Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 1, 2016

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Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 1, 2016 


Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have imaged what may be water 
vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. This finding bolsters 
other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high-altitude water 
vapor plumes.

 The observation increases the possibility that future missions to Europa may be able 
to sample Europa’s ocean without having to drill through miles of ice.

 “Europa’s ocean is considered to be one of the most promising places that could 
potentially harbor life in the solar system,” said Geoff Yoder, acting associate 
administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. “These 
plumes, if they do indeed exist, may provide another way to sample Europa’s subsurface.”

 The plumes are estimated to rise about 125 miles before, presumably, raining 
material back down onto Europa’s surface. Europa has a huge global ocean containing 
twice as much water as Earth’s oceans, but it is protected by a layer of extremely cold 
and hard ice of unknown thickness. The plumes provide a tantalizing opportunity 
to gather samples originating from under the surface without having to land or drill 
through the ice.

 The team, led by William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in 
Baltimore, Maryland, observed these finger-like projections while viewing Europa’s 
edge as it passed in front of Jupiter.

 The original goal of the team’s observing proposal was to determine whether Europa 
has a thin, extended atmosphere, or exosphere. Using the same observing method that 
detects atmospheres around planets orbiting other stars, the team also realized if there 
was water vapor venting from Europa’s surface, this observation would be an excellent 
way to see it.

 “The atmosphere of an extrasolar planet blocks some of the starlight that is behind 
it,” Sparks explained. “If there is a thin atmosphere around Europa, it has the potential 
to block some of the light of Jupiter, and we could see it as a silhouette. And so we were 
looking for absorption features around the limb of Europa as it transited the smooth 
face of Jupiter.”

 In 10 separate occurrences spanning 15 months, the team observed Europa passing 
in front of Jupiter. They saw what could be plumes erupting on three of these occasions.

 This work provides supporting evidence for water plumes on Europa. In 2012, a team 
led by Lorenz Roth of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, detected 
evidence of water vapor erupting from the frigid south polar region of Europa and 
reaching more than 100 miles into space. Although both teams used Hubble’s Space 
Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) instrument, each used a totally independent 
method to arrive at the same conclusion.

 “When we calculate in a completely different way the amount of material that would 
be needed to create these absorption features, it’s pretty similar to what Roth and his 
team found,” Sparks said. “The estimates for the mass are similar, the estimates for the 
height of the plumes are similar. The latitude of two of the plume candidates we see 
corresponds to their earlier work.”

 If confirmed, Europa would be the second moon in the solar system known to have 
water vapor plumes. In 2005, NASA’s Cassini orbiter detected jets of water vapor and 
dust spewing off the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

 You can contact Bob Eklund at:



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




I am always super sensitive 
about my breath. I try to 
take care of it, but at times, I’m a little bit off 
schedule. I really do not know when my breath 
is really bad.

 For me, I only know my breath is bad when 
the person standing in front of me passes out.

 It is rather embarrassing to have bad breath, 
particularly when you are in the company of 
very sophisticated people. I have bad breath 
all the time because of my great delight in 
eating cheese. The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage warns me all the time that eating 
cheese will create bad breath. I know she is 
right, but cheese is very delicious.

 I was boarding an airplane to travel north 
when the thought struck me that I had eaten a 
block of cheese before I got to the airport. I was 
wondering if my breath smelled bad or not. I 
tried to test it on myself but it never registered 
with my nose.

 I know I have a nose, but my nose does not 
know when to smell anything. The only thing 
my nose does for me is sneeze, particularly 
when I am not prepared. So, I can’t smell 
things the way my wife does. She can smell an 
odor seven days before it is produced!

 How she does that I will never know and at 
my stage in life I am never going to ask her.

 According to her, bad breath is always bad, 
which is why they call it “bad breath.” My 
contention is, bad is a relative thing. One 
person smells one way, another person smells 
the other way and the twain shall never collide. 
What is bad for one person may not be bad for 
another person.

 I have a habit of nibbling on cheese. At times, 
my wife thinks that I am just a mouse. Actually, 
she uses the word “rat,” but that is a different 
story. I just love cheese. When I come home the 
first thing I do is go to the refrigerator, get out 
a block of cheese, slice it, go sit down and enjoy 
nibbling on that cheese never concerned about 
the bad breath it might create.

 My wife is very conscious of this and always 
carries with her a packet of breath mints. 
Whenever she offers me a breath mint, I know 
that she smells my bad breath. I take a breath 
mint just to console her, but it really does not 
make any difference to me.

 My contention is, bad breath isn’t always 
that bad.

 Getting back to my plane ride. As I was 
boarding the plane, I remembered I indulged 
in my slice of cheese. At first, I was a little 
worried because on the plane you almost sit on 
top of one another.

Fortunately, when I got to my row of seats I 
was the first one and so I was able to sit near 
the window. One of the things I enjoy in flying 
is leaning back and resting in the quietness of 
the atmosphere. However, most of the time I 
have somebody seated next to me that does not 
know the meaning of silence.

 As I was getting situated in my seat, 
somebody came and took the seat right next to 
me. Before they could even sit down and buckle 
their seatbelt, their mouth started jabbering. If 
there is anything I do not like it is a mouth that 
jabbers and jabbers without quitting.

