Hey guys what do you think that dark material on Europa is actually sea salt?

Whenever you look at a snap of Galilean moon Europa, the very first feature grabs your attention is the countless crisscross reddish brown lines in its outer layer.

New laboratory experiments suggest there is a strong possibility that this dark material could be radiation exposed discolored 'Sea Salt'.

It's a well-known fact that Europa receives 540 rem of radiation per day, literally it stays completely drowned in radiation created by Jupiter's powerful magnetic field. 

To test this theory, NASA scientists conducted a lab experiment which the call as " Europa in a can" inside a vacuum chamber they artificially created conditions similar to that of on  Europa's surface in terms of temperature, pressure and radiation exposure. 

Below is the official description of the experiment " Europa in a can" provided by NASA :-


"For this particular research, the scientists tested samples of common salt -- sodium chloride -- along with mixtures of salt and water, in their vacuum chamber at Europa's chilly surface temperature of minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 173 Celsius). They then bombarded the salty samples with an electron beam to simulate the intense radiation on the moon's surface.
After a few tens of hours of exposure to this harsh environment, which corresponds to as long as a century on Europa, the salt samples, which were initially white just like table salt, turned a yellowish-brown color similar to features on the icy moon. The researchers found the color of these samples, as measured in their spectra, showed a strong resemblance to the color within fractures on Europa that were imaged by NASA's Galileo mission.
"This work tells us the chemical signature of radiation-baked sodium chloride is a compelling match to spacecraft data for Europa's mystery material," Hand said.
Additionally, the longer the samples were exposed to radiation, the darker the resulting color. Hand thinks scientists could use this type of color variation to help determine the ages of geologic features and material ejected from any plumes that might exist on Europa."
If it is true then the presence of sea salt on Europa's could be an important factor in determining whether the icy moon could harbour life. 

Image credit : NASA/JPL

AstroSamantha back to Earth, got used to seeing her in space background looks so awkward :D

ISRO to map and provide management plans for heritage sites and monuments of National importance

India is a vibrant and culturally diverse country linked by vast geography and history. The evidence of country’s historic accomplishments remains visible in architecture, heritage sites and traditions that are still visited, venerated and practiced. Some of these heritage sites receive enormous global and national attention. However, many of these heritage sites face increasing risk from urbanisation, economic development and implications of unanticipated changes. The conservation of world heritage sites, ancient monuments and archaeological sites is of national importance and also helps in development and promotion of tourism, which is one of the major engines of economic growth.
Ministry of Culture, GOI has taken up a national project for inventory and monitoring of archaeological sites of the country in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This project will help to conserve and manage thousands of heritage sites and monuments of national importance spread across in the country.India is a vibrant and culturally diverse country linked by vast geography and history. The evidence of country’s historic accomplishments remains visible in architecture, heritage sites and traditions that are still visited, venerated and practiced. Some of these heritage sites receive enormous global and national attention... For more details please visit ISRO


5 Most Mysterious Sounds Recorded in Space, brought to you by Drak5


Video Credit : Dark5

Stunning snap of Great Pyramids of Egpyt from ISS

US astronaut Terry Virts took this awesome picture of the Great Pyramids of Egypt on June 10, his last full day in space, and shared it on Twitter before returning to Earth on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft

Philae Lander wakes up from 7 months long sleep, ready for operations

Good News coming from  67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko,  our little lander “Philae” has finally awakened from its 7 months long sleep and now stretching itself before it carries out operations on comet’s surface once again.

First communication since November 2014 took place on June the 13 at 22:28 CEST, when Philae contacted ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt via its Mothership in orbit, Rosetta spacecraft

According to announcement released by European Space Agency, the transmission continued for 85 seconds and 300 data packets were received by the ground control team. 

There are still more than 8000 data packets in the mass memory of Philae. Scientists are hopeful they will be able to download each one of them soon since all bolts and nuts of Philae are in a perfect condition. 

"Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 Watts available, the lander is ready for operations." explains DLR Philae Project Manager Dr. Stephan Ulamec. 


Incredible news! My lander Philae is awake! http://t.co/VtzAQHx4zT pic.twitter.com/SZqnsnNpUZ
Philae Lander was dropped on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko back in last November, it did become the first probe to achieve a landing on the surface of a comet.

Unfortunately, being landed in a dark corner Philae couldn't carry out his operations more than 60 hours when its power battery ran flat and went into hibernation mode. 

Now when 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is moving towards the sun, a sunny summer has arrived on its surface and our lander is getting a good amount of sunlight to recharge its solar powered battery. Data sent by Philae indicates it might have been woken up earlier but didn't have enough power to establish contact with Earth so it waited until its battery got fully charged. if Philae can continue to keep working it will provide scientists with an extraordinary view of what is happening right at the surface of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Join me on Facebook and Twitter


India might get on board the International Space Station

Indian elephant is charging ahead and world cannot afford to ignore its walk. After the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan-1, space community has started to acknowledge Indian space capabilities. 

You can understand it if mind reading the latest interview of the incoming head of the European Space Agency Johann-Dietrich Woerner , published in prestigious German Magazine 'Die Spiegel', where he emphasizes the need of opening the doors of 'International Space Station' for astronauts of Asian space powers like India and China. 

"We need to get away from the principle of being a closed club,"- Johann-Dietrich Woerner.

ISS in its current form is not much of an inclusive group, it's being run by a group of 15 developed nations including USA, Russia, Japan. But this trend can be changed in near future. China is already conducting its manned missions and speculations are high that India will be launching its first manned mission earlier than previously thought. 
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