This collage shows images obtained of Europa during the Galileo mission, including many interesting surface features of this moon.
Click on image for full size
Surface of Europa
The picture to the left shows examples of the many amazing different surface features of Europa.
Many exciting discoveries were made about Europa during the Galileo mission
. The surface of Europa is unusual, even for an icy moon. It appears that the surface has been newly re-surfaced, rather than being ancient. Instead of craters, there appear to be unusual cracks extending for many kilometers over the entire surface. Startling new closeup images from the Galileo spacecraft reveal a surface that suggests the presence of a submerged ocean
Besides evidence for an ocean, the surface of Europa also presents evidence for a form of volcanism found on Earth as well as on icy moons called cryo-volcanism
. This kind of geology includes faulting and crustal deformation common to environments where volcanism is found. The surface also shows evidence of new molecules
that form because of radiation
in the environment!
All this evidence for geologic activity points to the presence of active heating in the interior of Europa.
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