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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 a submerged ocean. For example, this picture shows what look like icebergs that may have broken off from a parent block of ice, floated a bit, and then frozen into a new position that was slightly rotated from their original position. Geologists believe this evidence is a dead give-away of a watery layer underneath the ice. This resembles a process that happens with ice on top of water on Earth called 'rafting'.

Other signs of a submerged ocean on Europa include:

* flooded terrain

* 'freckles'

* 'mushy' craters, and

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

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