The Cygnus "J.R. Thompson" cargo spacecraft blasting off atop an Antares rocket (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft blasted off atop an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), part of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) on Wallops Island. After about nine minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage went en route to its destination. This is its ninth official mission, called Orbital-9 or simply Orb-9 but also CRS OA-9, to transport supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.

Illustration of Jupiter, Europa, magnetic field lines and the Galileo space probe (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Michigan)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes a new examination of data about Europa, one of the great moons of Jupiter, collected in 1997 by NASA’s Galileo space probe. A team of researchers used new computer models to interpret an anomaly in the magnetic field around Europa that had remained unexplained. The result of the new examination is that the anomaly was generated by plumes of water vapor containing various compounds, a new proof of their existence.