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Galileo Finds Veritable Chemical Factory On Europa
News story originally written on March 29, 1999

Scientists have recently discovered hydrogen peroxide on Europa, adding a new chemical to the list which already includes sulfur dioxide, water ice, carbon dioxide, and possibly salt molecules containing water.

"We expect to find more bizarre materials on Europa, because it's constantly bombarded by Jupiter's intense particle radiation environment," said Dr. Robert Carlson, principal investigator for Galileo's near-infrared mapping spectrometer.

Hydrogen peroxide is a reactive chemical that isn't found naturally on the Earth's surface. Although they are continually being formed, the individual H2O2 molecules only last for a matter of weeks on Europa before they break down.

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