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Observations taken 20 years apart by the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that water vapour is present in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s icy moon Ganymede. The findings make the frigid moon an even more intriguing target in the search for extraterrestrial life.

The apparent detection of water vapour came after researchers compared two 1998 observations of Ganymede to another round of observations made in 2018. An analysis determined that sublimated water in the atmosphere would be the most likely culprit for a discrepancy found in the 1998 data. The team who conducted the 2018 observations had their results published in Nature Astronomy today.

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