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  1. Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This image of Jupiter's icy moon Europa, the first Europa image returned by New Horizons, was taken with the spacecraft's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera at 07:19 Universal Time on February 27, from a range of 3.1 million kilometers (1.9 million miles). The longitude of the disk center is 307 degrees West and the image scale is 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel. This is one of a series of images designed to look for landforms near Europa's terminator -- the line dividing day and night -- where low Sun angles highlight subtle topographic features.

    Europa's fractured icy surface is thought to overlie an ocean about 100 kilometers (60 miles) below the surface, and the New Horizons team will be analyzing these images for clues about the nature of the icy crust and the forces that have deformed it. Europa is about the size of Earth's moon, with a diameter of 3,130 kilometers (1.945 miles).

    This is one of a handful of images of the Jupiter system already returned by New Horizons during its close approach to Jupiter. Most of the data being gathered by the spacecraft are stored onboard and will be downlinked to Earth during March and April 2007.

  2. Europa: Processes and Habitability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pappalardo, Robert T.

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the known and possible geologic processes of Europa. It shows slides of Europa, with different terrains (ridged plains and molten plains), and a possible view of the interior. Europa's eccentric orbit is reviewed. The presentation also reviews Europa's composition. The possible reasons for Europa's geology are reviewed. Also the possiblity that life exists on Europa is raised. The planned Europa Geophysical Explorer mission is also reviewed.

  3. Modeling Europa's dust plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southworth, B. S.; Kempf, S.; Schmidt, J.

    2015-12-01

    The discovery of Jupiter's moon Europa maintaining a probably sporadic water vapor plume constitutes a huge scientific opportunity for NASA's upcoming mission to this Galilean moon. Measuring properties of material emerging from interior sources offers a unique chance to understand conditions at Europa's subsurface ocean. Exploiting results obtained for the Enceladus plume, we simulate possible Europa plume configurations, analyze particle number density and surface deposition results, and estimate the expected flux of ice grains on a spacecraft. Due to Europa's high escape speed, observing an active plume will require low-altitude flybys, preferably at altitudes of 5-100 km. At higher altitudes a plume may escape detection. Our simulations provide an extensive library documenting the possible structure of Europa dust plumes, which can be quickly refined as more data on Europa dust plumes are collected.

  4. Europa Tide Movie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for Europa Tide Movie

    In this movie Europa is seen in a cutaway view through two cycles of its 3.5 day orbit about the giant planet Jupiter. Like Earth, Europa is thought to have an iron core, a rocky mantle and a surface ocean of salty water. Unlike on Earth, however, this ocean is deep enough to cover the whole moon, and being far from the sun, the ocean surface is globally frozen over. Europa's orbit is eccentric, which means as it travels around Jupiter, large tides, raised by Jupiter, rise and fall. Jupiter's position relative to Europa is also seen to librate, or wobble, with the same period. This tidal kneading causes frictional heating within Europa, much in the same way a paper clip bent back and forth can get hot to the touch, as illustrated by the red glow in the interior of Europa's rocky mantle and in the lower, warmer part of its ice shell. This tidal heating is what keeps Europa's ocean liquid and could prove critical to the survival of simple organisms within the ocean, if they exist.

  5. Geology of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; Chyba, C.; Head, J. W.; McCord, T.; McKinnon, W. B.; Pappalardo, R. T.

    2004-01-01

    Europa is a rocky object of radius 1565 km (slightly smaller than Earth s moon) and has an outer shell of water composition estimated to be of order 100 km thick, the surface of which is frozen. The total volume of water is about 3 x 10(exp 9) cubic kilometers, or twice the amount of water on Earth. Moreover, like its neighbor Io, Europa experiences internal heating generated from tidal flexing during its eccentric orbit around Jupiter. This raises the possibility that some of the water beneath the icy crust is liquid. The proportion of rock to ice, the generation of internal heat, and the possibility of liquid water make Europa unique in the Solar System. In this chapter, we outline the sources of data available for Europa (with a focus on the Galileo mission), review previous and on-going research on its surface geology, discuss the astrobiological potential of Europa, and consider plans for future exploration.

  6. REASON for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussessian, A.; Blankenship, D. D.; Plaut, J. J.; Patterson, G. W.; Gim, Y.; Schroeder, D. M.; Soderlund, K. M.; Grima, C.; Young, D. A.; Chapin, E.

    2015-12-01

    The science goal of the Europa multiple flyby mission is to "explore Europa to investigate its habitability". One of the primary instruments selected for the scientific payload is a multi-frequency, multi-channel ice penetrating radar system. This "Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON)" would revolutionize our understanding of Europa's ice shell by providing the first direct measurements of its surface character and subsurface structure. REASON addresses key questions regarding Europa's habitability, including the existence of any liquid water, through the innovative use of radar sounding, altimetry, reflectometry, and plasma/particles analyses. These investigations require a dual-frequency radar (HF and VHF frequencies) instrument with concurrent shallow and deep sounding that is designed for performance robustness in the challenging environment of Europa. The flyby-centric mission configuration is an opportunity to collect and transmit minimally processed data back to Earth and exploit advanced processing approaches developed for terrestrial airborne data sets. The observation and characterization of subsurface features beneath Europa's chaotic surface require discriminating abundant surface clutter from a relatively weak subsurface signal. Finally, the mission plan also includes using REASON as a nadir altimeter capable of measuring tides to test ice shell and ocean hypotheses as well as characterizing roughness across the surface statistically to identify potential follow-on landing sites. We will present a variety of measurement concepts for addressing these challenges.

  7. Interior of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Cutaway view of the possible internal structure of Europa The surface of the satellite is a mosaic of images obtained in 1979 by NASA's Voyager spacecraft. The interior characteristics are inferred from gravity field and magnetic field measurements by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. Europa's radius is 1565 km, not too much smaller than our Moon's radius. Europa has a metallic (iron, nickel) core (shown in gray) drawn to the correct relative size. The core is surrounded by a rock shell (shown in brown). The rock layer of Europa (drawn to correct relative scale) is in turn surrounded by a shell of water in ice or liquid form (shown in blue and white and drawn to the correct relative scale). The surface layer of Europa is shown as white to indicate that it may differ from the underlying layers. Galileo images of Europa suggest that a liquid water ocean might now underlie a surface ice layer several to ten kilometers thick. However, this evidence is also consistent with the existence of a liquid water ocean in the past. It is not certain if there is a liquid water ocean on Europa at present.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  8. Modeling Europa's Dust Plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southworth, B.; Kempf, S.; Schmidt, J.

    2015-12-01

    The discovery of Europa maintaining a probably sporadic water vapor plume constitutes a huge scientific opportunity for NASA's upcoming mission to this Galilean moon. Measuring the properties of material emerging from interior sources offers a unique chance to understand conditions at Europa's subsurface ocean. Exploiting results obtained for the Enceladus plume, we adjust the ejection model by Schmidt et al. [2008] to the conditions at Europa. In this way, we estimate properties of a possible, yet unobserved dust component of the Europa plume. For a size-dependent speed distribution of emerging ice particles we use the model from Kempf et al. [2010] for grain dynamics, modified to run simulations of plumes on Europa. Specifically, we model emission from the two plume locations determined from observations by Roth et al. [2014] and also from other locations chosen at the closest approach of low-altitude flybys investigated in the Europa Clipper study. This allows us to estimate expected fluxes of ice grains on the spacecraft. We then explore the parameter space of Europa dust plumes with regard to particle speed distribution parameters, plume location, and spacecraft flyby elevation. Each parameter set results in a 3-dimensional particle density structure through which we simulate flybys, and a map of particle fallback ('snowfall') on the surface of Europa. Due to the moon's high escape speed, a Europa plume will eject few to no particles that can escape its gravity, which has several further consequences: (i) For given ejection velocity a Europa plume will have a smaller scale height, with a higher particle number densities than the plume on Enceladus, (ii) plume particles will not feed the diffuse Galilean dust ring, (iii) the snowfall pattern on the surface will be more localized about the plume location, and will not induce a global m = 2 pattern as seen on Enceladus, and (iv) safely observing an active plume will require low altitude flybys, preferably at 50

  9. Europa's petrological thermal history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ransford, G. A.; Finnerty, A. A.; Collerson, K. D.

    1981-01-01

    A path of geophysical development which takes into account the petrological sequence is presented to describe the thermal evolution of Europa. On the basis of considerations of the likely temperature-pressure conditions in the Europa zone of the circumjovian nebula during the condensation of the satellite on the one hand and of the early thermal evolution on the other, it is argued that most of the water of Europa can be in the form of hydrated silicates in a thick convective boundary layer or throughout the body of the satellite. Such silicates would include the minerals chlorite and/or serpentine, and brucite, and could be maintained in hydrated states by solid state convection within the body. The model predicts that the ice layer on the surface of Europa is considerably thinner than the 150 km that had been estimated before the Voyager mission.

  10. Seeking Europa's Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert T.

    2010-01-01

    Galileo spacecraft data suggest that a global ocean exists beneath the frozen ice surface Jupiter's moon Europa. Since the early 1970s, planetary scientists have used theoretical and observational arguments to deliberate the existence of an ocean within Europa and other large icy satellites. Galileo magnetometry data indicates an induced magnetic field at Europa, implying a salt water ocean. A paucity of large craters argues for a surface on average only ~40-90 Myr old. Two multi-ring structures suggest that impacts punched through an ice shell ~20 km thick. Europa's ocean and surface are inherently linked through tidal deformation of the floating ice shell, and tidal flexing and nonsynchronous rotation generate stresses that fracture and deform the surface to create ridges and bands. Dark spots, domes, and chaos terrain are probably related to tidally driven ice convection along with partial melting within the ice shell. Europa's geological activity and probable mantle contact permit the chemical ingredients necessary for life to be present within the satellite's ocean. Astonishing geology and high astrobiological potential make Europa a top priority for future spacecraft exploration, with a primary goal of assessing its habitability.

  11. Sulfuric Acid on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Frozen sulfuric acid on Jupiter's moon Europa is depicted in this image produced from data gathered by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. The brightest areas, where the yellow is most intense, represent regions of high frozen sulfuric acid concentration. Sulfuric acid is found in battery acid and in Earth's acid rain.

    This image is based on data gathered by Galileo's near infrared mapping spectrometer.

    Europa's leading hemisphere is toward the bottom right, and there are enhanced concentrations of sulfuric acid in the trailing side of Europa (the upper left side of the image). This is the face of Europa that is struck by sulfur ions coming from Jupiter's innermost moon, Io. The long, narrow features that crisscross Europa also show sulfuric acid that may be from sulfurous material extruded in cracks.

    Galileo, launched in 1989, has been orbiting Jupiter and its moons since December 1995. JPL manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington DC. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.

  12. Ruddy 'Freckles' on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Reddish spots and shallow pits pepper the enigmatic ridged surface of Europa in this view combining information from images taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft during two different orbits around Jupiter.

    The spots and pits visible in this region of Europa's northern hemisphere are each about 10 kilometers (6 miles) across. The dark spots are called 'lenticulae,' the Latin term for freckles. Their similar sizes and spacing suggest that Europa's icy shell may be churning away like a lava lamp, with warmer ice moving upward from the bottom of the ice shell while colder ice near the surface sinks downward. Other evidence has shown that Europa likely has a deep melted ocean under its icy shell. Ruddy ice erupting onto the surface to form the lenticulae may hold clues to the composition of the ocean and to whether it could support life.

    The image combines higher-resolution information obtained when Galileo flew near Europa on May 31, 1998, during the spacecraft's 15th orbit of Jupiter, with lower-resolution color information obtained on June 28, 1996, during Galileo's first orbit.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Additional information about Galileo and its discoveries is available on the Galileo mission home page at http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov .

  13. Macula on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image of Europa, an icy satellite of Jupiter about the size of the Earth's Moon, was obtained from a range of 7415 miles (11933 kilometers) by the Galileo spacecraft during its fourth orbit around Jupiter and its first close pass of Europa. The image spans 30 miles by 57 miles (48 km by 91 km) and shows features as small as 800 feet (240 meters) across. The large circular feature centered in the upper middle of the image is called a macula, and could be the scar of a large meteorite impact. The surface of Europa is composed mostly of water ice, so large impact craters on Europa could look different from large bowl-shaped depressions formed by impact into rock, such as on the Moon. On Europa's icy surface, the original impact crater has been modified into a central zone of rugged topography surrounded by circular fractures which reflect adjustments to stress in the surrounding icy crust.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the Galileo mission home page on the World Wide Web at http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  14. Daytime Temperatures on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This infrared image of Europa, showing heat radiation from its surface at a wavelength of 27 microns (millionths of a meter), provides the best view yet of Europa's daytime temperatures. Temperatures, derived from the brightness of the infrared radiation, can be determined from the colors by reference to the scale at the bottom of the image.

    The image, taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, shows the full disk of Europa, highly distorted by the relative motion of Europa and the spacecraft, centered on longitude 190 degrees, with north at the top. The data show that midday temperatures at Europa's equator reach about 130 degrees Kelvin (-225 F). The surface is even colder toward the poles and before or after midday. Small patches of different colors on Europa's disk show regions that are warmer or cooler than their immediate surroundings: the warm patches are generally relatively dark, and thus absorb more sunlight, than neighboring regions, while the cool patches are relatively bright. In the lower left corner, heat radiation from Jupiter itself, appearing orange-red in this representation, can be seen peeking out from behind Europa's disk.

    The image was taken with Galileo's PPR (Photopolarimeter-Radiometer) instrument on the spacecraft's seventh orbit around Jupiter, from a range of about 65,000 kilometers (40,389 miles). Surface temperatures derived from the strength of infrared radiation, as was done here, are called 'brightness temperatures', and may be slightly in error.

    The PPR instrument builds up an image by slowly scanning across the target over a period of up to one hour. The motion of Galileo relative to Europa during this time causes distortions in the satellite shape on the image, which therefore does not appear circular. The small overlapping circles that make up the image show the size of the area, about 160 kilometers (99 miles) across, covered by each individual PPR measurement. Blue spots in the dark sky in the right-hand portion of the

  15. REASON for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, Gerald Wesley; Blankenship, Don; Moussessian, Alina; Plaut, Jeffrey; Gim, Yonggyu; Schroeder, Dustin; Soderlund, Krista; Grima, Cyril; Chapin, Elaine

    2015-11-01

    The science goal of the Europa multiple flyby mission is to “explore Europa to investigate its habitability”. One of the primary instruments selected for the scientific payload is a multi-frequency, multi-channel ice penetrating radar system. This “Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON)” would revolutionize our understanding of Europa’s ice shell by providing the first direct measurements of its surface character and subsurface structure. REASON will address key questions regarding Europa’s habitability, including the existence of any liquid water, through the innovative use of radar sounding, altimetry, reflectometry, and plasma/particles analyses. These investigations require a dual-frequency radar (HF and VHF frequencies) instrument with simultaneous shallow and deep sounding that is designed for performance robustness in the challenging environment of Europa. The flyby-centric mission configuration is an opportunity to collect and transmit minimally processed data back to Earth and exploit advanced processing approaches developed for terrestrial airborne data sets. The observation and characterization of subsurface features beneath Europa’s chaotic surface requires discriminating abundant surface clutter from a relatively weak subsurface signal. Finally, the mission plan also includes using REASON as a nadir altimeter capable of measuring tides to test ice shell and ocean hypotheses as well as characterizing roughness across the surface statistically to identify potential follow-on landing sites. We will present a variety of measurement concepts for addressing these challenges.

  16. Europa's Great Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, B. E.; Blankenship, D. D.; Patterson, G. W.; Schenk, P. M.

    2012-04-01

    Unique to the surface of Europa, chaos terrain is diagnostic of the properties and dynamics of its icy shell. While models have suggested that partial melt within a thick shell or melt-through of a thin shell may form chaos, neither model has been able to definitively explain all observations of chaos terrain. However, we present a new model that suggests large melt lenses form within the shell and that water-ice interactions above and within these lenses drive the production of chaos. Our analysis of the geomorphology of Conamara Chaos and Thera Macula, was used to infer and test a four-stage lens-collapse chaos formation model: 1) Thermal plumes of warm, pure ice ascend through the shell melting the impure brittle ice above, producing a lake of briny water and surface down draw due to volume reduction. 2) Surface deflection and driving force from the plume below hydraulically seals the water in place. 3) Extension of the brittle ice lid generates fractures from below, allowing brines to enter and fluidize the ice matrix. 4) As the lens and now brash matrix refreeze, thermal expansion creates domes and raises the chaos feature above the background terrain. This new "lense-collapse" model indicates that chaos features form in the presence of a great deal of liquid water, and that large liquid water bodies exist within 3km of Europa's surface comparable in volume to the North American Great Lakes. The detection of shallow subsurface "lakes" implies that the ice shell is recycling rapidly and that Europa may be currently active. In this presentation, we will explore environments on Europa and their analogs on Earth, from collapsing Antarctic ice shelves to to subglacial volcanos in Iceland. I will present these new analyses, and describe how this new perspective informs the debate about Europa's habitability and future exploration.

