"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
[Media Source*] (Cross Posted on Blogger News)
(Universe Today) Scientists studying data from NASA's Galileo spacecraft have found that Jupiter's moon Amalthea is a pile of icy rubble less dense than water. Scientists expected moons closer to the planet to be rocky and not icy. The finding shakes up long-held theories of how moons form around giant planets.
"I was expecting a body made up mostly of rock. An icy component in a body orbiting so close to Jupiter was a surprise," said Dr. John D. Anderson, an astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
That is definitely good news for NASA, as they already are planning a trip towards the Jovian giant around 2010. Although scientists may be confused as to how a moon could be icy that close to the planet, (since it disturbs their theories) space colonists should be delighted as this is probably one of the few asteroids out there within reach that could house a colony.
(Universe Today) "Amalthea is throwing us a curve ball," said Dr. Torrence Johnson, co-author and project scientist for the Galileo mission at JPL. "Its density is well below that of water ice, and even with substantial porosity, Amalthea probably contains a lot of water ice, as well as rock." Analysis of density, volume, shape and internal gravitational stresses lead the scientists to conclude that Amalthea is not only porous with internal empty spaces but also contains substantial water ice.
Here is an artists rendering of what a future colony might look like on Amalthea (for the space lovers out there).
Artist illustration of Galileo and Jupiter's moon, Amalthea. Image credit: NASA/JPL.
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