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When viewed in
the thermal IR,
active hot spots.
They are sites of
ongoing activity. Io: Volcanic Activity
Io: Volcanic Activity
Io has lakes
of SO2, and
H2O has been
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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- Spring '11
- Solar System, Orbital resonance, asteroid belt