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News Release 800 of 948

February 23, 1995 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1995-12

Hubble Finds Oxygen Atmosphere on Jupiter's Moon, Europa

February 23, 1995: Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have identified the presence of an extremely tenuous atmosphere of molecular oxygen around Jupiter's moon, Europa. This makes Europa the first satellite ever found to have an oxygen atmosphere and only the third such solar system object beyond Earth to possess this gaseous element.

If all the oxygen on Europa were compressed to the surface pressure of Earth's atmosphere, it would fill only about a dozen Astrodome-sized stadiums.

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Credit: Johns Hopkins University and STScI