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This image shows features on Europa that look like ice rafting on Earth. Taken by the Galileo spacecraft.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA

Ice Rafting on Europa?

The surface of Europa shows many signs of that there may be an ocean under the icy surface. For example, this picture shows what look like icebergs on Europa. Some look like they broke off a larger block of ice, floated a bit, and then frozen again into a new position. Geologists believe this shows there is a watery layer underneath the ice. We sometimes see similar ice 'rafts' on Earth, too!

Other signs of an ocean under the icy surface Europa include:

* flooded terrain

* 'freckles'

* 'mushy' craters, and

* areas of spreading.
Last modified September 19, 2003 by Roberta Johnson.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF