The NASA Europa Teleconference — Live

Last Wednesday we posted Did NASA Find Life on Europa? It was about a news release from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which said they had observed “surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa,” and they would “host a teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 26, to present new findings from images captured by the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa.”

Tomorrow is the big day. NASA says this is the link where you can watch (or at least listen to) the teleconference: NASA Live.

We’re posting early so that Google has a chance to index this post (they’ve been slow lately), and so that you’ll know we’re providing a convenient place to follow the event and make your comments. It starts at 2:00 Monday afternoon in the Eastern US. That will be 11:00 in the morning in California. In London it will be 7:00 in the evening. Wherever else you may be, you probably know how to figure out when it starts for you.

The Trump-Clinton Presidential debate will be at 9:00 in the evening in the Eastern US, so there won’t be any conflict. If the events were at the same time, we’d go with NASA because we might learn something new.

If Europa does show evidence of life, the creationists will deny it. If no such evidence is announced, creationists will cheer and claim that they knew it all along. Their reactions will come later. That’s all we have to say for now, except: Stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “The NASA Europa Teleconference — Live

  1. It is, you know, exceedingly likely that the NASA presser will be to announce something scientifically interesting but nonsensational like that they’ve established a more accurate measure of Europa’s diameter.

  2. No, it’s gotta be better than that.

  3. You mean they may have tracked down KevinC’s ISP?

  4. What have we used to explore Europa? The very old Voyager I & II craft, the now Juno mission, and the Hubble telescope. Juno I don’t think has made any close observations of Europa to date. Hubble has been looking at it for some time, of course, at a distance, so what might they have found new using these two investigative sources? Simulation studies suggest a similar chemical makeup of Europa and Earth’s oceans, but beyond that, it will be interesting to see if someone is waving back at us.

  5. Life on Europa, eh? I’ll bet Trump will say he’s going to round up all them illegal European immigrants and ship ’em back to Europa.

    And he’ll make Europa pay for it.

  6. Life on Europa, eh? I’ll bet Trump will say he’s going to round up all them illegal European immigrants and ship ’em back to Europa.

    And he’ll make Europa pay for it.

    That should be interesting to the Germans. The German pronunciation for Europe is Europa (Oy-ropa).

  7. @DavidK – most of our imagery of Europa is from the Galileo mission, which orbited Jupiter for about 8 years. Galileo provided the evidence supporting the subsurface ocean.

    Hopefully Juno will provide some new images. It will be interesting to see if the reddish streaks and other features on Europa have changed over time.

    There are some reports from 2013 that Hubble captured evidence of water vapor venting off of Europa. Maybe the announcement today is related to that effort.

  8. @Ed
    I searched the NASA site for missions to Jupiter and Galileo wasn’t to be found. I thought there was a probe there.

    Also, China is just completing a 500 meter radio telescope like the Arecibo telescope to do research and also look for ET’s.

  9. A fun video from Astronomy Picture of the Day:

  10. Please let it be space whales. Please.

  11. dweller42 implores: “Please let it be space whales.”

    Whatever it is — or is not — the Discoveroids will say it’s evidence of design, and Hambo will say that it was foretold in Genesis.

  12. You sad little materialists, who live your dreary lives without hope.

    But we True Acolytes of the Blessed Fungus Man are certain that the exciting discovery on Europa must be the wondrous land of female genitalia, as is foretold in our Holy Scripture.

  13. It begins in an hour and a half. The tension is mounting …

  14. NASA has twitterpated this: Monday, we’ll announce new findings from Jupiter’s moon Europa. Spoiler alert: NOT aliens.

    (cited at

  15. It starts in 20 minutes. Take your bathroom break now!

  16. Take your bathroom break now!

    I think you mean: “Get rid of your subsurface ocean.”

  17. realthog updates us with

    Spoiler alert: NOT aliens.

    IOW: They found Elvis! Or maybe Amelia Earhart…

  18. It lasted one hour, including phoned-in questions. No life — that is, no ability to test for it this time around. Water plumes, probably. The creationists can relax. They dodged another bullet.

  19. Hah! Those foolish NASA scientists think those spasmodic ejaculations from Europa are ‘water’!

    We missionaries of Answers in Genitals know better!

  20. Megalonyx smirks: “Those foolish NASA scientists think those spasmodic ejaculations from Europa are ‘water’!”

    They are water! The bible speaks of the waters above the firmament, and now science is finally detecting some of it. Europa is probably the source of the rain that caused the Flood, and it’s where the waters of the Flood were sent when it was finished, having accomplished the divinely ordained planetary slaughter. This NASA discovery is a confirmation of the bible. Creationists win again!

  21. I did search the NASA site for Galileo results (
    I think a memo would have sufficed to summarize what was discussed in today’s groundbreaking announcement. It was interesting, but just so.

    Scenario 1: Trump, Inhofe and McConnell will promote setting up coal burning plants on Europa to melt that ice while adding good CO2 and other nice stuff to Europa’s atmosphere.

    Scenario 2: The Avatar Europaeans will resist any effort to explore and mine their “planet’s” mineral wealth where there’s rich veins of upsidedownium and send Earthlings packing back home, shamed.

    Scenario 3: Both the DI and AIG are breathing a sigh of relief, but will soon publish their responses, again concluding we’re the only ones here in the universe, designed and set in motion a mere 6000 years ago.

  22. I think a memo would have sufficed to summarize what was discussed in today’s groundbreaking announcement.

    Agreed. It was merely confirmation of something about which we’re already pretty certain.

  23. Did I get the impression that they were making a great deal about this being at the limits of their present equipment’s ability to determine?

  24. I thought the most interesting bit was an answer to a completely logical question – why not use the Juno spacecraft to observe Europa? NASA stated that they deliberately routed Juno as far away from Europa as possible to avoid contamination.

    I know that might be a risk, but flying by the planet at a distance of 10-20 miles seems pretty safe. Do they think spores are going to jump off the spacecraft on a trajectory for Europa? Besides, Galileo flew by it many times.

    The Europa flyby mission is apparently not due to launch until sometime in the 2020’s per Wikipedia.

  25. One other thing… as NASA points out they are working at the edge of Hubble’s capabilities, they are sitting on two more Hubble class telescopes in a clean room somewhere. These were gifted by the NRO about 4 years ago, complete with optics and all of the maneuvering and other systems. The only thing NASA needs to add are instruments. (It’s probably more complicated than that, but not James Webb complicated) If NASA wants instruments that will observe in frequencies beyond Hubble’s range, they’ve got the platforms to put them on and launch them.

    To be fair, NASA has asked for ideas for using these telescopes, but they certainly don’t seem excited about it. One would think they could have selected a mission 4 years ago and by now they would have been ready to launch.