  17. Investigation of Europa's Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wurz, Peter; Vorburger, Audrey; Galli, André; Mousis, Olivier; Lammer, Helmut; Barabash, Stas

    2014-05-01

    The European Space Agency has selected the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission to fly to the Jupiter system and visit the moons Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. One of the selected scientific instruments is the Particle Environment Package (PEP) that includes a Neutral gas and Ion mass spectrometer (NIM). NIM will measure the composition of the exospheres of these three moons during flybys and in orbit of Ganymede. Since all these exospheres are in direct contact with the surface of the respective moon, the chemical composition of the surface can be inferred from of the exospheric measurements. Knowing the chemical composition of the surface, and accounting for radiation induced chemistry at and near the surface, one can compare with models of the formation of these icy satellites from the proto-planetary disk from which Jupiter and the icy moons formed. In addition, if the JUICE flyby trajectory allows sampling the recently discovered plume on Europa with NIM we can measure the composition of Europa's ocean, which again can be compared to formation models, which would provide strong constraints on its formation conditions. We will present Monte Carlo calculations of Europa's exosphere including all relevant processes to release particles into the exosphere, which are sublimation, sputtering, and the plume release. For the surface composition we compiled composition data from existing spectroscopic observations and from formation models. We derive density profiles for different scenarios (e.g. day / night, in co-rotation flow, ...), and make predictions on the expected NIM measurements for the planned Europa flyby trajectories of JUICE

  18. Return to Europa: Overview of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, K.; Tan-Wang, G.; Boldt, J.; Greeley, R.; Jun, I.; Lock, R.; Ludwinski, J.; Pappalardo, R.; Van Houten, T.; Yan, T.

    2009-01-01

    Missions to explore Europa have been imagined ever since the Voyager mission first suggested that Europa was geologically very young. Subsequently, Galileo supplied fascinating new insights into that satellite's secrets. The Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) would be the NASA-led portion of the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), an international mission with orbiters developed by NASA, ESA and possibly JAXA. JEO would address a very important subset of the complete EJSM science objectives and is designed to function alone or in conjunction with ESA's Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO).

  19. Voyager photometry of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buratti, B.; Veverka, J.

    1983-01-01

    The photometric properties of Europa are derived through an analysis of 90 Voyager images with 3-143 deg phase angles in the spectral range from 0.34 to 0.58 microns. It is noted that, at small phase angles, the disk-integrated phase curve shows almost no evidence of an opposition effect. The scattering properties of Europa in general, and of the bright plain and dark mottled terrain types, cannot be represented by a lunar-like photometric law, although an equation which is a linear superposition of a lunar-like scattering law and a Lambert component provides an adequate and simple representation of scattering properties. The plains are photometrically more homogeneous than the mottled terrain, and these two terrain types exhibit an average normal reflectance of 0.71 on both leading and trailing hemispheres and of 0.60 on leading and 0.48 on trailing hemispheres, respectively.

  20. Europa Triple Band

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This picture of Europa, a moon of Jupiter, was obtained on February 20, 1997, by the Solid State Imaging system onboard the Galileo spacecraft during its sixth orbit around Jupiter. The area is centered at 9.3 degrees north latitude, 275.7 degrees west longitude, on the trailing hemisphere of Europa. As Europa moves in its orbit around Jupiter, the trailing hemisphere is the portion which is always on the moon's backside opposite to its direction of motion. The area depicted is about 32 kilometers by 40 kilometers (20 miles by 25 miles). Resolution is 54 meters (59 yards). The Sun illuminates the scene from the right (east).

    A section of a triple band crosses the upper left of the picture and extends for hundreds of miles across the surface. Triple bands derive their name from their appearance at lower resolution as a narrow bright band flanked by a pair of darker bands. At the high resolution of this picture, however, the triple band is much more complex and is composed of a system of ridges 6 kilometers (4 miles) across. Some ridges reach heights of about 180 meters (200 yards). Other features include a hill in the center of the picture about 480 meters (500 yards) high. Two mounds about 6 kilometers across (4 miles) are seen in the bottom of the picture. The ridges, hills and mounds probably all represent uplifts of the icy crust of Europa by processes originating from the interior.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington D.C. This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web Galileo mission home page at: http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov.

  1. Europa Ice Floes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa, as seen in this image taken June 27, 1996 by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, displays features in some areas resembling ice floes seen in Earth's polar seas. Europa, about the size of Earth's moon, has an icy crust that has been severely fractured, as indicated by the dark linear, curved, and wedged-shaped bands seen here. These fractures have broken the crust into plates as large as 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) across. Areas between the plates are filled with material that was probably icy slush contaminated with rocky debris. Some individual plates were separated and rotated into new positions. Europa's density indicates that it has a shell of water ice thicker than 100 kilometers (about 60 miles), parts of which could be liquid. Currently, water ice could extend from the surface down to the rocky interior, but the features seen in this image suggest that motion of the disrupted icy plates was lubricated by soft ice or liquid water below the surface at the time of disruption. This image covers part of the equatorial zone of Europa and was taken from a distance of 156,000 kilometers (about 96,300 miles) by the Solid-state Imaging Subsystem on the Galileo spacecraft. North is to the right and the sun is nearly directly overhead. The area shown is about 510 by 989 kilometers (310-by-600 miles), and the smallest visible feature is about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) across.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web Galileo mission home page at http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at http:// www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo.

  2. Europa's Broken Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa, as seen in this image taken June 27, 1996 by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, displays features in some areas resembling ice floes seen in Earth's polar seas. Europa, about the size of Earth's moon, has an icy crust that has been severely fractured, as indicated by the dark linear, curved, and wedged-shaped bands seen here. These fractures have broken the crust into plates as large as 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) across. Areas between the plates are filled with material that was probably icy slush contaminated with rocky debris. Some individual plates were separated and rotated into new positions. Europa's density indicates that it has a shell of water ice as thick as 100 kilometers (about 60 miles), parts of which could be liquid. Currently, water ice could extend from the surface down to the rocky interior, but the features seen in this image suggest that motion of the disrupted icy plates was lubricated by soft ice or liquid water below the surface at the time of disruption. This image covers part of the equatorial zone of Europa and was taken from a distance of 156,000 kilometers (about 96,300 miles) by the solid-state imager camera on the Galileo spacecraft. North is to the right and the sun is nearly directly overhead. The area shown is about 360 by 770 kilometers (220-by-475 miles or about the size of Nebraska), and the smallest visible feature is about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) across. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science.

  3. Pwyll Crater on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This enhanced color image of the region surrounding the young impact crater Pwyll on Jupiter's moon Europa was produced by combining low resolution color data with a higher resolution mosaic of images obtained on December 19, 1996 by the Solid State Imaging (CCD) system aboard NASA's Galileo spacecraft. This region is on the trailing hemisphere of the satellite, centered at 11 degrees South and 276 degrees West, and is about 1240 kilometers across. North is toward the top of the image, and the sun illuminates the surface from the east.

    The 26 kilometer diameter impact crater Pwyll, just below the center of the image, is thought to be one of the youngest features on the surface of Europa. The diameter of the central dark spot, ejecta blasted from beneath Europa's surface, is approximately 40 kilometers, and bright white rays extend for over a thousand kilometers in all directions from the impact site. These rays cross over many different terrain types, indicating that they are younger than anything they cross. Their bright white color may indicate that they are composed of fresh, fine water ice particles, as opposed to the blue and brown tints of older materials elsewhere in the image.

    Also visible in this image are a number of the dark lineaments which are called 'triple bands' because they have a bright central stripe surrounded by darker material. Scientists can use the order in which these bands cross each other to determine their relative ages, as they attempt to reconstruct the geologic history of Europa.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  4. Europa's Active Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    A newly discovered impact crater can be seen just right of the center of this image of Jupiter's moon Europa returned by NASA's Galileo spacecraft camera. The crater is about 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) in diameter. The impact excavated into Europa's icy crust, throwing debris (seen as whitish material) across the surrounding terrain. Also visible is a dark band, named Belus Linea, extending east-west across the image. This type of feature, which scientists call a 'triple band,' is characterized by a bright stripe down the middle. The outer margins of this and other triple bands are diffuse, suggesting that the dark material was put there as a result of possible geyser-like activity which shot gas and rocky debris from Europa's interior. The curving 'X' pattern seen in the lower left corner of the image appears to represent fracturing of the icy crust and infilling by slush which froze in place. The crater is centered at about 2 degrees north latitude by 239 degrees west longitude. The image was taken from a distance of 156,000 kilometers (about 96,300 miles) on June 27, 1996, during Galileo's first orbit around Jupiter. The area shown is 860 by 700 kilometers (530 by 430 miles), or about the size of Oregon and Washington combined. The Galileo mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  5. The Europa Ocean Discovery mission

    SciTech Connect

    Edwards, B.C.; Chyba, C.F.; Abshire, J.B.

    1997-06-01

    Since it was first proposed that tidal heating of Europa by Jupiter might lead to liquid water oceans below Europa`s ice cover, there has been speculation over the possible exobiological implications of such an ocean. Liquid water is the essential ingredient for life as it is known, and the existence of a second water ocean in the Solar System would be of paramount importance for seeking the origin and existence of life beyond Earth. The authors present here a Discovery-class mission concept (Europa Ocean Discovery) to determine the existence of a liquid water ocean on Europa and to characterize Europa`s surface structure. The technical goal of the Europa Ocean Discovery mission is to study Europa with an orbiting spacecraft. This goal is challenging but entirely feasible within the Discovery envelope. There are four key challenges: entering Europan orbit, generating power, surviving long enough in the radiation environment to return valuable science, and complete the mission within the Discovery program`s launch vehicle and budget constraints. The authors will present here a viable mission that meets these challenges.

  6. Habitability Of Europa's Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, R.; Tufts, B. R.; Geissler, P.; Hoppa, G.

    Physical characterization of Europa's crust shows it to be rich in potentially habitable niches, with several timescales for change that would allow stability for organisms to prosper and still require and drive evolution and adaptation. Studies of tectonics on Europa indicate that tidal stress causes much of the surface cracking, that cracks pen- etrate through to liquid water (so the ice must be thin), and that cracks continue to be worked by tidal stress. Thus a global ocean is (or was until recently) well linked to the surface. Daily tidal flow (period~days) transports substances up and down through the active cracks, mixing surface oxidants and fuels (cometary material) with the oceanic reservoir of endogenic and exogenic substances. Organisms moving with the flow or anchored to the walls could exploit the disequilibrium chemistry, and those within a few meters of the surface could photosynthesize. Cracks remain active for at least ~10,000 yr, but deactivate as nonsynchronous rotation moves them to different stress regimes in less than a million yr. Thus, to survive, organisms squeezed into the ocean must migrate to new cracks, and those frozen in place must hibernate. Most sites remelt and would release captive organisms within about a million yr based on the prevalence of chaotic terrain, which covers nearly half of Europa. Linkage of the ocean to the surface also could help sustain life in the ocean by delivering oxidants and fuels. Suboceanic volcanism (if any) could provide additional sites and support for life, but is not necessary. Recent results support this model. We further constrain the non-synchronous rotation rate, demonstrate the plausibility of episodic melt-through, show that characteristics of pits and uplift features do not imply thick ice, and demonstrate polar wander, i.e. that the ice crust is detached from the solid interior and has slipped as a unit relative to the spin axis. Thus Europa's biosphere (habitable if not inhabited) likely

  7. Mars, Europa and beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rummel, J. D.

    2004-07-01

    The two other solar system bodies thought to be most compatible with "life as we know it" are the planet Mars and Europa, a natural satellite of the planet Jupiter. These worlds appear to harbor the potential for past and/or present-day liquid water, biologically useful energy sources, and a significant and rich organic chemistry. Such traits are under active investigation both through ongoing, targeted, solar system exploration missions and from the extensive analysis of data from previous missions and astronomical observations. And both bodies are the subject of astrobiologically inspired future missions. The nature of both Mars and Europa fuels speculation about the prospects for life, and the established facts about each of them, added to more recent observations, can explain their astrobiological interest. Nonetheless, such data can only form a circumstantial case for that interest, and further investigations of water (in all of its forms), energy, and organic chemistry are sure to be required before astrobiological investigations can be further targeted-and data from any biological observations can be properly interpreted. Most important will be a dedication to understanding both Mars and Europa for the environments that they possess-and the nature and distribution of those environments in space and time-rather than trying to understand these worlds by simple analogy to the modern Earth. It is clear that both Mars and Europa have characteristics that may be similar to those of Earth when studied over its entire history, but it is equally true that each of them have characteristics that are unlike anything presented by the Earth system at any single time in its past. The same can be said of Saturn's moon, Titan, which presents a compelling mix of organic chemistry, water ice, and atmosphere-but must represent a significant departure from any historical Earth. This is not necessarily a disadvantage. In fact, through the study of Mars, Europa, and Titan we may

  8. Geologic mapping of Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greeley, R.; Figueredo, P.H.; Williams, D.A.; Chuang, F.C.; Klemaszewski, J.E.; Kadel, S.D.; Prockter, L.M.; Pappalardo, R.T.; Head, J. W., III; Collins, G.C.; Spaun, N.A.; Sullivan, R.J.; Moore, Johnnie N.; Senske, D.A.; Tufts, B.R.; Johnson, T.V.; Belton, M.J.S.; Tanaka, K.L.

    2000-01-01

    Galileo data enable the major geological units, structures, and surface features to be identified on Europa. These include five primary units (plains, chaos, band, ridge, and crater materials) and their subunits, along with various tectonic structures such as faults. Plains units are the most widespread. Ridged plains material spans a wide range of geological ages, including the oldest recognizable features on Europa, and appears to represent a style of tectonic resurfacing, rather than cryovolcanism. Smooth plains material typically embays other terrains and units, possibly as a type of fluid emplacement, and is among the youngest material units observed. At global scales, plains are typically mapped as undifferentiated plains material, although in some areas differences can be discerned in the near infrared which might be related to differences in ice grain size. Chaos material is composed of plains and other preexisting materials that have been severely disrupted by inferred internal activity; chaos is characterized by blocks of icy material set in a hummocky matrix. Band material is arrayed in linear, curvilinear, wedge-shaped, or cuspate zones with contrasting albedo and surface textures with respect to the surrounding terrain. Bilateral symmetry observed in some bands and the relationships with the surrounding units suggest that band material forms by the lithosphere fracturing, spreading apart, and infilling with material derived from the subsurface. Ridge material is mapped as a unit on local and some regional maps but shown with symbols at global scales. Ridge material includes single ridges, doublet ridges, and ridge complexes. Ridge materials are considered to represent tectonic processes, possibly accompanied by the extrusion or intrusion of subsurface materials, such as diapirs. The tectonic processes might be related to tidal flexing of the icy lithosphere on diurnal or longer timescales. Crater materials include various interior (smooth central

  9. Geologic mapping of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Collins, Geoffrey C.; Spaun, Nicole A.; Sullivan, Robert J.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Senske, David A.; Tufts, B. Randall; Johnson, Torrence V.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.

    2000-09-01

    Galileo data enable the major geological units, structures, and surface features to be identified on Europa. These include five primary units (plains, chaos, band, ridge, and crater materials) and their subunits, along with various tectonic structures such as faults. Plains units are the most widespread. Ridged plains material spans a wide range of geological ages, including the oldest recognizable features on Europa, and appears to represent a style of tectonic resurfacing, rather than cryovolcanism. Smooth plains material typically embays other terrains and units, possibly as a type of fluid emplacement, and is among the youngest material units observed. At global scales, plains are typically mapped as undifferentiated plains material, although in some areas differences can be discerned in the near infrared which might be related to differences in ice grain size. Chaos material is composed of plains and other preexisting materials that have been severely disrupted by inferred internal activity; chaos is characterized by blocks of icy material set in a hummocky matrix. Band material is arrayed in linear, curvilinear, wedge-shaped, or cuspate zones with contrasting albedo and surface textures with respect to the surrounding terrain. Bilateral symmetry observed in some bands and the relationships with the surrounding units suggest that band material forms by the lithosphere fracturing, spreading apart, and infilling with material derived from the subsurface. Ridge material is mapped as a unit on local and some regional maps but shown with symbols at global scales. Ridge material includes single ridges, doublet ridges, and ridge complexes. Ridge materials are considered to represent tectonic processes, possibly accompanied by the extrusion or intrusion of subsurface materials, such as diapirs. The tectonic processes might be related to tidal flexing of the icy lithosphere on diurnal or longer timescales. Crater materials include various interior (smooth central

  10. The ice plumes of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, William

    2014-10-01

    It is of extreme interest to NASA and the scientific community that evidence has been found for plumes of water ice venting from the polar regions of Europa (Roth et al 2014) - spectroscopic detection of off-limb line emission from the dissociation products of water. We were awarded Cycle 21 time to seek direct images of the Europa exosphere, including Enceladus-like plumes if present, basing our study on FUV images of Europa as it transits the smooth face of Jupiter. We also obtained a necessary FUV image of Europa out of transit. These observations provide additional evidence for the presence of ice plumes on Europa. Here, we propose to augment our previous imaging work and to seek an initial, efficient characterization of off-limb emission as Europa orbits Jupiter. Such images provide sensitive flux and column density limits, with exceptional spatial resolution. In transit, our strategy can place firm limits on, or measurements of, absorbing columns, their distribution with altitude above the surface of Europa, and constrain their wavelength dependence and hence composition. Out of transit, geometrical and surface brightness considerations can help us distinguish between continuum FUV emission from forward- or back-scattering, from line emission, or, though we might prefer otherwise, from more subtle instrumental artifacts than hitherto understood. If the ice fountains of Europa arise from the deep ocean, we have gained access to probably the most astrobiologically interesting location in the Solar System.

