NASA scientists have confirmed, for the first time, the existence of water above the surface of Europa, one of Jupiter's 79 moons.
The study published in the journal Nature Astronomy show that they detected water releasing from Europa by 2,360 kilograms per second, enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool within minutes.
The team used a spectrograph at the Keck Observatory that measures the chemical composition of planetary atmospheres through the infrared light they emit or absorb.
The findings can help scientists better understand the inner workings of the moon.
The forthcoming Europa Clipper mission, expected to be launched in the mid-2020s, will give scientists a close look at Europa by sampling those molecules in the atmosphere to decide on whether it is a habitable world.