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This is a drawing of the interior of Europa.
Click on image for full size

Interior of Europa

The diagram shows possibilities for the interior structure of Europa. There is a core of rocky material buried inside, overlain with ice of various phases.

The diagram shows that there may be an ocean of water beneath the surface crust of ice on Europa. This is because the temperature inside Europa may be just right for water.

The lack of craters on the surface of Europa provides evidence that activity which resurfaced Europa persisted for far longer than activity which changed the surface of Ganymede. Fresh ice, as well as evidence of flowing liquid cover the surface of Europa.

If the temperature inside Europa is just right, then there might still be water inside. Such an environment might prove to be habitable for life.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA