Monday, May 25, 2015

Good NIght, Moon

The waxing crescent

6.8 day old moon

44.2 percent lit

May 21, 2015
By Tim Kelly

A view of the trailing hemisphere of Jupiter’s ice-covered satellite, Europa, in approximate natural color. Long, dark lines are fractures in the crust, some of which are more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) long. Image via Galileo spacecraft in 1996, via NASAPhotoJournal

...Researchers (click here) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) mimicked conditions on Europa’s surface. They now say that the dark material is discolored salt, likely sea salt from below the moon’s icy crust. The journal Geological Research Letters published their study on May 15, 2015.
The scientists say this new insight is important in considering whether this icy moon might be hospitable for extraterrestrial life. The life question is a key one for Europa, since this world is believed to have a liquid ocean beneath its crust. The presence of sea salt on Europa’s surface suggests the ocean is interacting with its rocky seafloor.
Scientists have been intensely curious about Europa since Galileo discovered it in 1610....