NASA’s scientists have found water vapour for the first time above the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa

On the left is a view of Europa taken from 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) away on March 2, 1979 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Next is a color image of Europa taken by the Voyager 2 spacecraft during its close encounter on July 9, 1979. On the right is a view of Europa made from images taken by the Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. Credits: NASA/JPL

NASA’s scientists have found water vapour for the first time above the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.

The team measured the vapor by scrutinizing Europa through one of the world’s biggest telescopes in Hawaii.

Scientists have long suspected Europa may shelter a large liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust that may sometimes eject into space in huge geysers.  But no one has been able to confirm the presence of water in these plumes until now.

The NASA team detected water vapor only once over 17 nights of observations, but believe that even once was enough.

What does this mean?

  • There is a liquid water ocean, possibly twice as big as Earth’s under this moon’s thick icy crust.
  • Another source of water for the plumes could be shallow pools of melted water ice not far below Europa’s surface.

NASA is planning to launch its Europa Clipper mission in 2020, a spacecraft that will fly past Europa several times to gather more information.

Mock up image

Written by: Preetika Soni. Preetika is a full – time toddler mommy. In the time that is left, she enjoys writing, photography and crochet. She has worked with NDTV, Mumbai and has taught at SCMSophia. 



Spread the love
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Write to us at

Help us keep currentkids, current! We’d love to hear about your crazy adventures and experiences. Send us your pictures, travel diaries, thoughts on cool new gadgets, gaming experiences and anything else you find interesting!

About Us

Welcome to our entertaining and empowering news source for kids with inquisitive minds! This is a digital space that keeps kids aged 8 and above (and your families!) connected to what’s happening in the world. We filter a wide variety of news, events, and interesting bits of trivia to develop short, relevant, unbiased content in creative formats. We give everyone something to relate to and get engaged with in short bytes of information with a snappy, chatty feel. We believe in encouraging curiosity, creativity and continued learning in our safe digital space.

Why is reading non-fiction important?

This helps curious minds to learn more about the outside world. It also enriches their vocabulary and their general knowledge. Simplified news helps children to express their opinions easily with their friends and family and gives them some perspective on complex issues. Our safe news website will give you parents a useful tool with which to navigate the digital world with your children.

We hope you enjoy our posts!

Biyash & Sunaina