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PRESENCE OF WATER VAPOUR IN ‘EUROPA’ FOUND BY HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATORY

PRESENCE OF WATER VAPOUR IN ‘EUROPA’ FOUND BY HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATORY

Context:

Recently, the Hubble Space Telescope Observatory of NASA have found the presence of persistent water vapour in ‘Europa’, the icy moon of Jupiter.

Key Findings:

  • The presence of a water vapour atmosphere is found only in one hemisphere.
  • The findings may help to explore whether Europa’s atmosphere could support life.
  • The result is based upon Hubble observations spanning from 1999 to 2015.

Hubble Space Telescope:

  • It is a space telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation.
  • It was not the 1st space telescope, but it is one of the largest and most versatile, renowned both as a vital research tool and as a public relations boon for astronomy.
  • It is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble and is one of NASA's Great Observatories, along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (1991–2000), the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope (2003–2020).
  • The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) selects Hubble's targets and processes the resulting data, while the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) controls the spacecraft.

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