  11. To Land on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shirley, James H.; Carlson, Robert W.; Zimmerman, Wayne F.; Rivellini, Tommaso P.; Sabahi, Dara

    2005-01-01

    The Science Definition Team (SDT) for NASA's Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) Mission recommends including a lander as an integral part of the science payload of the JIMO Mission. The Europa Surface Science Package (ESSP) could comprise up to 25% of science payload resources. We have identified several key scientific and technical issues for such a lander, including 1) the potential effects of propellant contamination of the landng site, 2) the likely macroscopic surface roughness of potential landing sites, and 3) the desire to sample materials from depths of approximately 1 m beneath the surface. Discussion and consensus building on these issues within the science community is a prerequisite for establishing design requirements.

  12. Europa's Salty Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, G. J.

    1998-09-01

    Pictures of Jupiter's moon Europa taken by the Galileo spacecraft during the past couple of years have suggested to scientists that there is now, or was in the past, an ocean beneath the satellite's frozen crust. Now a team from the University of Hawaii, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, and STI Inc. may have given us our first glimpse at the chemical composition of that ocean. Using data obtained by the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) carried by Galileo, Thomas McCord (U. Hawaii) and his colleagues examined darker regions on the surface and compared the spacecraft data to numerous chemical compounds. Their analysis indicates that the darker areas are most likely composed of deposits of salty minerals such as sulfates and carbonates. McCord and his associates believe that the minerals formed when ocean water erupted onto the surface and then evaporated, leaving behind salty deposits. They hope that further research will allow them to determine the chemical composition of Europa's hidden ocean and assess the likelihood that life could have formed in it.

  13. Europa Ice Rafts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This high resolution image shows the ice-rich crust of Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. Seen here are crustal plates ranging up to 13 kilometers (8 miles) across, which have been broken apart and 'rafted' into new positions, superficially resembling the disruption of pack-ice on polar seas during spring thaws on Earth. The size and geometry of these features suggest that motion was enabled by ice-crusted water or soft ice close to the surface at the time of disruption.

    The area shown is about 34 kilometers by 42 kilometers (21 miles by 26 miles), centered at 9.4 degrees north latitude, 274 degrees west longitude, and the resolution is 54 meters (59 yards). This picture was taken by the Solid State Imaging system on board the Galileo spacecraft on February 20, 1997, from a distance of 5,340 kilometers (3,320 miles) during the spacecraft's close flyby of Europa.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington D.C. This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web Galileo mission home page at: http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov.

  14. Europa's Leading Hemisphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image of Europa's leading hemisphere was obtained by the solid state imaging (CCD) system on board NASA's Galileo spacecraft during its seventh orbit of Jupiter. In the upper left part of the image is Tyre, a multi-ringed structure that may have formed as a result of an ancient impact. Also visible are numerous lineaments that extend for over 1000 kilometers. The limb, or edge, of Europa in this image can be used by scientists to constrain the radius and shape of the satellite. North is to the top of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from the right. The image, centered at -40 latitude and 180 longitude, covers an area approximately 2000 by 1300 kilometers. The finest details that can be discerned in this picture are about 6.6 kilometers across. The images were taken on April 3, 1997 at 17 hours, 42 minutes, 19 seconds Universal Time when the spacecraft was at a range of 31,8628 kilometers.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  15. Modeling the Europa plasma torus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreier, Ron; Eviatar, Aharon; Vasyliunas, Vytenis M.; Richardson, John D.

    1993-01-01

    The existence of a torus of plasma generated by sputtering from Jupiter's satellite Europa has long been suspected but never yet convincingly demonstrated. Temperature profiles from Voyager plasma observations indicate the presence of hot, possibly freshly picked-up ions in the general vicinity of the orbit of Europa, which may be interpreted as evidence for a local plasma torus. Studies of ion partitioning in the outer regions of the Io torus reveal that the oxygen to sulfur mixing ratio varies with radial distance; this may indicates that oxygen-rich matter is injected from a non-Io source, most probably Europa. We have constructed a quantitative model of a plasma torus near the orbit of Europa which takes into account plasma input from the Io torus, sputtering from the surface of Europa, a great number of ionization and charge exchange processes, and plasma loss by diffusive transport. When the transport time is chosen so that the model's total number density in consistent with the observed total plasma density, the contribution from Europa is found to be significant although not dominant. The model predicts in detail the ion composition, charge states, and the relative fractions of hot Europa-generated and (presumed) cold Io-generated ions. The results are generally consistent with observations from Voyager and can in principle (subject to limitations of data coverage) be confirmed in more detail by Ulysses.

  16. Akon - A Penetrator for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Geraint

    2016-04-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa is one of the most intriguing objects in our Solar System. This 2000km-wide body has a geologically young solid water ice crust that is believed to cover a global ocean of liquid water. The presence of this ocean, together with a source of heating through tidal forces, make Europa a conceivable location for extraterrestrial life. The science case for exploring all aspects of this icy world is compelling. NASA has selected the Europa Mission (formerly Europa Clipper) to study Europa in detail in the 2020s through multiple flybys, and ESA's JUICE mission will perform two flybys of the body in the 2030s. The US agency has extended to the European Space Agency an invitation to provide a contribution to their mission. European scientists interested in Europa science and exploration are currently organizing themselves, in the framework of a coordinated Europa M5 Inititative to study concurrently the main options for this ESA contribution, from a simple addition of individual instruments to the NASA spacecraft, to a lander to investigate Europa's surface in situ. A high speed lander - a penetrator - is by far the most promising technology to achieve this latter option within the anticipated mass constraints, and studies of such a hard lander, many funded by ESA, are now at an advanced level. An international team to formally propose an Europa penetrator to ESA in response to the anticipated ESA M5 call is growing. The working title of this proposal is Akon (Άκων), named after the highly accurate javelin gifted to Europa by Zeus in ancient Greek mythology. We present plans for the Akon penetrator, which would impact Europa's surface at several hundred metres per second, and travel up to several metres into the moon's subsurface. To achieve this, the penetrator would be delivered to the surface by a dedicated descent module, to be destroyed on impact following release of the penetrator above the surface. It is planned that the instruments to be

  17. On the habitability of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reynolds, R. T.; Squyres, S. W.; Colburn, D. S.; Mckay, C. P.

    1983-01-01

    It is pointed out that the Voyager flybys of Jupiter produced remarkable images of Europa, one of the four large Galilean satellites. Taking into account information provided by these Voyagers flybys and other data and investigations, a study is conducted regarding the suitability of Europa as a habitat for living organisms. The performed calculations indicate, that for a plausible physical model of Europa, the general conditions for the survival of biological organisms could exist, at least in some regions, highly restricted in both space and time.

  18. Dark Bands on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Dark crisscrossing bands on Jupiter's moon Europa represent widespread disruption from fracturing and the possible eruption of gases and rocky material from the moon's interior in this four-frame mosaic of images from NASA's Galileo spacecraft. These and other features suggest that soft ice or liquid water was present below the ice crust at the time of disruption. The data do not rule out the possibility that such conditions exist on Europa today. The pictures were taken from a distance of 156,000 kilometers (about 96,300 miles) on June 27, 1996. Many of the dark bands are more than 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) long, exceeding the length of the San Andreas fault of California. Some of the features seen on the mosaic resulted from meteoritic impact, including a 30- kilometer (18.5 mile) diameter crater visible as a bright scar in the lower third of the picture. In addition, dozens of shallow craters seen in some terrains along the sunset terminator zone (upper right shadowed area of the image) are probably impact craters. Other areas along the terminator lack craters, indicating relatively youthful surfaces, suggestive of recent eruptions of icy slush from the interior. The lower quarter of the mosaic includes highly fractured terrain where the icy crust has been broken into slabs as large as 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) across. The mosaic covers a large part of the northern hemisphere and includes the north pole at the top of the image. The sun illuminates the surface from the left. The area shown is centered on 20 degrees north latitude and 220 degrees west longitude and is about as wide as the United States west of the Mississippi River. The Galileo mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  19. Europa Under Stress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This high resolution image of the icy plains on Europa shows multiple sets of cross-cutting ridges. Many of these ridges are cut by younger fractures. Fractures that display relative motion are known as faults; several faults showing horizontal motion, like the San Andreas Fault in California, are seen here.

    Faults and ridges give planetary geologists clues to the stresses within the crust at the time of formation. Ridges typically form as a result of compression. The orientation of the compressive stress is perpendicular to the strike (long axis) of the ridge. In contrast, fractures form as a result of tensional stresses that crack the brittle crust. These features indicate that the surface of Europa has experienced repeated episodes of tension and compression throughout its history.

    This image is approximately 12 kilometers (7 miles) by 15 kilometers (9 miles) across, centered near 15N, 273W. The Galileo spacecraft obtained this image on February 20, 1997 during its sixth orbit of Jupiter from a distance of 2000 kilometers (1240 miles). North is toward the top of the image, with the sun illuminating the surface from the right.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  20. Small Craters on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This high resolution view of the Conamara Chaos region on Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, reveals craters which range in size from about 30 meters to over 450 meters (slightly over a quarter of a mile) in diameter. The large number of craters seen here is unusual for Europa. This section of Conamara Chaos lies inside a bright ray of material which was ejected by the large impact crater, Pwyll, 1000 kilometers (620 miles) to the south. The presence of craters within the bright ray suggests that many are secondaries which formed from chunks of material that were thrown out by the enormous energy of the impact which formed Pwyll.

    North is to the upper right of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from the east. The image, centered at 9 degrees latitude and 274 degrees longitude, covers an area approximately 8 by 4 kilometers (5 by 2.5 miles). The finest details that can be discerned in this picture are about 20 meters (66 feet) across. The images were taken on December 16, 1997 at a range of 960 kilometers (590 miles) by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  1. Return to Europa: Overview of the Jupiter Europa orbiter mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, K.; Boldt, J.; Greeley, R.; Hand, K.; Jun, I.; Lock, R.; Pappalardo, R.; van Houten, T.; Yan, T.

    2011-08-01

    Missions to explore Europa have been imagined ever since the Voyager mission first suggested that Europa was geologically very young. Subsequently, the Galileo spacecraft supplied fascinating new insights into this satellite of Jupiter. Now, an international team is proposing a return to the Jupiter system and Europa with the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). Currently, NASA and ESA are designing two orbiters that would explore the Jovian system and then each would settle into orbit around one of Jupiter's icy satellites, Europa and Ganymede. In addition, the Japanese Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA) is considering a Jupiter magnetospheric orbiter and the Russian Space Agency is investigating a Europa lander.The Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) would be the NASA-led portion of the EJSM; JEO would address a very important subset of the complete EJSM science objectives and is designed to function alone or in conjunction with ESA's Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). The JEO mission concept uses a single orbiter flight system that would travel to Jupiter by means of a multiple-gravity-assist trajectory and then perform a multi-year study of Europa and the Jupiter system, including 30 months of Jupiter system science and a comprehensive Europa orbit phase of 9 months.The JEO mission would investigate various options for future surface landings. The JEO mission science objectives, as defined by the international EJSM Science Definition Team, include:Europa's ocean: Characterize the extent of the ocean and its relation to the deeper interior.Europa's ice shell: Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange.Europa's chemistry: Determine global surface compositions and chemistry, especially as related to habitability.Europa's geology: Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and identify and characterize candidate sites for future in situ

  2. Life on Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shylaja, B. S.

    1997-06-01

    The notion of life has always fascinated curious minds. From prehistoric days, fancy voyages to other colonies and visits from non-earthly beings have been creatively imagined. Apart from science fictions, the last few centuries saw many observational investigations of "cities of Moon", "colonies of Mars" and so on. However, the sophisticated tools of the modern era quickly put a full stop to these developments revealing that the other planets are not hospitable, and infact hostile for a life form like ours to exist there. That explains why in the last few decades the efforts shifted to observing the satellites of large planets. The anxiety grew with the knowledge of their atmospheric structure, chemical composition and volcanic activity. Detection of water, albeit frozen, was a welcome surprise. The flyby of Voyager and Pioneer provided ample evidence for the presence of water, one of the most important ingredients for the germination of the seed of life. The detection of the fossil of a microorganism on a stone believed to have fallen from Mars, boosted the scientists zeal to pursue the research, although the date for life on Mars (more than 3 billion years ago) is not very convincing. Last year, many scientists, from different branches like astrophysics, geology, oceanography, biology and astrogeology discussed the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe. The focal point was not Mars, but Europa, one of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter. Their studies based on Voyager images supported the possibility of liquid water beneath the frozen sheets of ice. However, heat is also an essential parameter. Europa, being at a distance five times the sun-earth separation can have only 1/25th the warmth of the earth. Then, where does it get the necessary warmth from? There are other important sources of heat in many of these satellites that lie concealed from our view. They are the volcanoes. If present, can these keep the water warm below the ice sheets? The unmanned

  3. Europa Hemispherical Globes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The images used for the base of this globe were chosen from coverage supplied by the Galileo solid-state imaging (SSI) camera and Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. The individual images were radiometrically calibrated and photometrically normalized using a Lunar-Lambert function with empirically derived values. A linear correction based on the statistics of all overlapping areas was then applied to minimize image brightness variations. The image data were selected on the basis of overall image quality, reasonable original input resolution (from 20 km/pixel for gap fill to as much as 200 m/pixel), and availability of moderate emission/incidence angles for topography. Although consistency was achieved where possible, different filters were included for global image coverage as necessary: clear/blue for Voyager 1 and 2, and clear, near-IR (757 nm), and green (559 nm) for Galileo SSI. Individual images were projected to a Sinusoidal Equal-Area projection at an image resolution of 500 m/pixel, and a final global mosaic was constructed in this same Sinusoidal projection.

    The global mosaic was then reprojected so that the entire surface of Europa is portrayed in a manner suitable for the production of a globe. A specialized program was used to create the 'flower petal' appearance of the images; the area of each petal from 0 to 75 degrees latitude is in the Transverse Mercator projection, and the area from 75 to 90 degrees latitude is in the Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection. The projections for adjacent petals overlap by 2 degrees of longitude, so that some features are shown twice.

    Names shown on the globe are approved by the International Astronomical Union. The number, size, and placement of text were chosen for a 9-inch globe. A complete list of Europa nomenclature can be found at the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature at http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov. The northern hemisphere is shown on the left, and the southern hemisphere is shown on the right.

  4. Folds on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This image, acquired by NASA's Galileo spacecraft on September 26, 1998, shows features on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa that a scientific report published today interprets as signs of compressive folding.

    The imaged area is in the Astypalaea Linea region of Europa's southern hemisphere, seen with low-angle sunshine coming from the upper right. North is toward the top.

    Astypalaea Linea is the smooth, gray area that stretches from north to south across the image mosaic. It is thought to have formed by a combination of pulling apart and sliding of the icy surface. The telltale fold features are within the smoother portions of the surface between the more dominant ridges, which are attributed to upwelling of material through surface ice. In the smooth areas, the surface has gentle swells and dips, which show most clearly in the version on the right, processed to accentuate broader-scale shapes. For example, a dip about 15 kilometers (about 10 miles) wide cuts diagonally across the northern half of the largest smooth area, and a rise runs parallel to that in the southern half of the smooth area. closeup detail

    Louise M. Prockter, at Johns Hopkins University, and Robert T. Pappalardo, at Brown University, report in the journal Science today that those rises, or anticlines, and dips, or synclines, appear to be the result of compression causing the crust to fold.

    Additional evidence comes from smaller features more visible in the version on the left, covering the same area. At the crest of the gentle rise in the largest smooth area are small fractures that could be caused by the stretching stress of bending the surface layer upwards. Similarly, at the bottom of the adjacent dip are small, wrinkle-like ridges that could be caused by stress from bending the surface layer downwards.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California

  5. The Europa Clipper Mission Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert; Goldstein, Barry; Magner, Thomas; Prockter, Louise; Senske, David; Paczkowski, Brian; Cooke, Brian; Vance, Steve; Wes Patterson, G.; Craft, Kate

    2014-05-01

    A NASA-appointed Science Definition Team (SDT), working closely with a technical team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), recently considered options for a future strategic mission to Europa, with the stated science goal: Explore Europa to investigate its habitability. The group considered several mission options, which were fully technically developed, then costed and reviewed by technical review boards and planetary science community groups. There was strong convergence on a favored architecture consisting of a spacecraft in Jupiter orbit making many close flybys of Europa, concentrating on remote sensing to explore the moon. Innovative mission design would use gravitational perturbations of the spacecraft trajectory to permit flybys at a wide variety of latitudes and longitudes, enabling globally distributed regional coverage of the moon's surface, with nominally 45 close flybys at altitudes from 25 to 100 km. We will present the science and reconnaissance goals and objectives, a mission design overview, and the notional spacecraft for this concept, which has become known as the Europa Clipper. The Europa Clipper concept provides a cost-efficient means to explore Europa and investigate its habitability, through understanding the satellite's ice and ocean, composition, and geology. The set of investigations derived from the Europa Clipper science objectives traces to a notional payload for science, consisting of: Ice Penetrating Radar (for sounding of ice-water interfaces within and beneath the ice shell), Topographical Imager (for stereo imaging of the surface), ShortWave Infrared Spectrometer (for surface composition), Neutral Mass Spectrometer (for atmospheric composition), Magnetometer and Langmuir Probes (for inferring the satellite's induction field to characterize an ocean), and Gravity Science (to confirm an ocean).The mission would also include the capability to perform reconnaissance for a future lander

  6. Probing Europa's Interior with Natural Sound Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makris, N. C.; Lee, S.; Zanolin, M.; Pappalardo, R. T.

    2003-03-01

    Our goal is to use acoustic echo-sounding and tomographic techniques to determine Europa's interior structure. We show that robust estimates can be made of Europa's ice layering structure and potential ocean depth with a single acoustic sensor.

  7. Europa Wedge Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This image shows an area of crustal separation on Jupiter's moon, Europa. Lower resolution pictures taken earlier in the tour of NASA's Galileo spacecraft revealed that dark wedge-shaped bands in this region are areas where the icy crust has completely pulled apart. Dark material has filled up from below and filled the void created by this separation.

    In the lower left corner of this image, taken by Galileo's onboard camera on December 16, 1997, a portion of one dark wedge area is visible, revealing a linear texture along the trend of the wedge. The lines of the texture change orientation slightly and reflect the fact that we are looking at a bend in the wedge. The older, bright background, visible on the right half of the image, is criss-crossed with ridges. A large, bright ridge runs east-west through the upper part of the image, cutting across both the older background plains and the wedge. This ridge is rough in texture, with numerous small terraces and troughs containing dark material.

    North is to the top of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from the northwest. This image, centered at approximately 16.5 degrees south latitude and 196.5 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 10 kilometers square (about 6.5 miles square). The resolution of this image is about 26 meters per picture element. This image was taken by the solid state imaging system from a distance of 1250 kilometers (750 miles).

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  8. Europa's Pwyll Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This view of the Pwyll impact crater on Jupiter's moon Europa taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft shows the interior structure and surrounding ejecta deposits. Pwyll's location is shown in the background global view taken by Galileo's camera on December 16, 1997. Bright rays seen radiating from Pwyll in the global image indicate that this crater is geologically young. The rim of Pwyll is about 26 kilometers (16 miles) in diameter, and a halo of dark material excavated from below the surface extends a few kilometers beyond the rim. Beyond this dark halo, the surface is bright and numerous secondary craters can be seen. The closeup view of Pwyll, which combines imaging data gathered during the December flyby and the flyby of February 20, 1997, indicates that unlike most fresh impact craters, which have much deeper floors, Pwyll's crater floor is at approximately the same level as the surrounding background terrain.

    North is to the top of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from the northeast. This closeup image, centered at approximately 26 degrees south latitude and 271 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 125 by 75 kilometers (75 by 45 miles). The finest details that can be discerned in this picture are about 250 meters (800 feet) across. This image was taken on at a range of 12,400 kilometers (7,400 miles), with the green filter of Galileo's solid state imaging system.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  9. Europa: Initial Galileo Geological Observations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greeley, R.; Sullivan, R.; Klemaszewski, J.; Homan, K.; Head, J. W., III; Pappalardo, R.T.; Veverka, J.; Clark, B.E.; Johnson, T.V.; Klaasen, K.P.; Belton, M.; Moore, J.; Asphaug, E.; Carr, M.H.; Neukum, G.; Denk, T.; Chapman, C.R.; Pilcher, C.B.; Geissler, P.E.; Greenberg, R.; Tufts, R.

    1998-01-01

    Images of Europa from the Galileo spacecraft show a surface with a complex history involving tectonic deformation, impact cratering, and possible emplacement of ice-rich materials and perhaps liquids on the surface. Differences in impact crater distributions suggest that some areas have been resurfaced more recently than others; Europa could experience current cryovolcanic and tectonic activity. Global-scale patterns of tectonic features suggest deformation resulting from non-synchronous rotation of Europa around Jupiter. Some regions of the lithosphere have been fractured, with icy plates separated and rotated into new positions. The dimensions of these plates suggest that the depth to liquid or mobile ice was only a few kilometers at the time of disruption. Some surfaces have also been upwarped, possibly by diapirs, cryomagmatic intrusions, or convective upwelling. In some places, this deformation has led to the development of chaotic terrain in which surface material has collapsed and/or been eroded. ?? 1998 Academic Press.

  10. Europa Small Lander Design Concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmerman, W. F.

    2005-12-01

    Title: Europa Small Lander Design Concepts Authors: Wayne F. Zimmerman, James Shirley, Robert Carlson, Tom Rivellini, Mike Evans One of the primary goals of NASA's Outer Planets Program is to revisit the Jovian system. A new Europa Geophysical Explorer (EGE) Mission has been proposed and is under evaluation. There is in addition strong community interest in a surface science mission to Europa. A Europa Lander might be delivered to the Jovian system with the EGE orbiter. A Europa Astrobiology Lander (EAL) Mission has also been proposed; this would launch sometime after 2020. The primary science objectives for either of these would most likely include: Surface imaging (both microscopic and near-field), characterization of surface mechanical properties (temperature, hardness), assessment of surface and near-surface organic and inorganic chemistry (volatiles, mineralogy, and compounds), characterization of the radiation environment (total dose and particles), characterization of the planetary seismicity, and the measurement of Europa's magnetic field. The biggest challenges associated with getting to the surface and surviving to perform science investigations revolve around the difficulty of landing on an airless body, the ubiquitous extreme topography, the harsh radiation environment, and the extreme cold. This presentation reviews some the recent design work on drop-off probes, also called "hard landers". Hard lander designs have been developed for a range of science payload delivery systems spanning small impactors to multiple science pods tethered to a central hub. In addition to developing designs for these various payload delivery systems, significant work has been done in weighing the relative merits of standard power systems (i.e., batteries) against radioisotope power systems. A summary of the power option accommodation benefits and issues will be presented. This work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a

  11. The Ultraviolet Spectrograph on the Europa Mission (Europa-UVS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retherford, K. D.; Gladstone, R.; Greathouse, T. K.; Steffl, A.; Davis, M. W.; Feldman, P. D.; McGrath, M. A.; Roth, L.; Saur, J.; Spencer, J. R.; Stern, S. A.; Pope, S.; Freeman, M. A.; Persyn, S. C.; Araujo, M. F.; Cortinas, S. C.; Monreal, R. M.; Persson, K. B.; Trantham, B. J.; Versteeg, M. H.; Walther, B. C.

    2015-12-01

    NASA's Europa multi-flyby mission is designed to provide a diversity of measurements suited to enrich our understanding of the potential habitability of this intriguing ocean world. The Europa mission's Ultraviolet Spectrograph, Europa-UVS, is the sixth in a series of successful ultraviolet imaging spectrographs (Rosetta-Alice, New Horizons Pluto-Alice, LRO-LAMP) and, like JUICE-UVS (now under Phase B development), is largely based on the most recent of these to fly, Juno-UVS. Europa-UVS observes photons in the 55-210 nm wavelength range, at moderate spectral and spatial resolution along a 7.5° slit. Three distinct apertures send light to the off-axis telescope mirror feeding the long-slit spectrograph: i) a main entrance airglow port is used for most observations (e.g., airglow, aurora, surface mapping, and stellar occultations); ii) a high-spatial-resolution port consists of a small hole in an additional aperture door, and is used for detailed observations of bright targets; and iii) a separate solar port allows for solar occultations, viewing at a 60° offset from the nominal payload boresight. Photon event time-tagging (pixel list mode) and programmable spectral imaging (histogram mode) allow for observational flexibility and optimal science data management. As on Juno-UVS, the effects of penetrating electron radiation on electronic parts and data quality are mitigated through contiguous shielding, filtering of pulse height amplitudes, management of high-voltage settings, and careful use of radiation-hard parts. The science goals of Europa-UVS are to: 1) Determine the composition & chemistry, source & sinks, and structure & variability of Europa's atmosphere, from equator to pole; 2) Search for and characterize active plumes in terms of global distribution, structure, composition, and variability; 3) Explore the surface composition & microphysics and their relation to endogenic & exogenic processes; and 4) Investigate how energy and mass flow in the Europa

  12. Galileo Science Update Europa Unveiled

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    A five person panel discuss newly imaged photographs of the surface of Jupiter's satellite Europa. In the discussion the topics that are covered are: surface features, ice and water formation, erosion, volcanism, thermal dissipation, crustal spreading, plate tectonics, impact sites, exobiology, and life.The run time on this video is 49:48 the air date is 1/17/97.

  13. The Europa Clipper mission concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert; Lopes, Rosaly

    Jupiter's moon Europa may be a habitable world. Galileo spacecraft data suggest that an ocean most likely exists beneath Europa’s icy surface and that the “ingredients” necessary for life (liquid water, chemistry, and energy) could be present within this ocean today. Because of the potential for revolutionizing our understanding of life in the solar system, future exploration of Europa has been deemed an extremely high priority for planetary science. A NASA-appointed Science Definition Team (SDT), working closely with a technical team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), recently considered options for a future strategic mission to Europa, with the stated science goal: Explore Europa to investigate its habitability. The group considered several mission options, which were fully technically developed, then costed and reviewed by technical review boards and planetary science community groups. There was strong convergence on a favored architecture consisting of a spacecraft in Jupiter orbit making many close flybys of Europa, concentrating on remote sensing to explore the moon. Innovative mission design would use gravitational perturbations of the spacecraft trajectory to permit flybys at a wide variety of latitudes and longitudes, enabling globally distributed regional coverage of the moon’s surface, with nominally 45 close flybys at altitudes from 25 to 100 km. We will present the science and reconnaissance goals and objectives, a mission design overview, and the notional spacecraft for this concept, which has become known as the Europa Clipper. The Europa Clipper concept provides a cost-efficient means to explore Europa and investigate its habitability, through understanding the satellite’s ice and ocean, composition, and geology. The set of investigations derived from these science objectives traces to a notional payload for science, consisting of: Ice Penetrating Radar (for sounding of ice-water interfaces

  14. A Pragmatic Path to Investigating Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Bagenal, F.; Barr, A. C.; Bills, B. G.; Blaney, D. L.; Blankenship, D. D.; Connerney, J. E.; Kurth, W. S.; McGrath, M. A.; Moore, J. M.; Prockter, L. M.; Senske, D. A.; Smith, D. E.; Garner, G. J.; Magner, T. J.; Cooke, B. C.; Mallder, V.; Crum, R.

    2011-12-01

    Assessment of Europa's habitability will progress via a comprehensive investigation of Europa's subsurface ocean, chemical composition, and internal dynamical processes. The National Research Council's Planetary Decadal Survey placed an extremely high priority on Europa science but noted that the budget profile for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission concept is incompatible with NASA's projected planetary science budget. Thus, NASA enlisted a small Europa Science Definition Team (ESDT) to consider more pragmatic Europa mission options. In its preliminary findings, the ESDT embraces a science scope and instrument complement comparable to the science "floor" for JEO, but with a radically different mission implementation. The ESDT is studying a two-element mission architecture, in which two relatively low-cost spacecraft would fulfill the Europa science objectives. An envisioned Europa orbital element would carry only a very small geophysics payload, addressing those investigations that are best carried out from Europa orbit. An envisioned separate multiple Europa flyby element (in orbit about Jupiter) would emphasize remote sensing. This mission architecture would provide for a subset of radiation-shielded instruments (all relatively low mass, power, and data rate) to be delivered into Europa orbit by a modest spacecraft, saving on propellant and other spacecraft resources. More resource-intensive remote sensing instruments would achieve their science objectives through a conservative multiple-flyby approach, which is better suited to handle larger masses and higher data volumes. Separation of the payload into two spacecraft elements, phased in time, would permit costs to be spread more uniformly over multiple years, avoiding an excessively high peak in the funding profile. Implementation of each spacecraft would be greatly simplified compared to previous Europa mission concepts, minimizing new development while achieving the key Europa science objectives. We

  15. A Pragmatic Path to Investigating Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Bagenal, F.; Barr, A. C.; Bills, B. G.; Blaney, D. L.; Blankenship, D. D.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Kurth, W.; McGrath, M.; Moore, J. M.; Prockter, L. M.; Senske, D. A.; Smith, D. E.; Garner, G. J.; Magner, T.; Hibbard, K. E.; Cooke, B. C.

    2011-10-01

    Assessment of Europa's habitability, as an overarching science goal, will progress via a comprehensive investigation of Europa's subsurface ocean, chemical composition, and internal dynamical processes. The National Research Council's Planetary Decadal Survey placed an extremely high priority on Europa science but noted that the budget profile for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission concept is incompatible with NASA's projected planetary science budget. Thus, NASA enlisted a small Europa Science Definition Team (ESDT) to consider more pragmatic Europa mission options. In its preliminary findings (May, 2011), the ESDT embraces a science scope and instrument complement comparable to the science "floor" for JEO, but with a radically different mission implementation. The ESDT is studying a twoelement mission architecture, in which two relatively low-cost spacecraft would fulfill the Europa science objectives. An envisioned Europa orbital element would carry only a very small geophysics payload, addressing those investigations that are best carried out from Europa orbit. An envisioned separate multiple Europa flyby element (in orbit about Jupiter) would emphasize remote sensing. This mission architecture would provide for a subset of radiationshielded instruments (all relatively low mass, power, and data rate) to be delivered into Europa orbit by a modest spacecraft, saving on propellant and other spacecraft resources. More resource-intensive remote sensing instruments would achieve their science objectives through a conservative multipleflyby approach, which is better suited to handle larger masses and higher data volumes, and which aims to limit radiation exposure. Separation of the payload into two spacecraft elements, phased in time, would permit costs to be spread more uniformly over multiple years, avoiding an excessively high peak in the funding profile. Implementation of each spacecraft would be greatly simplified compared to previous Europa mission

  16. Galileo NIMS Observations of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirley, J. H.; Ocampo, A. C.; Carlson, R. W.

    2000-10-01

    The Galileo spacecraft began its tour of the Jovian system in December, 1995. The Galileo Millenium Mission (GMM) is scheduled to end in January, 2003. The opportunities to observe Europa in the remaining orbits are severely limited. Thus the catalog of NIMS observations of Europa is virtually complete. We summarize and describe this extraordinary dataset, which consists of 77 observations. The observations may be grouped in three categories, based on the scale of the data (km/pixel). The highest-resolution observations, with projected scales of 1-9 km/pixel, comprise one important subset of the catalog. These 29 observations sample both leading and trailing hemispheres at low and high latitudes. They have been employed in studies exploring the chemical composition of the non-ice surface materials on Europa (McCord et al., 1999, JGR 104, 11,827; Carlson et al., 1999, Science 286, 97). A second category consists of regional observations at moderate resolution. These 15 observations image Europa's surface at scales of 15-50 km/pixel, appropriate for construction of regional and global mosaics. A gap in coverage for longitudes 270-359 W may be partially filled during the 34th orbit of GMM. The final category consists of 33 global observations with scales ranging upward from 150 km/pixel. The noise levels are typically much reduced in comparison to observations taken deep within Jupiter's magnetosphere. Distant observations obtained during the 11th orbit revealed the presence of hydrogen peroxide on Europa's surface (Carlson et al., 1999b, Science 283, 2062). NIMS observations are archived in ISIS-format "cubes," which are available to researchers through the Planetary Data System (http://www-pdsimage.jpl.nasa.gov/PDS/Public/Atlas/Atlas.html). Detailed guides to every NIMS observation may be downloaded from the NIMS web site (http://jumpy.igpp.ucla.edu/ nims/).

  17. Europa Explorer Operational Scenarios Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lock, Robert E.; Pappalardo, Robert T.; Clark, Karla B.

