Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:March 16th, 2015 12:53 EST
NASA's Hubble Space Telescopes Discovers Big Surprise

NASA's Hubble Space Telescopes Discovers Big Surprise

By Ron G Anselm

"Surprises come in all shapes and sizes and in any variety of settings. From your fiancée suddenly popping the question to you to ask you to marry them on the Jumbo-Tron in front of one-hundred thousand fans at an NFL game to suddenly your wife telling you she`s pregnant and pregnant with twins! Or, a Mother seeing her son or daughter come home in the military after a year of deployment in the Middle East that leaves a lump in the throat of everyone watching the reaction of their Mom, surprises are always fun if the surprise is in the right context of happiness. When it comes to a different version of surprises such as NASA and the world of space exploration surprises tend to tickle the fancy of scientists as if that one surprise was the rediscovery of an entity that just can`t be explained which makes that one surprise a challenge to figure out." (Anselm, R.)

NASA is always out in that vast and wide space of darkness we call space exploring for anything and everything that is unique and unusual. One of the main priorities lately of scientists and NASA is to find a planet that is habitable just like Earth and could support human life if we ever had to relocate to another a new and wondrous world we could call Earth. This new world would have to have the presence of water which biologically could support human life.

Recently, NASA combed the far ends of our galaxy and extended its curiosity to Jupiter one of the furthest planets from Earth. Now, you really wouldn`t think that Jupiter would be in the running for one of the planets or maybe not Jupiter but say one of its moons for a place that we could call Earth two but in this case it may very well be in the players or should I say mix of places we could eventually one day move our backyard Bar-B-Que`s to and end up calling it home.

The moon known as Ganymede which orbits the planet Jupiter and is Jupiter`s largest moon was observed by NASA`s Hubble Space telescope to have the potential of an underground ocean underneath its lunar crusty and icy crust and the potential ocean found is said to be a saltwater ocean just like our vast and deep oceans here on Earth. The other unique characteristic about this surprise ocean is that it is also said to have more water in it than all our oceans combined here on our planet.

This is the challenge for NASA and the world of astronomy and science to un-wrap the surprise and prove this is really a reality. Unless we send astronauts to Jupiter`s Ganymede`s moon which more than likely for now just isn`t going to happen, then NASA will have to explore other ways to find out if a surprise and vast world of water is really lurking under Jupiter`s largest moon`s surface. So, far they have proven this but like any surprise it could turn out to be one thing and actually be another.

John Grunsfeld who is an associate administrator of NASA`s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC added some insight to this new potential discovery by stating, "This discovery marks a significant milestone, highlighting what only Hubble can accomplish. In its 25 years in orbit, Hubble has made many scientific discoveries in our own solar system. A deep ocean under the icy crust of Ganymede opens up further exciting possibilities for life beyond Earth." (Grunsfeld, J.)

Ganymede has some other unique characteristics about it; the moon is not only Jupiter`s largest moon but also the largest moon in our solar system. It also is the only moon with its own magnetic field. The magnetic field on Ganymede which is in the North and South poles of the moon cause what is known as an aurorae which are ribbons of glowing and hot electric fields. Since Ganymede is also close to Jupiter it is also within Jupiter`s magnetic field which means when Jupiter`s magnetic field changes so does the aurorae on Ganymede which means the aurorae rocks back and forth.

This rocking back and forth motion of the aurorae is how scientists were able to determine that a large amount of saltwater potentially exists underneath Ganymede crust that is affecting its magnetic field.

NASA`s Hubble Space telescope has been used in a variety of exploring the universe and in this case the Hubble was used to explore and learn more about Ganymede and what makes this mysterious moon tick from the inside.

Joachim Saur of the University of Cologne in Germany commented on this by saying, "I was always brainstorming how we could use a telescope in other ways. Is there a way you could use a telescope to look inside a planetary body? Then I thought the aurorae! Because aurorae are controlled by the magnetic field, if you observe the aurorae in an appropriate way, you learn something about the magnetic field. If you know the magnetic field, then you know something about the moon`s interior." (Saur, J.)

To breakdown the sort of mathematical logic to how this was accomplished and in laymen`s terms, If a saltwater ocean was indeed present under Ganymede`s surface, the existing magnetic field will or should we say would create a secondary magnetic field within the underlying ocean that would not only be present but would also interfere or to keep it in simple terms, counter Jupiter`s magnetic field. This would create what is known as magnetic friction that would suppress the rocking of the aurorae.

So, as mentioned above there is always a rocking back and forth of the existing aurorae that is constantly present so to find that there is also another presence that is present (the underneath ocean) the aurorae from the ocean which fights Jupiter`s magnetic field and would create a stronger aurorae which if measured by degrees, would reduce the rocking of the original aurorae by two degrees versus six degrees if there was actually no ocean present (tried to explain it as simple as I could)

The ocean is estimated to be sixty miles thick which equates to about ten times deeper than the oceans here on Earth and it is also estimated that the ocean on Ganymede is setting about ninety-five miles under its crust and is mostly under ice.

This is not the first suspicion of an ocean present under Ganymede`s crust. Scientist first suspected there was one present in the 1970s then in 2002 NASA`s Galileo spacecraft measured Ganymede`s magnetic field which provided the first evidence which supported scientists suspicions. The Galileo spacecraft too some brief snapshot measurements of the magnetic field during twenty-minute intervals but  since these observations were too brief to catch any signs of cyclical rocking of the oceans secondary magnetic field. The current observations were done under ultraviolet light and cold only be performed using a space telescope like Hubble which sits high above the Earth`s atmosphere.

So, whether one day we find our new home we call Earth two in Ganymede`s backyard doing the new weekend recreation sport called surfing under the lunar crust in the surprise vast ocean that sits under Ganymede`s crust or are still exploring it with high technology to try to unwrap the riddle of this surprise one way or another any surprise no matter what context it is in will leave the human spirit and mind with the thought of any mind blowing comprehension to figure out the surprise.


NASA`s Hubble Observations Suggest Underground Ocean on Jupiter`s Largest Moon ( Retrieved 2015.

Being a writer I like to write in many and various aspects of literature. My current book titled Our Grand Ol` National Past Time " A Brief History of Major League Baseball can be purchased from my website by going to ( but I am currently writing a book on the other thing I love, the Martial-Arts. Keep an eye out for it in the future if it gets published. You can have the best of the reading world with all the kicks, strikes, Kata`s and forms to learn about a relative new entity in this country in the world of self-defense that will add to your knowledge of fitness, fun and protecting yourself.