Ice volcanoes... in SPACE! (That never gets old.)

Remember when Europa spewed water into space in December? NASA has tracked down where (they think) it came from.

This is the official USGS basemap for Europa, compiled from the Galileo and Voyager missions and centered on the projected plume location at -65 degrees latitude, 183 degrees longitude. Think of this as our "Before," image. When we capture an "After," we can poke around to see if we spot any plume deposits, confirming not only that we got the location right but seeing how this type of activity impacts the surface landscapes.


In case you missed it the first time around, here's the plume. It's not a direct photograph of the plumes; instead it's a spectral image of hydrogen and oxygen emissions. Overall, less pretty than we typically expect from dear ol' Hubble, but it compensates by being our first direct observation of an extraterrestrial geyser:

Pair this up with the newly-announced funding to develop a Europa mission, and things could get downright interesting in the next few years.

All images credit NASA, of course.


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