    2008-01-01

    In 2007, NASA conducted four advanced mission concept studies for outer planets targets: Europa, Ganymede, Titan and Enceladus. The studies were conducted in close cooperation with the planetary science community. Of the four, the Europa Explorer Concept Study focused on refining mission options, science trades and implementation details for a potential flagship mission to Europa in the 2015 timeframe. A science definition team (SDT) was appointed by NASA to guide the study. A JPL-led engineering team worked closely with the science team to address 3 major focus areas: 1) credible cost estimates, 2) rationale and logical discussion of radiation risk and mitigation approaches, and 3) better definition and exploration of science operational scenario trade space. This paper will address the methods and results of the collaborative process used to develop Europa Explorer operations scenarios. Working in concert with the SDT, and in parallel with the SDT's development of a science value matrix, key mission capabilities and constraints were challenged by the science and engineering members of the team. Science goals were advanced and options were considered for observation scenarios. Data collection and return strategies were tested via simulation, and mission performance was estimated and balanced with flight and ground system resources and science priorities. The key to this successful collaboration was a concurrent development environment in which all stakeholders could rapidly assess the feasibility of strategies for their success in the full system context. Issues of science and instrument compatibility, system constraints, and mission opportunities were treated analytically and objectively leading to complementary strategies for observation and data return. Current plans are that this approach, as part of the system engineering process, will continue as the Europa Explorer Concept Study moves toward becoming a development project.

  18. Simulation of Europa's water plume .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucchetti, A.; Cremonese, G.; Schneider, N. M.; Plainaki, C.; Mazzotta Epifani, E.; Zusi, M.; Palumbo, P.

    Plumes on Europa would be extremely interesting science and mission targets, particularly due to the unique opportunity to obtain direct information on the subsurface composition, thereby addressing Europa's potential habitability. The existence of water plume on the Jupiter's moon Europa has been long speculated until the recent discover. HST imaged surpluses of hydrogen Lyman alpha and oxygen emissions above the southern hemisphere in December 2012 that are consistent with two 200 km high plumes of water vapor (Roth et al. 2013). In previous works ballistic cryovolcanism has been considered and modeled as a possible mechanism for the formation of low-albedo features on Europa's surface (Fagents et al. 2000). Our simulation agrees with the model of Fagents et al. (2000) and consists of icy particles that follow ballistic trajectories. The goal of such an analysis is to define the height, the distribution and the extension of the icy particles falling on the moon's surface as well as the thickness of the deposited layer. We expect to observe high albedo regions in contrast with the background albedo of Europa surface since we consider that material falling after a cryovolcanic plume consists of snow. In order to understand if this phenomenon is detectable we convert the particles deposit in a pixel image of albedo data. We consider also the limb view of the plume because, even if this detection requires optimal viewing geometry, it is easier detectable in principle against sky. Furthermore, we are studying the loss rates due to impact electron dissociation and ionization to understand how these reactions decrease the intensity of the phenomenon. We expect to obtain constraints on imaging requirements necessary to detect potential plumes that could be useful for ESA's JUICE mission, and in particular for the JANUS camera (Palumbo et al. 2014).

  19. An Overview of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter Concept's Europa Science Phase Orbit Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lock, Robert E.; Ludwinski, Jan M.; Petropoulos, Anastassios E.; Clark, Karla B.; Pappalardo, Robert T.

    2009-01-01

    Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), the proposed NASA element of the proposed joint NASA-ESA Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), could launch in February 2020 and conceivably arrive at Jupiter in December of 2025. The concept is to perform a multi-year study of Europa and the Jupiter system, including 30 months of Jupiter system science and a comprehensive Europa orbit phase of 9 months. This paper provides an overview of the JEO concept and describes the Europa Science phase orbit design and the related science priorities, model pay-load and operations scenarios needed to conduct the Europa Science phase. This overview is for planning and discussion purposes only.

  20. Exobiological Exploration of Europa (E3) Europa Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stillwagen, F. H.; Manvi, Ramachandra; Seywald, Hans; Park, Sang-Young; Kolacinski, Rick

    2002-01-01

    The search for life outside Earth's protected atmosphere is a compelling testament to the quest by mankind to determine if "we" are alone in the universe. The phenomenal success of the NASA Galileo spacecraft has indicated that the moons of Jupiter, and most notably Europa, may indeed contain subsurface liquid under an icy surface. This speculation of a salty liquid subsurface fuels expert opinions that biological products may exist. The Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) effort at Langley Research Center, initiated by NASA Headquarters, pushes NASA and the Aerospace/Science community to target advanced evolutionary technology usage to provide a Europa Lander concept targeted for completion within the next 50 years. The study effort indicates the use of certain advanced technologies to achieve a subsurface penetrator and liquid explorer in the approximately 2040 timeframe.

  1. The Europa Jupiter System Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendrix, A. R.; Clark, K.; Erd, C.; Pappalardo, R.; Greeley, R. R.; Blanc, M.; Lebreton, J.; van Houten, T.

    2009-05-01

    Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) will be an international mission that will achieve Decadal Survey and Cosmic Vision goals. NASA and ESA have concluded a joint study of a mission to Europa, Ganymede and the Jupiter system with orbiters developed by NASA and ESA; contributions by JAXA are also possible. The baseline EJSM architecture consists of two primary elements operating in the Jovian system: the NASA-led Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), and the ESA-led Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). The JEO mission has been selected by NASA as the next Flagship mission to the out solar system. JEO and JGO would execute an intricately choreographed exploration of the Jupiter System before settling into orbit around Europa and Ganymede, respectively. JEO and JGO would carry eleven and ten complementary instruments, respectively, to monitor dynamic phenomena (such as Io's volcanoes and Jupiter's atmosphere), map the Jovian magnetosphere and its interactions with the Galilean satellites, and characterize water oceans beneath the ice shells of Europa and Ganymede. EJSM will fully addresses high priority science objectives identified by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Decadal Survey and ESA's Cosmic Vision for exploration of the outer solar system. The Decadal Survey recommended a Europa Orbiter as the highest priority outer planet flagship mission and also identified Ganymede as a highly desirable mission target. EJSM would uniquely address several of the central themes of ESA's Cosmic Vision Programme, through its in-depth exploration of the Jupiter system and its evolution from origin to habitability. EJSM will investigate the potential habitability of the active ocean-bearing moons Europa and Ganymede, detailing the geophysical, compositional, geological and external processes that affect these icy worlds. EJSM would also explore Io and Callisto, Jupiter's atmosphere, and the Jovian magnetosphere. By understanding the Jupiter system and unraveling its history, the

  2. The Europa Jupiter system mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, K.; Stankov, A.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Greeley, R.; Blanc, M.; Lebreton, J.-P.; van Houten, T.

    2009-04-01

    Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM)— would be an international mission that would achieve Decadal Survey and Cosmic Vision goals. NASA and ESA have concluded a joint study of a mission to Europa, Ganymede and the Jupiter system with orbiters developed by NASA and ESA; contributions by JAXA are also possible. The baseline EJSM architecture consists of two primary elements operating in the Jovian system: the NASA-led Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), and the ESA-led Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). JEO and JGO would execute an intricately choreographed exploration of the Jupiter System be-fore settling into orbit around Europa and Ganymede, respectively. JEO and JGO would carry eleven and ten complementary instruments, respectively, to monitor dynamic phenomena (such as Io's volcanoes and Jupi-ter's atmosphere), map the Jovian magnetosphere and its interactions with the Galilean satellites, and charac-terize water oceans beneath the ice shells of Europa and Ganymede. EJSM would fully addresses high priority science objectives identified by the National Research Coun-cil's (NRC's) Decadal Survey and ESA's Cosmic Vi-sion for exploration of the outer solar system. The De-cadal Survey recommended a Europa Orbiter as the highest priority outer planet flagship mission and also identified Ganymede as a highly desirable mission tar-get. EJSM would uniquely addresse several of the cen-tral themes of ESA's Cosmic Vision Programme, through its in-depth exploration of the Jupiter system and its evolution from origin to habitability. EJSM would investigate the potential habitability of the active ocean-bearing moons Europa and Gany-mede, detailing the geophysical, compositional, geo-logical, and external processes that affect these icy worlds. EJSM would also explore Io and Callisto, Jupi-ter's atmosphere, and the Jovian magnetosphere. By understanding the Jupiter system and unraveling its history, the formation and evolution of gas giant plan-ets and their satellites would be

  3. Geophysical controls of chemical disequilibria in Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vance, S. D.; Hand, K. P.; Pappalardo, R. T.

    2016-05-01

    The ocean in Jupiter's moon Europa may have redox balance similar to Earth's. On Earth, low-temperature hydration of crustal olivine produces substantial hydrogen, comparable to any potential flux from volcanic activity. Here we compare hydrogen and oxygen production rates of the Earth system with fluxes to Europa's ocean. Even without volcanic hydrothermal activity, water-rock alteration in Europa causes hydrogen fluxes 10 times smaller than Earth's. Europa's ocean may have become reducing for a brief epoch, for example, after a thermal-orbital resonance ˜2 Gyr after accretion. Estimated oxidant flux to Europa's ocean is comparable to estimated hydrogen fluxes. Europa's ice delivers oxidants to its ocean at the upper end of these estimates if its ice is geologically active, as evidence of geologic activity and subduction implies.

  4. A SEARCH FOR MAGNESIUM IN EUROPA'S ATMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Hoerst, S. M.; Brown, M. E.

    2013-02-20

    Europa's tenuous atmosphere results from sputtering of the surface. The trace element composition of its atmosphere is therefore related to the composition of Europa's surface. Magnesium salts are often invoked to explain Galileo Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer spectra of Europa's surface, thus magnesium may be present in Europa's atmosphere. We have searched for magnesium emission in the Hubble Space Telescope Faint Object Spectrograph archival spectra of Europa's atmosphere. Magnesium was not detected and we calculate an upper limit on the magnesium column abundance. This upper limit indicates that either Europa's surface is depleted in magnesium relative to sodium and potassium, or magnesium is not sputtered as efficiently resulting in a relative depletion in its atmosphere.

  5. Mosaic of Europa's Ridges, Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This view of the icy surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa, is a mosaic of two pictures taken by the Solid State Imaging system on board the Galileo spacecraft during a close flyby of Europa on February 20, 1997. The pictures were taken from a distance of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles). The area shown is about 14 kilometers by 17 kilometers (8.7 miles by 10.6 miles), and has a resolution of 20 meters (22 yards) per pixel. Illumination is from the right (east). The picture is centered at about 14.8 north latitude, 273.8 west longitude, in Europa's trailing hemisphere.

    One of the youngest features seen in this area is the double ridge cutting across the picture from the lower left to the upper right. This double ridge is about 2.6 kilometers (1.6 miles) wide and stands some 300 meters (330 yards) high. Small craters are most easily seen in the smooth deposits along the south margin of the prominent double ridge, and in the rugged ridged terrain farther south. The complexly ridged terrain seen here shows that parts of the icy crust of Europa have been modified by intense faulting and disruption, driven by energy from the planet's interior.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington D.C. This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web Galileo mission home page at: http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov.

  6. Europa Imaging Highlights during GEM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    During the two year Galileo Europa Mission (GEM), NASA's Galileo spacecraft will focus intensively on Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa. This montage shows samples of some of the features that will be imaged during eight successive orbits. The images in this montage are in order of increasing orbit from the upper left (orbit 11) to the lower right (orbit 19).

    DESCRIPTIONS AND APPROXIMATE RESOLUTIONSTriple bands and dark spots

    1.6 kilometers/pixelConamara Chaos

    1.6 kilometers/pixelMannan'an Crater

    1.6 kilometers/ pixelCilix

    1.6 kilometers/pixelAgenor Linea and Thrace Macula

    2 kilometers/pixelSouth polar terrain

    2 kilometers/pixelRhadamanthys Linea

    1.6 kilometers/pixelEuropa plume search

    7 kilometers/pixel

    1. Triple bands and dark spots were the focus of some images from Galileo's eleventh orbit of Jupiter. Triple bands are multiple ridges with dark deposits along the outer margins. Some extend for thousands of kilometers across Europa's icy surface. They are cracks in the ice sheet and indicate the great stresses imposed on Europa by tides raised by Jupiter, as well as Europa's neighboring moons, Ganymede and Io. The dark spots or 'lenticulae' are spots of localized disruption.

    2. The Conamara Chaos region reveals icy plates which have broken up, moved, and rafted into new positions. This terrain suggests that liquid water or ductile ice was present near the surface. On Galileo's twelfth orbit of Jupiter, sections of this region with resolutions as high as 10 meters per picture element will be obtained.

    3. Mannann'an Crater is a feature newly discovered by Galileo in June 1996. Color and high resolution images (to 40 meters per picture element) from Galileo's fourteenth orbit of Jupiter will offer a close look at the crater and help characterize how impacts affect the icy surface of this moon.

    4. Cilix, a large mound about 1.5 kilometers high, is the center of Europa's coordinate system. Its concave top and what may be flow

  7. Europa Imaging Highlights during GEM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    During the two year Galileo Europa Mission (GEM), NASA's Galileo spacecraft will focus intensively on Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa. This montage shows samples of some of the features that will be imaged during eight successive orbits. The images in this montage are in order of increasing orbit from the upper left (orbit 11) to the lower right (orbit 19).

    DESCRIPTIONS AND APPROXIMATE RESOLUTIONSTriple bands and dark spots

    1.6 kilometers/pixelConamara Chaos

    1.6 kilometers/pixelMannan'an Crater

    1.6 kilometers/ pixelCilix

    1.6 kilometers/pixelAgenor Linea and Thrace Macula

    2 kilometers/pixelSouth polar terrain

    2 kilometers/pixelRhadamanthys Linea

    1.6 kilometers/pixelEuropa plume search

    7 kilometers/pixel

    1. Triple bands and dark spots were the focus of some images from Galileo's eleventh orbit of Jupiter. Triple bands are multiple ridges with dark deposits along the outer margins. Some extend for thousands of kilometers across Europa's icy surface. They are cracks in the ice sheet and indicate the great stresses imposed on Europa by tides raised by Jupiter, as well as Europa's neighboring moons, Ganymede and Io. The dark spots or 'lenticulae' are spots of localized disruption.

    2. The Conamara Chaos region reveals icy plates which have broken up, moved, and rafted into new positions. This terrain suggests that liquid water or ductile ice was present near the surface. On Galileo's twelfth orbit of Jupiter, sections of this region with resolutions as high as 10 meters per picture element will be obtained.

    3. Mannann'an Crater is a feature newly discovered by Galileo in June 1996. Color and high resolution images (to 40 meters per picture element) from Galileo's fourteenth orbit of Jupiter will offer a close look at the crater and help characterize how impacts affect the icy surface of this moon.

    4. Cilix, a large mound about 1.5 kilometers high, is the center of Europa's coordinate system. Its concave top and what may be flow

  8. Global Geologic Map of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doggett, T.; Figueredo, P.; Greeley, R.; Hare, T.; Kolb, E.; Mullins, K.; Senske, D.; Tanaka, K.; Weiser, S.

    2008-01-01

    Europa, with its indications of a sub-ice ocean, is of keen interest to astrobiology and planetary geology. Knowledge of the global distribution and timing of Europan geologic units is a key step for the synthesis of data from the Galileo mission, and for the planning of future missions to the satellite. The first geologic map of Europa was produced at a hemisphere scale with low resolution Voyager data. Following the acquisition of higher resolution data by the Galileo mission, researchers have identified surface units and determined sequences of events in relatively small areas of Europa through geologic mapping using images at various resolutions acquired by Galileo's Solid State Imaging camera. These works provided a local to subregional perspective and employed different criteria for the determination and naming of units. Unified guidelines for the identification, mapping and naming of Europan geologic units were put forth by and employed in regional-to-hemispheric scale mapping which is now being expanded into a global geologic map. A global photomosaic of Galileo and Voyager data was used as a basemap for mapping in ArcGIS, following suggested methodology of all-stratigraphy for planetary mapping. The following units have been defined in global mapping and are listed in stratigraphic order from oldest to youngest: ridged plains material, Argadnel Regio unit, dark plains material, lineaments, disrupted plains material, lenticulated plains material and Chaos material.

  9. Science potential from a Europa lander.

    PubMed

    Pappalardo, R T; Vance, S; Bagenal, F; Bills, B G; Blaney, D L; Blankenship, D D; Brinckerhoff, W B; Connerney, J E P; Hand, K P; Hoehler, T M; Leisner, J S; Kurth, W S; McGrath, M A; Mellon, M T; Moore, J M; Patterson, G W; Prockter, L M; Senske, D A; Schmidt, B E; Shock, E L; Smith, D E; Soderlund, K M

    2013-08-01

    The prospect of a future soft landing on the surface of Europa is enticing, as it would create science opportunities that could not be achieved through flyby or orbital remote sensing, with direct relevance to Europa's potential habitability. Here, we summarize the science of a Europa lander concept, as developed by our NASA-commissioned Science Definition Team. The science concept concentrates on observations that can best be achieved by in situ examination of Europa from its surface. We discuss the suggested science objectives and investigations for a Europa lander mission, along with a model planning payload of instruments that could address these objectives. The highest priority is active sampling of Europa's non-ice material from at least two different depths (0.5-2 cm and 5-10 cm) to understand its detailed composition and chemistry and the specific nature of salts, any organic materials, and other contaminants. A secondary focus is geophysical prospecting of Europa, through seismology and magnetometry, to probe the satellite's ice shell and ocean. Finally, the surface geology can be characterized in situ at a human scale. A Europa lander could take advantage of the complex radiation environment of the satellite, landing where modeling suggests that radiation is about an order of magnitude less intense than in other regions. However, to choose a landing site that is safe and would yield the maximum science return, thorough reconnaissance of Europa would be required prior to selecting a scientifically optimized landing site. PMID:23924246

  10. Io and Europa Meet Again

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This beautiful image of the crescents of volcanic Io and more sedate Europa is a combination of two New Horizons images taken March 2, 2007, about two days after New Horizons made its closest approach to Jupiter. A lower-resolution color image snapped by the Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC) at 10:34 universal time (UT) has been merged with a higher-resolution black-and-white image taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) at 10:23 UT. The composite image shows the relative positions of Io and Europa, which were moving past each other during the image sequence, as they were at the time the LORRI image was taken.