 I am quite familiar with the English 
language, but I am always perplexed at how 
somebody can talk without stopping or even 
pausing for a “period.”

 Seated next to me was such a person. From 
the moment he got in, he began talking and for 
the life of me I could never figure out what he 
was talking about. He went from one subject to 
the next subject without even a bridge between 
the two.

 The flight was a 2.-hour flight and I was not 
sure how in the world I was going to endure 
such endless chatter all the way. It’s not so 
much that I mind someone else chattering, it’s 
the fact that while there chattering they never 
give me an opportunity to chatter back.

 While I was sitting there, an idea came to 
mind. I don’t always have good ideas, but I 
think this one was pristine in every sense of the 
word. I began to think of that slice of cheese I 
had nibbled before boarding the airplane. If my 
wife is correct, and she usually is, my breath at 
this time would be dangerously stinky, to use 
her phrase.

 With a smile on my face, I turned to the 
chatterbox and just let out very slowly my 
bad breath in his direction. It must’ve been 
bad because all of a sudden, he stopped and 
he could not breathe. Just to make sure it 
was working, I sent another hot breath in his 
direction. His eyes crossed and he set back and 
looked in the other direction. He had nothing 
more to say.

 I do not think Job had this in mind when he 
wrote, “The spirit of God hath made me, and 
the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” 
(Job 33:4).

 God’s breath is not bad, but it is good to the 
point of giving me his life to live.

 Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he 
lives with his wife. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 
or e-mail His web site is

[Nyerges is the author 
of “Extreme Simplicity,” 
“How to Survive 
Anywhere,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” and other 
books. He also leads field trips. He can be reached 
at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.

 If you live in a desert or semi-desert region, 
you’ve probably looked into some of the methods 
for gardening with less water. If you live in a city, 
nearly everything comes from afar, and too few 
of us have considered how to provide for our own 
food, water, medicine etc. When you learn how 
to provide some of your needs, wherever you’re 
living, you build strength into your family and 

 Look at a map of North America and you’ll 
see that there are many areas where the average 
rainfall is low – mostly the western and southern 
states, as well as many other parts of the world. 
Erratic weather seems to be the rule, and learning 
how to survive in an area with limited water is a 
good long-term skill to develop.

 So how do you continue to grow and produce 
food as the ground and heavens seem ever drier?

 Let’s look at the various aspects of drought-
resistant gardening.



 Water is the key to life. According to health 
authorities, only 20% of the world’s population 
has access to potable tap water.

 And consider: Of the 333 million cubic miles 
of water estimated to be on the planet, 97% of 
that is in the oceans. Two percent is locked in ice. 
About 0.01% of the water is in lakes and rivers, 
and the remaining water is more than a mile 
underground, beyond the reach of conventional 
well drilling.

 One of the biggest uses of water is agriculture, 
and fortunately, most farmers rely on rain water 
for about 85% of their water needs. The rest is 
supplied by wells, dams, aqueducts, etc.

 And yes, rain is important, but consider that 
atany given moment, the amount of rain falling 
on the earth amounts to about 0.001% of the 
world’s water.

 If you’re fortunate to live in an area where 
water is sufficient or abundant, it would still 
behoove you to learn some methods for doing 
more with less. Why? Periods of drought are 
not rare upon the earth, and long periods of 
severe drought have affected vast swaths of land 
throughout recorded history. Those who learned 
to adjust and live with the change, survived. 
Those who did not, or could not, moved on or 
died out.

 So how do you get more use out of limited 
water? There are only a few ways to do this: 

 1) Use your water more than once, and 2) 
collect rain.



 When water is limited, you must find ways 
to do more with less. Here are some examples. 
When you wash your dishes, simply carry the 
dishpan outside and water plants with it.

 In nearly every place I have lived in the past 
40 years, I found ways to disconnect the bathtub 
drain and the kitchen drain and the drain from 
the washing machine, and I directed that water 
out into the yard. If your yard is hilly, this is 
easier, especially if the house is on the upper part 
of the lot. 

 On large properties, you can direct a hose 
from the drain of a washing machine, for 
example, and move the hose around to irrigate 
various trees or garden areas. Obviously, this 
necessitates carefully choosing detergents that 
are not harmful to the soil.

 Don’t underestimate the amount of water 
that can be re-used from the average household. 
Even with a low-flow toilet (or a composting 
toilet), there is a lot of water used to wash clothes, 
take showers and baths, and in the kitchen. An 
average household in the U.S. uses about 80 
gallons daily, give or take some gallons. That’s a 

 If you have a slightly larger area than a 
suburban lot, you should consider the possibility 
of terracing your yard so that rainwater does not 
immediately wash away, and so that there is the 
possibility of rainwater settling in basins, called 
“swales” in today’s jargon.

 Some of the ancient natives of the Southwest, 
and of South America, made dams and canals to 
bring water great distances to their desert homes. 
We still do this today. Los Angeles County is a 
classic example of a desert empire that would not 
exist were it not for the great cement aqueduct that 
brings water from the north hundreds of miles to 
the Los Angeles basin. Water is also diverted from 
the Colorado River to feed the growing demand 
for water in the Los Angeles basin.

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