promising places that could potentially harbor life in the solar system,” said Geoff Yoder, acting associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “These plumes, if they do indeed exist, may provide another way to sample Europa’s subsurface.”

The plumes are estimated to rise about 125 miles (200 kilometers) before, presumably, raining material back down onto Europa’s surface. Europa has a huge global ocean containing twice as much water as Earth’s oceans, but it is protected by a layer of extremely cold and hard ice of unknown thickness. The plumes provide a tantalizing opportunity to gather samples originating from under the surface without having to land or drill through the ice.

The team, led by William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore observed these finger-like projections while viewing Europa’s limb as the moon passed in front of Jupiter.

Read the entire article

A series of active regions stretched along the right side of the sun exhibited a wide variety of loops cascading above them (Sept. 12-14, 2016). The active region near the center has tightly coiled loops, while the region rotating over the right edge has some elongated and some very stretched loops above it. The loops are actually charged particles spiraling along magnetic field lines, observed here in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Near the middle of the video the Earth quickly passes in front of a portion of the sun as viewed by SDO. 

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.