    This image was taken from a range of 4.6 million kilometers (2.8 million miles) from Io and 3.8 million kilometers (2.4 million miles) from Europa. Although the moons appear close together in this view, a gulf of 790,000 kilometers (490,000 miles) separates them. Io's night side is lit up by light reflected from Jupiter, which is off the frame to the right. Europa's night side is dark, in contrast to Io, because this side of Europa faces away from Jupiter.

    Here Io steals the show with its beautiful display of volcanic activity. Three volcanic plumes are visible. Most conspicuous is the enormous 300-kilometer (190-mile) high plume from the Tvashtar volcano at the 11 o'clock position on Io's disk. Two much smaller plumes are also visible: that from the volcano Prometheus, at the 9 o'clock position on the edge of Io's disk, and from the volcano Amirani, seen between Prometheus and Tvashtar along Io's terminator (the line dividing day and night). The Tvashtar plume appears blue because of the scattering of light by tiny dust particles ejected by the volcanoes, similar to the blue appearance of smoke. In addition, the contrasting red glow of hot lava can be seen at the source of the Tvashtar plume.

    The images are centered at 1 degree North, 60 degrees West on Io, and 0 degrees North, 149 degrees West on Europa. The color

  11. Search for Trace Species in Europa's Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, M. A.; Sparks, W. B.; Spencer, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the present surface composition of Europa provides critical information about its potential habitability. From Earth we currently have very few tools at our disposal to measure Europa's composition. Two notable exceptions are Keck NIR spectroscopy (cf Brown and Hand 2013) and Hubble Space Telescope UV spectroscopy (cf Cunningham et al. 2015). In March 2015 we obtained 5 orbits of deep UV spectroscopy of Europa using the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph covering wavelength range 1170-1760 Å. The purpose of the observations was to detect trace species in Europa's exosphere, which is generated by charged particle sputtering of Europa's water ice surface. The composition of the exosphere therefore provides an indirect measurement of surface composition. Furthermore, if active plumes are present, the composition of the exosphere may also reflect the composition of Europa's subsurface water reservoir. Of particular interest in the observed wavelength range are multiplets of atomic chlorine, because chlorine is predicted to be a major constituent of Europa's ocean (Kargel et al. 2000), and Na and K chlorides are expected to be major constituents of the icy shell (Zolotov and Shock 2001; Zolotov and Kargel 2009). The present situation at Europa is analogous to that at Io in the late 1990s, when chlorine ions were first detected in the plasma near Io (Kuppers and Schneider 2000), motivating searches for atomic chlorine and chlorine-bearing species that were subsequently detected in Io's atmosphere (Lellouch et al. 2003, Feaga et al. 2004). Galileo plasma measurements have detected chlorine ions near Europa (Volwerk et al. 2001), which has motivated the present search for chlorine in Europa's exosphere. We will present the new COS spectra of Europa and discuss the implications of the trace species that have been detected in these data.

  12. Numerical Study of Orbits around Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mourao, Decio; Carvalho, Jean Paulo; Vilhena de Moraes, Rodolpho; Cardoso dos Santos, Josué; Campos de Carvalho Costa, Luis Fernando

    NASA's Galileo spacecraft probe recently discovered what appears to be a body of liquid water locked inside the icy shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The improved likelihood of life on Europa motivated new mission proposals. In this work we used numerical simulations to compare several possible orbits of satellites near the surface of Europa. We spread a set of particles around the satellite with different initially conditions, from 50 to 500km altitude and inclinations higher than 35 degrees, and we monitored the evolution of the test particles during the numerical integrations. We consider the effect of the oblateness of Europa by considering the C22,J2 and J4 parameters and Jupiter gravitational perturbation. These perturbations were first accounted for separately in order to better understand the importance of each effect, and then considered jointly. All particles collide with the Europa surface in a few days. The oblateness of Jupiter alone causes particles with high inclination to collide with the surface of Europa, while the oblateness of Europa affects low orbits decreasing the lifetime of most of the particles. We identified a stable region of orbits with initial altitudes around 300 km of altitude and 90 degrees of inclination. Particles in this region survived more than 200 days. In most of the simulations pericenter initial values near 90 or 270 degrees favor a higher lifetime for the particles, even when considering Europa oblateness.

  13. Ancient Impact Basin on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This feature on Europa was seen as a dark, diffuse circular patch on a previous Galileo global image of Europa's leading hemisphere on April 3, 1997. The 'bulls-eye' pattern appears to be a 140- kilometer (86-mile) wide impact scar (about the size of the island of Hawaii) which formed as the surface fractured minutes after a mountain-sized asteroid or comet slammed into the satellite. This approximately 214-kilometer (132-mile) wide picture is the product of three images which have been processed in false color to enhance shapes and compositions.

    North is toward the top of this picture, which is illuminated from sunlight coming from the west. This color composite reveals a sequence of events which have modified the surface of Europa. The earliest event was the impact which formed the Tyre structure at 34 degrees north latitude and 146.5 degrees west longitude. The impact was followed by the formation of the reddish lines superposed on Tyre. The red color designates areas that are probably a dirty water ice mixture. The fine blue-green lines crossing the region from west to east appear to be ridges which formed after the crater.

    The images were taken on April 4, 1997, at a resolution of 595 meters (1950 feet) per picture element and a range of 29,000 kilometers (17,900 miles). The images were taken by Galileo's solid state imaging (CCD) system.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  14. Highest Resolution Image of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    During its twelfth orbit around Jupiter, on Dec. 16, 1997, NASA's Galileo spacecraft made its closest pass of Jupiter's icy moon Europa, soaring 200 kilometers (124 miles) kilometers above the icy surface. This image was taken near the closest approach point, at a range of 560 kilometers (335 miles) and is the highest resolution picture of Europa that will be obtained by Galileo. The image was taken at a highly oblique angle, providing a vantage point similar to that of someone looking out an airplane window. The features at the bottom of the image are much closer to the viewer than those at the top of the image. Many bright ridges are seen in the picture, with dark material in the low-lying valleys. In the center of the image, the regular ridges and valleys give way to a darker region of jumbled hills, which may be one of the many dark pits observed on the surface of Europa. Smaller dark, circular features seen here are probably impact craters.

    North is to the right of the picture, and the sun illuminates the surface from that direction. This image, centered at approximately 13 degrees south latitude and 235 degrees west longitude, is approximately 1.8 kilometers (1 mile) wide. The resolution is 6 meters (19 feet) per picture element. This image was taken on December 16, 1997 by the solid state imaging system camera on NASA's Galileo spacecraft.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  15. A Pragmatic Path to Investigating Europa's Habitability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pappalardo; Bengenal; Bar; Bills; Blankenship; Connerney; Kurth; McGrath; Moore; Prockter; Senske; Smith; Garner; Magner; Hibbard; Cooke

    2011-01-01

    Assessment of Europa's habitability, as an overarching science goal, will progress via a comprehensive investigation of Europa's subsurface ocean, chemical composition, and internal dynamical processes, The National Research Council's Planetary Decadal Survey placed an extremely high priority on Europa science but noted that the budget profile for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (1EO) mission concept is incompatible with NASA's projected planetary science budget Thus, NASA enlisted a small Europa Science Definition Team (ESDT) to consider more pragmatic Europa mission options, In its preliminary findings (May, 2011), the ESDT embraces a science scope and instrument complement comparable to the science "floor" for JEO, but with a radically different mission implementation. The ESDT is studying a two-element mission architecture, in which two relatively low-cost spacecraft would fulfill the Europa science objectives, An envisioned Europa orbital element would carry only a very small geophysics payload, addressing those investigations that are best carried out from Europa orbit An envisioned separate multiple Europa flyby element (in orbit about Jupiter) would emphasize remote sensing, This mission architecture would provide for a subset of radiation-shielded instruments (all relatively low mass, power, and data rate) to be delivered into Europa orbit by a modest spacecraft, saving on propellant and other spacecraft resources, More resource-intensive remote sensing instruments would achieve their science objectives through a conservative multiple-flyby approach, that is better situated to handle larger masses and higher data volumes, and which aims to limit radiation exposure, Separation of the payload into two spacecraft elements, phased in time, would permit costs to be spread more uniformly over mUltiple years, avoiding an excessively high peak in the funding profile, Implementation of each spacecraft would be greatly simplified compared to previous Europa mission

  16. Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaney, D. L.; Clark, R. N.; Dalton, J. B.; Davies, A. G.; Green, R. O.; Hedman, M. M.; Hibbits, C. A.; Langevin, Y. J.; Lunine, J. I.; McCord, T. B.; Soderblom, J. M.; Cable, M. L.; Mouroulis, P.; Kim, W.; Dorsky, L. I.; Strohbehn, K.

    2015-10-01

    The Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa(MISE) instrument is designed to be able to unravel the composition of Europa, and to provide new insight into the processes that have in the past and continue to shape Europa, and on the habitability of Europa's ocean. The MISE design is the result of collaboration between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (California Institute of Technology) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (John Hopkins' University). JPL's Discovery Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) on Chandrayan-1 and APL's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) comprise the technical basis for MISE. Internal JPL and APL investments in conjunction with NASA support under the ICEE program has allowed for instrument technology development and testing to achieve a design which would perform in Europa's radiation environment and meet potential sterilization requirements due to planetary protection.

  17. Prominent Doublet Ridges on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image of Jupiter's satellite Europa was obtained from a range of 7364 miles (11851 km) by the Galileo spacecraft during its fourth orbit around Jupiter and its first close pass of Europa. The image spans 30 miles by 57 miles (48 km x 91 km) and shows features as small as 800 feet (240 meters) across, a resolution more than 150 times better than the best Voyager coverage of this area. The sun illuminates the scene from the right. The large circular feature in the upper left of the image could be the scar of a large meteorite impact. Clusters of small craters seen in the right of the image may mark sites where debris thrown from this impact fell back to the surface. Prominent doublet ridges over a mile (1.6 km) wide cross the plains in the right part of the image; younger ridges overlap older ones, allowing the sequence of formation to be determined. Gaps in ridges indicate areas where emplacement of new surface material has obliterated pre-existing terrain.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the Galileo mission home page on the World Wide Web at http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  18. Mapping Elliptical Orbits Around Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vilhena de Moraes, Rodolpho; Prado, Antonio; Carvalho, Jean Paulo; Cardoso dos Santos, Josué

    Due to specifics scientific purposes space missions has been proposed to explore natural satellites, comets and asteroids sending artificial satellites orbiting around these bodies. The planning of such missions must be taken into account a good choice for the orbits that reduces the cost related to station-keeping and the increasing the duration of the mission. The present research has the objective of using a new concept to map with respect the station-keeping maneuvers to study elliptical orbits around Europa. This concept is based in the integral of the perturbing forces over the time. This value can estimate the total variation of velocity received by the spacecraft from the perturbations forces acting on it. The value of this integral is a characteristic of the perturbations considered and the orbit chosen for the spacecraft. Numerical simulations are made showing the value of this integral for orbits around Europa as a function of the eccentricity and semi-major axis of the orbits. An important application of the present research is in the search for frozen orbits.

  19. Plasma conditions at Europa's orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, Fran; Sidrow, Evan; Wilson, Robert J.; Cassidy, Timothy A.; Dols, Vincent; Crary, Frank J.; Steffl, Andrew J.; Delamere, Peter A.; Kurth, William S.; Paterson, William R.

    2015-11-01

    With attention turned to Europa as a target for exploration, we focus on the space environment in which Europa is embedded. We review remote and in situ observations of plasma properties at Europa's orbit, between Io's dense, UV-emitting plasma torus and Jupiter's dynamic plasma sheet. Where observations are limited (e.g. in plasma composition), we supplement our analysis with models of the neutral and plasma populations from Io to Europa. We evaluate variations and uncertainties in plasma properties with radial distance, latitude, longitude and time. If we consider only the EUV channel of UVIS, the spectral emissions model concludes that O(III) is the dominant ionization state of oxygen in the Io torus. This unphysical result occurs because the model maximizes the amount of O(III) in order to minimize the model/spectrum discrepancy at 702 Å. With the inclusion of the FUV channel, there are two additional O(III) spectral lines located at 1661 and 1666 Å. These lines, first detected in the Io torus by Moos et al. (1991), place a strong constraint on the amount of O(III) present in the torus. Unfortunately, they are relatively faint and barely above the level of noise in the UVIS spectra. Therefore, the values we derive for the mixing ratio of O(III) or O(II) as a function of radial distance should more properly be thought of as an upper or lower limit on the actual value. With this caveat in mind, there is still significantly more O(III) and less O(II) compared to the Voyager model of Bagenal (1994). The [O(II)]/[O(III)] ratio, averaged over 6.2-8.8 RJ, is 3.7 - less than half the corresponding value of 8.8 from Bagenal (1994). The value of this ratio generally decreases with increasing radial distance, which is consistent with the observed increase in electron temperature.Note that the Bagenal (1994) oxygen composition came from Bagenal et al. (1992), which was based on the limited spectral range of the Voyager UVS

  20. Europa as an Abode of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyba, Christopher F.; Phillips, Cynthia B.

    2002-02-01

    Life as we know it on Earth depends on liquid water, a suite of `biogenic' elements (most famously carbon) and a useful source of free energy. Here we review Europa's suitability for life from the perspective of these three requirements. It is likely, though not yet certain, that Europa harbors a subsurface ocean of liquid water whose volume is about twice that of Earth's oceans. Little is known about Europa's inventory of carbon, nitrogen, and other biogenic elements, but lower bounds on these can be placed by considering the role of cometary delivery over Europa's history. Sources of free energy are challenging for a world covered with an ice layer kilometers thick, but it is possible that hydrothermal activity and/or organics and oxidants provided by the action of radiation chemistry at Europa's surface and subsequent mixing into Europa's ocean could provide the electron donors and acceptors needed to power a Europan ecosystem. It is not premature to draw lessons from the search for life on Mars with the Viking spacecraft for planning exobiological missions to Europa.

  1. Thick or Thin Ice Shell on Europa?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Scientists are all but certain that Europa has an ocean underneath its icy surface, but they do not know how thick this ice might be. This artist concept illustrates two possible cut-away views through Europa's ice shell. In both, heat escapes, possibly volcanically, from Europa's rocky mantle and is carried upward by buoyant oceanic currents. If the heat from below is intense and the ice shell is thin enough (left), the ice shell can directly melt, causing what are called 'chaos' on Europa, regions of what appear to be broken, rotated and tilted ice blocks. On the other hand, if the ice shell is sufficiently thick (right), the less intense interior heat will be transferred to the warmer ice at the bottom of the shell, and additional heat is generated by tidal squeezing of the warmer ice. This warmer ice will slowly rise, flowing as glaciers do on Earth, and the slow but steady motion may also disrupt the extremely cold, brittle ice at the surface. Europa is no larger than Earth's moon, and its internal heating stems from its eccentric orbit about Jupiter, seen in the distance. As tides raised by Jupiter in Europa's ocean rise and fall, they may cause cracking, additional heating and even venting of water vapor into the airless sky above Europa's icy surface. (Artwork by Michael Carroll.)

  2. Navigational Challenges for a Europa Flyby Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin-Mur, Tomas J.; Ionasescu, Rodica; Valerino, Powtawche; Criddle, Kevin; Roncoli, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa is a prime candidate in the search for present-day habitable environments outside of the Earth. A number of missions have provided increasingly detailed images of the complex surface of Europa, including the Galileo mission, which also carried instruments that allowed for a limited investigation of the environment of Europa. A new mission to Europa is needed to pursue these exciting discoveries using close-up observations with modern instrumentation designed to address the habitability of Europa. In all likelihood the most cost effective way of doing this would be with a spacecraft carrying a comprehensive suite of instruments and performing multiple flybys of Europa. A number of notional trajectory designs have been investigated, utilizing gravity assists from other Galilean moons to decrease the period of the orbit and shape it in order to provide a globally distributed coverage of different regions of Europa. Navigation analyses are being performed on these candidate trajectories to assess the total Delta V that would be needed to complete the mission, to study how accurately the flybys could be executed, and to determine which assumptions most significantly affect the performance of the navigation system.

