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Europaasubsurfaceocean

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Unformatted text preview: le. When viewed in the thermal IR, Io’s surface reveals several active hot spots. They are sites of ongoing activity. Io: Volcanic Activity Io: Volcanic Activity Io has lakes of molten sulfur, plumes of SO2, and low viscosity basaltic lavas Virtually all H2O has been “boiled” off. Volcanic calderas are several km deep. Mountains are not volcanoes. Europa Europa: Flatland Europa is the second Galilean Satellite outward from Jupiter (after Io). On a global scale, Europa’s surface is extremely smooth and flat. Europa has varied surface textures all consistent with a fractured icy crust. Europa: Ice Rafting Tectonics Europa: Ice Rafting Tectonics Europa’s surface patterns were likely formed by multiple episodes of a floating ice crust splitting, colliding, grinding, and rewelding over an “ocean” of fluid material, liquid H2O? Europa: Refrozen Ice Rafts Image showing ~100 km strip of Europa’s surface, acquired by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. Europa: A Subsurface Ocean ? Beneath Europa’s icy crust, there may be an ocean of liquid water or slush. Europa: Is there Life? Two key lines of evidence make Europa a possible habitat for Life: 1) Morphologic + Theoretical evidence for sustained presence of liquid H2O. 2) Spectral evidence for the presence of reddish, possibly organic­rich, salts. Ganymede Ganymede: Craters & Tectonics Ganymede: Craters & Tectonics Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System. Larger than Mercury! Surface was shaped by impact cratering and some form of tectonic activity. Ganymede: Ancient & You...
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