A 23-year-old mystery about the largest moon in our solar system has been solved.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which monitors the ultraviolet range of light, among other things, revealed in 1988 the largest moon of Jupiter, Ganymede, the ninth largest celestial body in our solar system.
If Ganymede orbited the Sun rather than Jupiter, it might have a planetary classification based on its size. Not only is Jupiter the largest known moon, it is also the largest in the Solar System. It is more powerful than Mercury.
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For some time now, researchers have believed that moons have a greater potential for creating and maintaining life than planets. This suspicion was also confirmed by Jupiter’s moon, whose icy surface is likely larger than all terrestrial seas combined, according to a July 26 Nature Astronomy report. study.
A decade-old mystery
Based on the Hubble UV spectrometer, astronomers previously believed that oxygen concentrations were high in Ganymedes’ atmosphere – and this possibility clearly could be a hope of making the celestial body habitable for humans as well.
However, the idea, which fit the tale, aroused skepticism from the start from scientists who had a hard time believing that there was a lot of oxygen in the body’s atmosphere.
According to a reanalysis of the data, they were also right – the surface temperature of the Moon rises in the southern hours around the equator, which causes water vapor from the ice to enter the atmosphere.
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The UV recordings previously showed the oxygen where the water from sublimation should be! This means that Hubble detected water molecules seeping from the surface of the warm Ganymede ice at noon, not atomic oxygen.”
Summarization National Geographic.
So, basically, water vapor rises from the surface of Ganymede, which leads to the detection of particles in the atmosphere of the Moon.
Accordingly, it has not been proven that Ganymede could ever become a habitable orb, but the new discovery provides an opportunity for scientists to study the possibility of the formation and sustainability of life in such unlikely places as Jupiter’s icy moon.
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Cover photo: Profimedia
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