  3. Comparison of Ridges on Triton and Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prockter, L. M.; Pappalardo, R. .

    2003-01-01

    Triton and Europa each display a variety of ridges and associated troughs. The resemblance of double ridges on these two satellites has been previously noted [R. Kirk, pers. comm.], but as yet, the similarities and differences between these feature types have not been examined in any detail. Triton s ridges, and Europa s, exhibit an evolutionary sequence ranging from isolated troughs, through doublet ridges, to complex ridge swaths [1, 2]. Comparison of ridges on Europa to those on Triton may provide insight into their formation on both satellites, and thereby have implications for the satellites' histories.

  4. Automated Design of the Europa Orbiter Tour

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaton, Andrew F.; Strange, Nathan J.; Longuski, James M.; Bonfiglio, Eugene P.; Taylor, Irene (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    In this paper we investigate tours of the Jovian satellites Europa Ganymede, and Callisto for the Europa Orbiter Mission. The principal goal of the tour design is to lower arrival V_ for the final Europa encounter while meeting all of the design constraints. Key constraints arise from considering the total time of the tour and the radiation dosage of a tour. These tours may employ 14 or more encounters with the Jovian satellites. hence there is an enormous number of possible sequences of these satellites to investigate. We develop a graphical method that greatly aids the design process.

  5. Automated Design of the Europa Orbiter Tour

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaton, Andrew F.; Strange, Nathan J.; Longusaki, James M.; Bonfiglio, Eugene P.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper we investigate tours of the Jovian satellites Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto for the Europa Orbiter Mission. The principal goal of the tour design is to lower arrival V(sub infinity) for the final Europa encounter while meeting all of the design constraints. Key constraints arise from considering the total time of the tour and the radiation dosage of a tour. These tours may employ 14 or more encounters with the Jovian satellites, hence there is an enormous number of possible sequences of these satellites to investigate. We develop a graphical method that greatly aids the design process.

  6. A Dark Spot on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This view taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft of Jupiter's icy moon Europa focuses on a dark, smooth region whose center is the lowest area in this image. To the west (left), it is bounded by a cliff and terraces, which might have been formed by normal faulting. The slopes toward the east (right) leading into the dark spot are gentle.

    Near the center of the dark area, it appears the dark materials have covered some of the bright terrain and ridges. This suggests that when the dark material was deposited, it may have been a fluid or an icy slush.

    Only a few impact craters are visible, with some of them covered or flooded by dark material. Some appear in groups, which may indicate that they are secondary craters formed by debris excavated during a larger impact event. A potential source for these is the nearby crater Mannann`an.

    North is to the top of the picture which is centered at 1 degree south latitude and 225 degrees west longitude. The images in this mosaic have been re-projected to 50 meters (55 yards) per picture element. They were obtained by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on March 29, 1998, during Galileo's fourteenth orbit of Jupiter, at ranges as close as 1940 kilometers (1,200 miles) from Europa.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  7. Probing Europa's interior with natural sound sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sunwoong; Zanolin, Michele; Thode, Aaron M.; Pappalardo, Robert T.; Makris, Nicholas C.

    2003-09-01

    Europa's interior structure may be determined by relatively simple and robust seismo-acoustic echo sounding techniques. The strategy is to use ice cracking events or impacts that are hypothesized to occur regularly on Europa's surface as sources of opportunity. A single passive geophone on Europa's surface may then be used to estimate the thickness of its ice shell and the depth of its ocean by measuring the travel time of seismo-acoustic reflections from the corresponding internal strata. Quantitative analysis is presented with full-field seismo-acoustic modeling of the Europan environment. This includes models for Europan ambient noise and conditions on signal-to-noise ratio necessary for the proposed technique to be feasible. The possibility of determining Europa's ice layer thickness by surface wave and modal analysis with a single geophone is also investigated.

  8. MALDI for Europa Planetary Science and Exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wdowiak, T. J.; Agresti, D. G.; Clemett, S. J.

    2000-01-01

    TOF MS for Europa landed science can identify small molecules of the cryosphere and complex biomolecules upwelling from a subsurface water ocean. A matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization (MALDI) testbed for cryo-ice mixtures is being developed.

  9. Formation of cycloidal features on Europa.

    PubMed

    Hoppa, G V; Tufts, B R; Greenberg, R; Geissler, P E

    1999-09-17

    Cycloidal patterns are widely distributed on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. Tensile cracks may have developed such a pattern in response to diurnal variations in tidal stress in Europa's outer ice shell. When the tensile strength of the ice is reached, a crack may occur. Propagating cracks would move across an ever-changing stress field, following a curving path to a place and time where the tensile stress was insufficient to continue the propagation. A few hours later, when the stress at the end of the crack again exceeded the strength, propagation would continue in a new direction. Thus, one arcuate segment of the cycloidal chain would be produced during each day on Europa. For this model to work, the tensile strength of Europa's ice crust must be less than 40 kilopascals, and there must be a thick fluid layer below the ice to allow sufficient tidal amplitude. PMID:10489365

  10. Europa's Thermal Surface from Galileo PPR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, N. J.; Rathbun, J. A.; Spencer, J. R.

    2009-03-01

    We present Galileo Photopolarimeter-Radiometer data of Europa and, from these, model the thermal inertia and bolometric albedo of the surface. We also derive an upper limit for detection of endogenic activity.

  11. Constraints on the subsurface structure of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golombek, M. P.; Banerdt, W. B.

    1990-02-01

    The wedge-shaped bands appearing near the anti-Jovian point on Europa are tension cracks which, after formation on an intact lithosphere, have facilitated the rotation of ice-lithosphere sections decoupled from the silicate interior. Such factors as fluid pressure, surface temperature, silicate impurities in the ice, and strain rates, would have affected the processes in question. A minimum degree of differentiation is required for Europa to mechanically decouple the rotated ice lithosphere from the underlying, predominantly silicate mantle.

  12. Hydrogen peroxide on the surface of Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carlson, R.W.; Anderson, M.S.; Johnson, R.E.; Smythe, W.D.; Hendrix, A.R.; Barth, C.A.; Soderblom, L.A.; Hansen, G.B.; McCord, T.B.; Dalton, J.B.; Clark, R.N.; Shirley, J.H.; Ocampo, A.C.; Matson, D.L.

    1999-01-01

    Spatially resolved infrared and ultraviolet wavelength spectra of Europa's leading, anti-jovian quadrant observed from the Galileo spacecraft show absorption features resulting from hydrogen peroxide. Comparisons with laboratory measurements indicate surface hydrogen peroxide concentrations of about 0.13 percent, by number, relative to water ice. The inferred abundance is consistent with radiolytic production of hydrogen peroxide by intense energetic particle bombardment and demonstrates that Europa's surface chemistry is dominated by radiolysis.

  13. Hydrogen peroxide on the surface of Europa.

    PubMed

    Carlson, R W; Anderson, M S; Johnson, R E; Smythe, W D; Hendrix, A R; Barth, C A; Soderblom, L A; Hansen, G B; McCord, T B; Dalton, J B; Clark, R N; Shirley, J H; Ocampo, A C; Matson, D L

    1999-03-26

    Spatially resolved infrared and ultraviolet wavelength spectra of Europa's leading, anti-jovian quadrant observed from the Galileo spacecraft show absorption features resulting from hydrogen peroxide. Comparisons with laboratory measurements indicate surface hydrogen peroxide concentrations of about 0.13 percent, by number, relative to water ice. The inferred abundance is consistent with radiolytic production of hydrogen peroxide by intense energetic particle bombardment and demonstrates that Europa's surface chemistry is dominated by radiolysis. PMID:10092224

  14. Europa's Interaction with the Magnetosphere of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khurana, Krishan K.; Jia, Xianzhe; Paranicas, Chris; Cassidy, Timothy A.; Hansen, Kenneth C.

    2013-04-01

    Galileo's observations of magnetic field in the vicinity of Europa have shown that Europa does not possess an appreciable internal magnetic field. However, Europa strongly modifies its plasma and magnetic field environment by directly interacting with the magnetosphere of Jupiter. The plasma interactions cause the absorption of Jovian plasma by the moon, pick-up of newly formed ions from the exospheres of the moon, plasma diversion by electrodynamic (Alfvén wing) interaction and the formation of a long wake in the downstream region. In addition to the electrodynamic interactions, Europa also displays electromagnetic induction response to the rotating field of Jupiter presumably from the conducting presence of global salty liquid oceans inside the moon. Galileo successfully encountered Europa 10 times during its mission. We are developing quantitative 3-D MHD models of plasma interactions of Europa with Jupiter's magnetosphere. In these models we include the effects of plasma pick-up and plasma interaction with a realistic exosphere as well as the contribution of the electromagnetic induction. We will present results of these quantitative models and show that the plasma interaction is strongest when Europa is located at the center of Jupiter's current sheet. We find that plasma mass loading rates are extremely variable over time. We will investigate various mechanisms by which such variability in mass-loading could be produced including episodically enhanced sputtering from trapped gaseous molecules in ice and enhanced plasma interaction with a vent(s) generated dense exosphere. The new model will aid researchers in planning observations from future missions such as JUICE and Europa flagship mission.

  15. Modeling Europa's Ice-Ocean Interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsenousy, A.; Vance, S.; Bills, B. G.

    2014-12-01

    This work focuses on modeling the ice-ocean interface on Jupiter's Moon (Europa); mainly from the standpoint of heat and salt transfer relationship with emphasis on the basal ice growth rate and its implications to Europa's tidal response. Modeling the heat and salt flux at Europa's ice/ocean interface is necessary to understand the dynamics of Europa's ocean and its interaction with the upper ice shell as well as the history of active turbulence at this area. To achieve this goal, we used McPhee et al., 2008 parameterizations on Earth's ice/ocean interface that was developed to meet Europa's ocean dynamics. We varied one parameter at a time to test its influence on both; "h" the basal ice growth rate and on "R" the double diffusion tendency strength. The double diffusion tendency "R" was calculated as the ratio between the interface heat exchange coefficient αh to the interface salt exchange coefficient αs. Our preliminary results showed a strong double diffusion tendency R ~200 at Europa's ice-ocean interface for plausible changes in the heat flux due to onset or elimination of a hydrothermal activity, suggesting supercooling and a strong tendency for forming frazil ice.

  16. Plasma ion composition measurements for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sittler, E. C.; Cooper, J. F.; Hartle, R. E.; Paterson, W. R.; Christian, E. R.; Lipatov, A. S.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Paschalidis, N. P.; Coplan, M. A.; Cassidy, T. A.; Richardson, J. D.; Fegley, B.; Andre, N.

    2013-11-01

    Jupiter magnetospheric interactions and surface composition, both important to subsurface ocean detection for the Galilean icy moons Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, can be measured using plasma ion mass spectrometry on either an orbiting spacecraft or one designed for multiple flybys of these moons. Detection of emergent oceanic materials at the Europa surface is more likely than at Ganymede and Callisto. A key challenge is to resolve potential intrinsic Europan materials from the space weathering patina of iogenic species implanted onto the sensible surface by magnetospheric interactions. Species-resolved measurements of pickup ion currents are also critical to extraction of oceanic induced magnetic fields from magnetospheric interaction background dominated by these currents. In general the chemical astrobiological potential of Europa should be determined through the combination of surface, ionospheric, and pickup ion composition measurements. The requisite Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) for these measurements would need to work in the high radiation environment of Jupiter's magnetosphere between the orbits of Europa and Ganymede, and beyond. A 3D hybrid model of the moon-magnetosphere interaction is also needed to construct a global model of the electric and magnetic fields, and the plasma environment, around Europa. Europa's ionosphere is probably usually dominated by hot pickup ions with 100-1000 eV temperatures, excursions to a "classical" cold ionosphere likely being infrequent. A field aligned ionospheric wind driven by the electron polarization electric field should arise and be measurable.

  17. Europa: Prospects for an ocean and exobiological implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oro, John; Squyres, Steven W.; Reynolds, Ray T.; Mills, Thomas M.

    1992-01-01

    As far as we know, Earth is the only planet in our solar system that supports life. It is natural, therefore, that our understanding of life as a planetary phenomenon is based upon Earth-like planets. There are environments in the solar system where liquid water, commonly believed to be a prerequisite for biological activity, may exist in a distinctly non-Earth-like environment. One such location is Europa, one of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter. The possibility that liquid water exists on Europa presents us with some interesting exobiological implications concerning the potential of the satellite to support life. Topics include the following: an ocean on Europa; thermal evolution of Europa; Europa's three models; exobiological implications; early conditions of Europa; low-temperature abiotic chemistry; possibility of the emergence of life on Europa; prerequisites for the habitability of Europa; energy sources for biosynthesis and metabolic activity; habitability of Europa by anaerobic life; and habitability by aerobic life.

  18. Ocean Compositions on Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitner, M. A.; Bothamy, N.; Choukroun, M.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Vance, S.

    2014-12-01

    The ocean compositions of icy Galilean satellites Europa and Ganymede are highly uncertain. Spectral observations of the satellites' surfaces provide clues for the interior composition. Putative sulfate hydration features in Galileo near-infrared reflectance spectra suggest fractionation of Na and Mg sulfates from a subsurface reservoir (McCord et al. 1998, Sci. 278, 271; McCord et al. 1998, Sci. 280, 1242; Dalton et al. 2005, Icarus, 177, 472). Recent spatially resolved spectral mapping of Europa hints at possible partitioning of near-surface brines in Europa's low-lying planes (Shirley et al. 2010; Icarus, 210, 358; Dalton et al. 2012; J. Geophys. Res. 117, E03003). Surface materials can be modified by the delivery of material from impacts and Io's active volcanoes as well as intense irradiation from Jupiter's magnetic field interaction with the jovian magnetosphere. These factors, combined with observations of high Cl/K ratios in Europa's exosphere, have led other investigators to suggest that Europa's ocean is dominated by dissolved chloride rather than sulfate (Brown and Hand 2013; Astr. J. 145, 110). There is still much uncertainty regarding how well the surface composition approximates the interior ocean composition. Exogenic materials, seafloor hydrothermal processes, and fractional crystallization during ice formation will determine the abundances of species in the ocean and by extension those present on Europa's surface. We develop a bottom-up model for oceans on Europa and Ganymede, assuming initial compositions of chondritic and cometary materials including an Fe core for Europa and an Fe-FeS eutectic core for Ganymede. We calculate an ocean composition by employing a Bulk Silicate Earth approach, also used by Zolotov and Shock (2001; J. Geophys. Res. 106, 32815) at Europa, which assess element partitioning between the rocky mantle, Fe-rich core, and water ocean. Partitioning factors are based on terrestrial estimates for Earth. The resulting ocean

  19. Oceans, Ice Shells, and Life on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul

    2002-01-01

    The four large satellites of Jupiter are famous for their planet-like diversity and complexity, but none more so than ice-covered Europa. Since the provocative Voyager images of Europa in 1979, evidence has been mounting that a vast liquid water ocean may lurk beneath the moon's icy surface. Europa has since been the target of increasing and sometimes reckless speculation regarding the possibility that giant squid and other creatures may be swimming its purported cold, dark ocean. No wonder Europa tops everyone's list for future exploration in the outer solar system (after the very first reconnaissance of Pluto and the Kuiper belt, of course). Europa may be the smallest of the Galilean moons (so-called because they were discovered by Galileo Galilei in the early 17th century) but more than makes up for its diminutive size with a crazed, alien landscape. The surface is covered with ridges hundreds of meters high, domes tens of kilometers across, and large areas of broken and disrupted crust called chaos. Some of the geologic features seen on Europa resemble ice rafts floating in polar seas here on Earth-reinforcing the idea that an ice shell is floating over an ocean on this Moon-size satellite. However, such features do not prove that an ocean exists or ever did. Warm ice is unusually soft and will flow under its own weight. If the ice shell is thick enough, the warm bottom of the shell will flow, as do terrestrial glaciers. This could produce all the observed surface features on Europa through a variety of processes, the most important of which is convection. (Convection is the vertical overturn of a layer due to heating or density differences-think of porridge or sauce boiling on the stove.) Rising blobs from the base of the crust would then create the oval domes dotting Europa's surface. The strongest evidence for a hidden ocean beneath Europa's surface comes from the Galileo spacecraft's onboard magnetometer, which detected fluctuations in Jupiter's magnetic

  20. Europa Ridges, Hills and Domes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This moderate-resolution view of the surface of one of Jupiter's moons, Europa, shows the complex icy crust that has been extensively modified by fracturing and the formation of ridges. The ridge systems superficially resemble highway networks with overpasses, interchanges and junctions. From the relative position of the overlaps, it is possible to determine the age sequence for the ridge sets. For example, while the 8-kilometer-wide (5-mile) ridge set in the lower left corner is younger than most of the terrain seen in this picture, a narrow band cuts across the set toward the bottom of the picture, indicating that the band formed later. In turn, this band is cut by the narrow 2- kilometer-wide (1.2-mile) double ridge running from the lower right to upper left corner of the picture. Also visible are numerous clusters of hills and low domes as large as 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) across, many with associated dark patches of non-ice material. The ridges, hills and domes are considered to be ice-rich material derived from the subsurface. These are some of the youngest features seen on the surface of Europa and could represent geologically young eruptions.

