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Updated: May 18, 2022

Tuesday salutes a National TRE▲SURE who found salty space gold

As the quest for finding life in our solar system intensifies, there is one substance above all that scientists hope to find — W▲TER.

Today we celebrate Dr Margaret Kivelson, whose magnetometer was on board the Galileo Spacecraft that orbited the Jupiter system in 1995-2003 and gave compelling evidence that Europa had an induced magnetic field.

"Remember, I started before there were any spacecrafts"

Margaret Kivelson - 93 years-old

This riveting data allowed the Galileo team to conclude that a salty, subsurface ocean exists beneath Europa's 20km ice crust and is two and half the size larger than Earth's ocean.

🅜🅞🅞🅝 Libretto extract

𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑑𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑? 𝐼𝑠 𝑖𝑡 𝑜𝑐𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑎𝑙𝑡𝑦 𝑠𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑒 𝑔𝑜𝑙𝑑?

The inspirational name of the Galileo Spacecraft is in tribute to the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who, as we learned from yesterday's blog, revolutionized science in 1610 after his telescopic observations.

And in that same planetary system, another revolution is now unfolding, thanks to the magnetometer's colossal findings of Europa's oceanic world. The dreamy discovery of salty water on another celestial body is space gold for any planetary scientist.

And it appears Europa is charmed with a treasure trove of this substance. Linking Galileo's legendary findings with Margaret's Magnetometer are magnificent examples of the collective brilliance of scientists and spacecraft.

𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠 ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝 𝑚𝑎𝑝 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑛 𝑑𝑜𝑜𝑟𝑠 🚪 𝑎𝑠 𝑤𝑒 𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑛 𝑐𝑜𝑠𝑚𝑖𝑐 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑠…

Below is a link to The Planetary Society podcast to hear more about this 93-year-old living legend in conversation with the wonderful Mat Kaplan about her mind-blowing career and magnetometer milestones.


Gary Bennett NASA · Power and In-Space Propulsion Division A.A., B.S., M.Nuc.Sc., Ph.D

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