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Ganymede's hidden ocean

Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon, has long been suspected of harboring a subsurface ocean. Now, using the Hubble telescope to spy on its aurorae, scientists say they can confirm a salty ocean beneath its frozen crust.

Related article: Ganymede, biggest moon in the solar system, has a saltwater ocean

Published:Caption:Photo:NASA/ESA
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Ganymede's aurorae

Ganymede is the rare moon that generates its own magnetic field, creating observable aurorae that scientists used to infer the presence of a subsurface ocean.

Related article: Ganymede, biggest moon in the solar system, has a saltwater ocean

Published:Caption:Photo:NASA/ESA/G.Bacon (STSci)
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Jovian lights

Ganymede's Aurora, as spied by Hubble. Because the moon is also embedded in Jupiter's magnetic field, the friction causes the lights to "rock back and forth."

Related article: Ganymede, biggest moon in the solar system, has a saltwater ocean

Published:Caption:Photo:NASA/ESA
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An attractive moon

Ganymede is the only moon in the solar system to create its own magnetosphere, thanks to its liquid iron core.

Related article: Ganymede, biggest moon in the solar system, has a saltwater ocean

Published:Caption:Photo:NASA/ESA
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The moon is a rockin' (but not much)

Scientists found that the aurorae on Ganymede did not "rock" as much as expected, leading to the conclusion that a subsurface ocean was present and inhibiting the effect.

Related article: Ganymede, biggest moon in the solar system, has a saltwater ocean

Published:Caption:Photo:NASA/ESA
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Ganymede's geology

A geologic map of Ganymede  released last year.

Related article: Ganymede, biggest moon in the solar system, has a saltwater ocean

Published:Caption:Photo:NASA
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Profile

Ganymede as observed from the Galileo spacecraft. The confirmed presence of a salty ocean on the moon will make it an instant source of increased interest for space geeks.

Related article: Ganymede, biggest moon in the solar system, has a saltwater ocean

Published:Caption:Photo:NASA
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