Shop Windows to the Universe

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!, by the National Research Council, focuses on K-8 science classsrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store, as well as classroom materials.

Exploratour: NASA's Exploration for Life

The surface of Jupiter's moon Europa
Click on image for full size

The evidence can be consolidated into 4 pieces. Many of these pieces come from study of the Conamara Chaos region. This region is characterized by a thin disrupted ice crust that suggests shifting ice plates much like those found in the Earth's arctic landscapes.
  • Lack of craters on the surface
    • surface is 10 MY or younger?
    • Analysis of the cracks implies a layer of brittle ice, less than 1 km thick above the supposed ocean
  • Lots of pits, moats, and domes
    • these are holes that were formed locally where the ice has collapsed due to internal geologic activity.
    • that activity may be subsurface convection
    • if convection is determined to be the process creating the pits, moats, and domes, then the possibility of a water ocean is more unlikely, or perhaps it exists at lower depths
    • the speed at which the convecting ice might move is difficult to determine from the flyby pictures
  • water has reached surface to form once-again-frozen "ponds"
    • there are many examples of "puddle-like" flow
  • Magnetometer detected near surface currents
    • implies the presence of convecting/circulating currents in a salty ocean
      • what is needed to form a magnetic field?
      • electric currents, => electrically conducting material in motion
      • electrically conducting materials include:
        • iron (iron core of a planet)
        • salt water

To read more this subject, you may leave the tour and read our section on the recent findings about this moon, or take the Exploratour on the question Does Europa have an Ocean?

This is page 15 of 20

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Even though the sleeping man is no longer on the bed, you can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

All warm objects (not just people) radiate in the infrared. Warmer objects give off more infrared radiation. Very hot objects radiate other types of light in addition to infrared. Click on the picture...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Your eye is a wonderful detector of visible light. Different frequencies of light produce different sensations in the eye which we interpret as colors. Our eyes detect light by using light sensitive components...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Imagine you found a pair of special glasses that not only gave you telescopic vision but gave you the ability to see all forms of radiant energy. The universe in visible light contains all the familiar...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a volcano on the island of Miyake in Japan. It has erupted, sending hot lava and ash into the air, a total of ten times. The time after one eruption until the next occurred was about twenty years...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a picture of a galaxy in visible light. A galaxy is a large number of stars, some like our sun, some bigger, some smaller and all moving together through space. This galaxy is called Centaurus...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a plant in Gary, Indiana where power is made. We use power to run things like television sets, radios, lights, and microwave ovens. The picture looks very strange because it was taken in infrared....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA