In this artist’s conceptual illustration, the moon Ganymede orbits giant planet Jupiter. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope detected auroras on the moon controlled by Ganymede’s magnetic fields. Image released March 12, 2015.
A salty ocean is lurking beneath the surface of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have found.
The ocean on Ganymede — which is buried under a thick crust of ice — could actually harbor more water than all of Earth’s surface water combined, according to NASA officials. Scientists think the ocean is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) thick, 10 times the depth of Earth’s oceans,
NASA added. The new Hubble Space Telescope finding could also help scientists learnmore about the plethora of potentially watery worlds that exist in the solar system and beyond.
“The solar system is now looking like a pretty soggy place,” Jim Green, NASA’s director of planetary science, said during a news teleconference today (March 12). Scientists are particularly interested in learning more about watery worlds because life as we know it depends on water to thrive.