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This collage of images shows photos of Europa taken during the Galileo mission, including many interesting surface features of this moon.
Click on image for full size
NASA

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 a new surface, rather than being ancient. Instead of craters, there appear to be strange cracks extending for many kilometers over the surface of the moon. Closeup images of the surface suggest that there might be an ocean under the icy surface.

The surface of Europa also shows a form of volcanism found on Earth as well as on icy moons called icy-volcanism. Other features include faulting and changes in the icy crust 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.
Last modified September 18, 2003 by Roberta Johnson.

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