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The case for a giant plume of water vapor wafting from Jupiter's potentially life-supporting moon Europa just got a lot stronger.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted tantalizing signs of such a plume multiple times over the past half decade, but those measurements were near the limits of the powerful instrument's sensitivity. Now, researchers report in a new study that NASA's Galileo Jupiter probe, which orbited the planet from 1995 to 2003, also detected a likely Europa plume, during a close flyby of the icy moon in 1997.
The newly analyzed Galileo data provides "compelling independent evidence that there seems to be a plume on Europa," said study lead author Xianzhe Jia, an associate professor in the Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan.
This is exciting news for astrobiologists: If the plume is indeed real, it could offer a way for a spacecraft to sample Europa's buried ocean of liquid water without even touching down on the moon. And NASA is working on a mission that could do just that.
Hot and dry summer weather is expected to persist in the western U.S. this week, perpetuating the wildfire threat and risk of heat-related illness.
In the wake of showers and thunderstorms that will enhance the risk of flash flooding, cooler air will invade the northeastern United States by midweek.
Beryl has redeveloped well off the coast of the mid-Atlantic, but is not expected to have major impacts on land.
While the southeastern U.S. is no stranger to humid, stormy conditions, widespread wet weather will be more disruptive than usual this week.
In the aftermath of the disastrous and historic flooding across western Japan, survivors and recovery crews will continue to face sweltering heat and humidity.
In the United States, more people have died from being left in hot cars than from lightning strikes so far this year.
A mudslide and a freight train derailment led to the closure of U.S. 95 near the Nevada-California state line on Friday.
Two people, a 17-year-old boy and a 30-year-old man, were hospitalized after being bitten by sharks in Fernandina Beach, Florida, on Friday afternoon.