Bold New Missions to Jupiter and Saturn Planned
NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are pushing ahead with proposals to send ambitious missions to explore Jupiter, Saturn and the many moons that circle both planets, the two space agencies announced Wednesday.
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON RELEASE
by Sandra Hines
One of the moons in our solar system that scientists think has the potential to harbor life may have a far more dynamic ocean than previously thought.
If the moon Europa is tilted on its axis even slightly as it orbits the giant planet Jupiter, then Jupiter’s gravitational pull could be creating powerful waves in Europa’s ocean, according to Robert Tyler, an oceanographer with the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory and author of a letter in the Dec. 11 Nature. As those waves dissipate, they would give off significant heat energy.
University of California at Berkeley Press Release
Jupiter has a rocky core that is more than twice as large as previously thought, according to computer calculations by a University of California, Berkeley, geophysicist who simulated conditions inside the planet on the scale of individual hydrogen and helium atoms.