Subsurface ocean

Subsurface ocean - Subsurface ocean Most planetary...

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Subsurface ocean Most planetary scientists believe that a layer of liquid water exists beneath Europa's surface, kept warm by tidally generated heat. [46] The heating by radioactive decay, which is almost the same as in Earth (per kg of rock), cannot provide necessary heating in Europa because the volume-to- surface ratio is much lower due to the moon's smaller size. Europa's surface temperature averages about 110 K (−160 °C ; −260 °F ) at the equator and only 50 K (−220 °C; −370 °F) at the poles, keeping Europa's icy crust as hard as granite. [9] The first hints of a subsurface ocean came from theoretical considerations of tidal heating (a consequence of Europa's slightly eccentric orbit and orbital resonance with the other Galilean moons). Galileo imaging team members argue for the existence of a subsurface ocean from analysis of Voyager and Galileo images. [46] The most dramatic example is " chaos terrain ", a common feature on Europa's surface that some interpret as a region where the subsurface ocean has melted through the icy crust. This interpretation is extremely controversial. Most geologists who have studied Europa favor what is commonly
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Subsurface ocean - Subsurface ocean Most planetary...

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