Hubble spots evidence of water plumes on Jupiters moon Europa 哈伯望遠鏡在木星衛星「木衛二」察知水蒸氣噴發證據

 

精英翻譯社轉自http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=1047288&day=2016-10-31

 

◎蔡子岳

 

Astronomers said they have spotted evidence of water vapor plumes rising from Jupiter’s moon Europa, a finding that might make it easier to learn whether life exists in the warm, salty ocean hidden beneath its icy surface.

 

天文學家表示,在木星衛星「木衛二」發現水蒸氣噴發證據,讓人更容易判斷其冰凍地表下溫暖且含鹽分的海洋裡是否有生命存在。

 

The apparent plumes detected by the Hubble Space Telescope shoot about 125 miles200 kmabove Europas surface before, presumably, raining material back down onto the moons surface, NASA said.

 

美國航太總署(NASA)說,哈伯望遠鏡觀測到的噴發高度約200公里,據此推斷,某些物質藉凝雨降回木衛二地表。

 

Europa, considered one of the most promising candidates for life in the solar system beyond Earth, boasts a global ocean with twice as much water as in all of Earth’s seas hidden under a layer of extremely cold and hard ice of unknown thickness.

 

木衛二被視為除地球外太陽系內最有可能存在生命的候選地之一,在其極端寒冷及厚度未知的堅硬冰層下,擁有兩倍於地球海洋的水量。

 

While drilling through the ice to test ocean water for signs of life would be a daunting task, sampling water from the plumes might be a simpler project.

 

相較於鑽透冰層以從其海洋尋找生命徵象,由水蒸氣取樣是相對簡易的計畫。

 

Scientists got their first hint that bright, icy Europa, which is crisscrossed by dark bands and ridges, contains an underground ocean from NASA’s twin Voyager probes, which flew by Jupiter in 1979.

 

根據19792艘「航海家」太空船飛越木星的調查,科學家從外表光亮被冰包覆的木衛二獲得線索,木衛二表面有深色條紋與山脊交錯,並蘊藏地下水。

 

The follow-on Galileo spacecraft, which circled around and through Jupiter’s system from 1995 to 2003, detected a magnetic field that likely was triggered by a salty, global ocean beneath Europa’s surface.

 

隨後的「伽利略號」太空船,在19952003年間繞木星逡巡,測得可能因地表下有含鹽分且佈滿全星球的海洋引發之磁場。

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