Complex organic molecules erupted from the ocean beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus

In a recent article published in Nature, NASA scientists analyzed mass spectrometry data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft to find concentrated and complex macromolecular organic material (with molecular masses above 200 atomic mass units) ejected from the ocean beneath the icy crust of Saturn's moon, Enceladus. This new finding suggests that a thin organic-rich film exists on top of the... Continue Reading →

Evidence of a plume on Europa from Galileo magnetic and plasma wave signatures

The icy surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, is thought to lie on top of a global ocean. Signatures in some Hubble Space Telescope images have been associated with putative water plumes rising above Europa’s surface, providing support for the ocean theory. However, all telescopic detections reported were made at the limit of sensitivity of the... Continue Reading →

Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) in Europa?

This article appeared in Nature Geoscience in 2014 used a numerical model to hypothesize that a meridional overturning circulation (MOC) exists in the ocean beneath the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. The geothermal heat generated from tidal flexing drives Europa's MOC, which carries heat toward the surface in the low latitudes then poleward. This study... Continue Reading →

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