Spacecraft Galileo found unique environment on Jupiter’s huge moon Ganymede

May 7, 2018 - By Edwin Martin

Spacecraft Galileo found unique environment on Jupiter’s huge moon Ganymede

Spacecraft Galileo found unique environment on Jupiter’s huge moon Ganymede

Ganymede, the largest moon of planet Jupiter became well-known for its own magnetic field since 1996, when astronomers made this discovery. Now, NASA’s own spacecraft Galileo which was sent in space to gather information on Jupiter have found evidence of the possible existence of big liquid ocean underneath the surface.

According to scientists, extraterrestrial life on Ganymede, the biggest moon in the solar system, could easily find the shelter near this ocean.

Glyn Collison, the head of the study from NASA Goodard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, together with his colleagues have analyzed the data gathered by Galileo and sent back to earth till 2003 when its mission was finished. They published results of their research in the journal called Geophysical Research Letters.

Studying 20 years old data, Collison has noticed new evidence of possible ocean existence. He also mentioned that they have found information which was left untouched by scientists.

“We are now coming back over 20 years later to take a new look at some of the data that was never published and finish the story,” he says. “We found there’s a whole piece no one knew about.”

A new theory says that particles went down from the surface of the moon covered with ice after the plasma rain, and plasma flows went in between Jupiter and Ganymede because of the magnetic eruptive occurrence which took place in the middle of two space bodies magnetic environments.

“There are these particles flying out from the polar regions, and they can tell us something about Ganymede’s atmosphere, which is very thin,” confirms Bill Paterson, the co-author of the new study. He worked with Galileo Plasma Subsystem team during the mission. “It can also tell us about how Ganymede’s auroras form.”

There are northern and southern lights on Ganymede. They are caused by particles created in plasma which surrounds the planet.

Galileo spacecraft went through auroras’ regions of Ganymede during its flight and witnessed raining on the polar cap moon’s surface. According to scientists, a new study of the old data can reveal why auroras of Ganymede are so bright.

Scientists did not expect to see magnetosphere on the moon. They believed only planets could have magnetic environments before.

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