Life on Jupiter's moon? NASA finds evidence of water plumes in old data

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Old NASA data may have found "ingredients to support life" on Europa. (Shutterstock)

NASA scientists have found new insights from an old mission that may show the possibility of life on Jupiter's moon Europa.

NASA put data collected from their Galileo spacecraft in 1997 through new and advanced computer models and found it may have passed through a venting plume of water vapor. The finding, paired with 2012 images from the Hubble Space Telescope, gives the strongest evidence of the existence of the plumes.

The space agency said in a press release that a reservoir of water under the moon's surface may be venting the plumes.

"If plumes exist, and we can directly sample what's coming from the interior of Europa, then we can more easily get at whether Europa has the ingredients for life," said Robert Pappalardo, Europa Clipper project scientist. "That's what the mission is after. That's the big picture."
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