    This area covers about 140 kilometers by 130 kilometers (87 miles by 81 miles) and is centered at 12.3 degrees north latitude, 268 degrees west longitude. Illumination is from the east (right side of picture). The resolution is about 180 meters (200 yards) per pixel, meaning that the smallest feature visible is about a city block in size. The picture was taken by the Solid State Imaging system on board the Galileo spacecraft on February 20, 1997, from a distance of 17,700 kilometers (11,000 miles) during its sixth orbit around Jupiter.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington D.C. This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web Galileo mission home page at http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov.

  1. Comparative Tectonics of Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Collins, G. C.; Prockter, L. M.; Head, J. W.

    2000-10-01

    Europa and Ganymede are sibling satellites with tectonic similarities and differences. Ganymede's ancient dark terrain is crossed by furrows, probably related to ancient large impacts, and has been normal faulted to various degrees. Bright grooved is pervasively deformed at multiple scales and is locally highly strained, consistent with normal faulting of an ice-rich lithosphere above a ductile asthenosphere, along with minor horizontal shear. Little evidence has been identified for compressional structures. The relative roles of tectonism and icy cryovolcanism in creating bright grooved terrain is an outstanding issue. Some ridge and trough structures within Europa's bands show tectonic similarities to Ganymede's grooved terrain, specifically sawtooth structures resembling normal fault blocks. Small-scale troughs are consistent with widened tension fractures. Shearing has produced transtensional and transpressional structures in Europan bands. Large-scale folds are recognized on Europa, with synclinal small-scale ridges and scarps probably representing folds and/or thrust blocks. Europa's ubiquitous double ridges may have originated as warm ice upwelled along tidally heated fracture zones. The morphological variety of ridges and troughs on Europa imply that care must be taken in inferring their origin. The relative youth of Europa's surface means that the satellite has preserved near-pristine morphologies of many structures, though sputter erosion could have altered the morphology of older topography. Moderate-resolution imaging has revealed lesser apparent diversity in Ganymede's ridge and trough types. Galileo's 28th orbit has brought new 20 m/pixel imaging of Ganymede, allowing direct comparison to Europa's small-scale structures.

  2. Radiation Chemistry of Potential Europa Plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gudipati, M. S.; Henderson, B. L.

    2014-12-01

    Recent detection of atomic hydrogen and atomic oxygen and their correlation to potential water plumes on Europa [Roth, Saur et al. 2014] invoked significant interest in further understanding of these potential/putative plumes on Europa. Unlike on Enceladus, Europa receives significant amount of electron and particle radiation. If the plumes come from trailing hemisphere and in the high radiation flux regions, then it is expected that the plume molecules be subjected to radiation processing. Our interest is to understand to what extent such radiation alterations occur and how they can be correlated to the plume original composition, whether organic or inorganic in nature. We will present laboratory studies [Henderson and Gudipati 2014] involving pulsed infrared laser ablation of ice that generates plumes similar to those observed on Enceladus [Hansen, Esposito et al. 2006; Hansen, Shemansky et al. 2011] and expected to be similar on Europa as a starting point; demonstrating the applicability of laser ablation to simulate plumes of Europa and Enceladus. We will present results from electron irradiation of these plumes to determine how organic and inorganic composition is altered due to radiation. Acknowledgments:This research was enabled through partial funding from NASA funding through Planetary Atmospheres, and the Europa Clipper Pre-Project. B.L.H. acknowledges funding from the NASA Postdoctoral Program for an NPP fellowship. Hansen, C. J., L. Esposito, et al. (2006). "Enceladus' water vapor plume." Science 311(5766): 1422-1425. Hansen, C. J., D. E. Shemansky, et al. (2011). "The composition and structure of the Enceladus plume." Geophysical Research Letters 38. Henderson, B. L. and M. S. Gudipati (2014). "Plume Composition and Evolution in Multicomponent Ices Using Resonant Two-Step Laser Ablation and Ionization Mass Spectrometry." The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 118(29): 5454-5463. Roth, L., J. Saur, et al. (2014). "Transient Water Vapor at Europa's South

  3. Viscoelastic Membrane Tectonics on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuthe, M.; Rivoldini, A.

    2014-12-01

    The surface of Europa is crisscrossed by tectonic features generally attributed to time-dependent tidal deformations. For a long time, the membrane theory of elastic shells (thin shell or flattening model) has been popular to predict tidal tectonic patterns because it provides simple analytical formulas for tidal stresses. More recently, the theory of viscoelastic-gravitational deformations (or thick shell model) was applied to tidal tectonics so as to include viscoelastic effects. This method, however, is not transparent to the user and relies on numerical algorithms that are not always publicly available or fully benchmarked. As an alternative, we propose here to extend membrane theory to viscoelastic shells with depth-dependent rheology. Viscoelasticity is taken into account by replacing elastic constants with effective viscoelastic parameters that are easily computed for a given rheology. The membrane approach thus leads to simple formulas for viscoelastic tidal stresses. Because of its formulation in terms of tidal Love numbers, the membrane approach has clear relationships with both thin and thick shell models. Benchmarking with the thick-shell software SatStress leads to the discovery of an error in that code that changes stress components by up to 40%. As an application, we show that different stress-free states account for the conflicting predictions of thin and thick shell models about the magnitude of tensile stresses due to nonsynchronous rotation.

  4. Various Landscapes and Features on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    These 15 frames show the great variety of surface features on Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, which have been revealed by the Galileo spacecraft Solid State Imaging (CCD) system during its first six orbits around Jupiter from June 1996 to February 1997. North is to the top of each of the images. The features seen on Europa's surface document both internal and external processes shaping the icy crust. Internal processes and the possible presence of liquid water beneath the ice are indicated by features such as 'dark spots', lobe-shaped flow features, 'puddles','mottled terrain', knobs, pits, and the darker areas along ridges and triple bands.

    Europa is subjected to constant tugging from the giant planet, Jupiter, as well as from its neighboring moons, Io and Ganymede. This causes 'tidal' forces that affect Europa's interior and surface. Evidence for such forces includes ridges, fractures, wedge-shaped bands, and areas of 'chaos'. Some of these features result from alternate extension and compression buckling and pulling apart Europa's icy shell.

    Impact craters document external effects on a planet's surface. Although present on Europa, impact craters are relatively scarce compared to the number seen on Ganymede, Callisto, and on the surfaces of most other 'rocky' planets and moons in our solar system. This scarcity of craters suggests that the surface of Europa is very young. 'Maculae' on Europa may be the scars from large impact events.

    These images have resolutions from 27 meters (89 feet) to 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) per picture element (pixel) and were taken by Galileo at ranges of 2,500 kilometers (1,525 miles) to 677,000 kilometers (413,000 miles) from Europa.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web

  5. EUROPA Multiple-Flyby Trajectory Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffington, Brent; Campagnola, Stefano; Petropoulos, Anastassios

    2012-01-01

    As reinforced by the 2011 NRC Decadal Survey, Europa remains one of the most scientifically intriguing targets in planetary science due to its potential suitability for life. However, based on JEO cost estimates and current budgetary constraints, the Decadal Survey recommended-and later directed by NASA Headquarters-a more affordable pathway to Europa exploration be derived. In response, a flyby-only proof-of-concept trajectory has been developed to investigate Europa. The trajectory, enabled by employing a novel combination of new mission design techniques, successfully fulfills a set of Science Definition Team derived scientific objectives carried out by a notional payload including ice penetrating radar, topographic imaging, and short wavelength infrared observations, and ion neutral mass spectrometry in-situ measurements. The current baseline trajectory, referred to as 11-F5, consists of 34 Europa and 9 Ganymede flybys executed over the course of 2.4 years, reached a maximum inclination of 15 degrees, has a deterministic delta v of 157 m/s (post-PJR), and has a total ionizing dose of 2.06 Mrad (Si behind 100 mil Al, spherical shell). The 11-F5 trajectory and more generally speaking, flyby-only trajectories-exhibit a number of potential advantages over an Europa orbiter mission.

  6. Heat transfer of ascending cryomagma on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Marsh, Bruce D.

    2016-06-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa has a relatively young surface (60-90 Myr on average), which may be due in part to cryovolcanic processes. Current models for both effusive and explosive cryovolcanism on Europa may be expanded and enhanced by linking the potential for cryovolcanism at the surface to subsurface cryomagmatism. The success of cryomagma transport through Europa's crust depends critically on the rate of ascent relative to the rate of solidification. The final transport distance of cryomagma is thus governed by initial melt volume, ascent rate, overall ascent distance, transport mechanism (i.e., diapirism, diking, or ascent in cylindrical conduits), and melt temperature and composition. The last two factors are especially critical in determining the budget of expendable energy before complete solidification. Here we use these factors as constraints to explore conditions under which cryomagma may arrive at Europa's surface to facilitate cryovolcanism. We find that 1-5 km radius warm ice diapirs ascending from the base of a 10 km thick stagnant lid can reach the shallow subsurface in a partially molten state. Cryomagma transport may be further facilitated if diapirs travel along pre-heated ascent paths. Under certain conditions, cryolava transported from 10 km depths in tabular dikes or pipe-like conduits may reach the surface at temperatures exceeding 250 K. Ascent rates for these geometries may be high enough that isothermal transport is approached. Cryomagmas containing significant amounts of low eutectic impurities can also be delivered to Europa's surface by propagating dikes or pipe-like conduits.

  7. Stability of Frozen Orbits Around Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso Dos Santos, Josué; Vilhena de Moraes, R.; Carvalho, J. S.

    2013-05-01

    Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): A planetary satellite of interest at the present moment for the scientific community is Europa, one of the four largest moons of Jupiter. There are some missions planned to visit Europa in the next years, for example, Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO, NASA) and Jupiter IcyMoon Explorer (JUICE, ESA). In this work we are formulating theories and constructing computer programs to be used in the design of aerospace tasks as regards the stability of artificial satellite orbits around planetary satellites. The studies are related to translational motion of orbits around planetary satellites considering polygenic perturbations due to forces, such as the nonspherical shape of the central body and the perturbation of the third body. The equations of motion will be developed in closed form to avoid expansions in eccentricity and inclination. For a description of canonical formalism are used the Delaunay canonical variables. The canonical set of equations, which are nonlinear differential equations, will be used to study the stability of orbits around Europa. We will use a simplified dynamic model, which considers the effects caused by non-uniform distribution of mass of Europa (J2, J3 and C22) and the gravitational attraction of Jupiter. Emphasis will be given to the case of frozen orbits, defined as having almost constant values of eccentricity, inclination, and argument of pericentre. An approach will be used to search for frozen orbits around planetary satellites and study their stability by applying a process of normalization of Hamiltonian. Acknowledges: FAPESP

  8. Simulation of Na D emission near Europa during eclipse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cassidy, T.A.; Johnson, R.E.; Geissler, P.E.; Leblanc, F.

    2008-01-01

    The Cassini imaging science subsystem observed Europa in eclipse during Cassini's Jupiter flyby. The disk-resolved observations revealed a spatially nonuniform emission in the wavelength range of 200-1050 nm (clear filters). By building on observations and simulations of Europa's Na atmosphere and torus we find that electron-excited Na in Europa's tenuous atmosphere can account for the observed emission if the Na is ejected preferentially from Europa's dark terrain. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Transient water vapor at Europa's south pole.

    PubMed

    Roth, Lorenz; Saur, Joachim; Retherford, Kurt D; Strobel, Darrell F; Feldman, Paul D; McGrath, Melissa A; Nimmo, Francis

    2014-01-10

    In November and December 2012, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaged Europa's ultraviolet emissions in the search for vapor plume activity. We report statistically significant coincident surpluses of hydrogen Lyman-α and oxygen OI 130.4-nanometer emissions above the southern hemisphere in December 2012. These emissions were persistently found in the same area over the 7 hours of the observation, suggesting atmospheric inhomogeneity; they are consistent with two 200-km-high plumes of water vapor with line-of-sight column densities of about 10(20) per square meter. Nondetection in November 2012 and in previous HST images from 1999 suggests varying plume activity that might depend on changing surface stresses based on Europa's orbital phases. The plume was present when Europa was near apocenter and was not detected close to its pericenter, in agreement with tidal modeling predictions. PMID:24336567

  10. Tides and the Biosphere of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, Richard

    2002-01-01

    It's been suspected for at least a decade now that Jupiter's icy moon Europa harbors a global ocean of liquid water beneath its crust. To many scientists the presence of another ocean in our solar system immediately conjured up images of extraterrestrial lifeforms swimming in an alien sea. But what sorts of life could evolve in the dark waters of a subsurface ocean, and how would it derive the energy it needs to survive? Planetary scientist, Richard Greenberg has been studying the surface features of Europa, and he finds that the icy crust that covers the ocean may not be as thick as scientists had at first supposed. Cracks in Europa's surface suggest that the ocean waters may come very close to the surface. If so, the cracks themselves may provide a niche for life, and the light near the surface of the moon could provide energy for photosynthetic organisms.

  11. Science and Reconnaissance from the Europa Clipper Mission Concept: Exploring Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert; Senske, David; Prockter, Louise; Paczkowski, Brian; Vance, Steve; Goldstein, Barry; Magner, Thomas; Cooke, Brian

    2015-04-01

    Europa is recognized by the Planetary Science De-cadal Survey as a prime candidate to search for a pre-sent-day habitable environment in our solar system. As such, NASA has pursued a series of studies, facilitated by a Europa Science Definition Team (SDT), to define a strategy to best advance our scientific understanding of this icy world with the science goal: Explore Europa to investigate its habitability. (In June of 2014, the SDT completed its task of identifying the overarching science objectives and investigations.) Working in concert with a technical team, a set of mission archi-tectures were evaluated to determine the best way to achieve the SDT defined science objectives. The fa-vored architecture would consist of a spacecraft in Ju-piter orbit making many close flybys of Europa, con-centrating on remote sensing to explore the moon. In-novative mission design would use gravitational per-turbations of the spacecraft trajectory to permit flybys at a wide variety of latitudes and longitudes, enabling globally distributed regional coverage of Europa's sur-face, with nominally 45 close flybys, typically at alti-tudes from 25 to 100 km. This concept has become known as the Europa Clipper. The Europa SDT recommended three science ob-jectives for the Europa Clipper: Ice Shell and Ocean: Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; Composition: Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry; and Geology: Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities. The Europa SDT also considered implications of the Hubble Space Telescope detection of possible plumes at Europa. To feed forward to potential subsequent future ex-ploration that could be enabled by a lander, it was deemed that the Europa Clipper mission concept should provide the

  12. Radiolytic Gas-Driven Cryovolcanism at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killen, R. M.; Cooper, J. F.; Sarantos, M.; Sittler, E. C., Jr.

    2014-12-01

    A large apparent plume of water vapor was detected at the south pole of Europa in December 2012 by the Hubble Space Telescope [Roth et al., 2014] when Europa was near maximum radial distance (apojove) in its orbit around Jupiter. The absence thus far of further detections both at apojove and elsewhere may indicate an episodic source. There was reportedly no evident brightening locally or globally of the Europa oxygen neutral atmosphere coincident with the plume water vapor detection. This could be consistent with an O2-driven cryovolcanism model in which bubbles of trapped gases in the ice crust are released from clathrates on thermal contact with rising oceanic water and expand to force upward fluid flows to the surface. It has long been suggested [Chyba, 2000; Cooper et al., 2001] that the Europa ocean could be oxygenated by radiolytic oxygen from surface irradiation, also implying that the overlying ice crust could be saturated in oxygen clathrates [Hand et al., 2006]. That the moon ocean could be a potentially habitable environment by oxygenation or other processes has been a major motivation for missions to Europa. The radiolytic gas source would be far greater at Europa as compared to much lesser source rates for a similar model at Enceladus [Cooper et al., 2009]. Detected plume emissions could arise from both the directly ejected vapor and from sputtering and/or sublimation of chemically-active plume frost in the polar cap region. Europa's surface gravity is much higher than that of Enceladus, so most of the plume vapor would return to the surface as frost. If sputtering or radiolysis were active contributors to polar cap emissions from the frost, then emissions could also maximize at 6.5-hour intervals as Europa passes through the densest part of the jovian magnetospheric plasma sheet as well as at 85-hour apojove intervals of the orbital period. For comparison to available polar cap plume and global atmospheric observations we present ballistic simulations

  13. Plumes on Enceladus: Lessons for Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nimmo, F.

    2014-12-01

    The possible detection of a water vapour plume on Europa [1] suggests resemblances to Enceladus, a cryovolcanically active satellite [2]. How does this activity work, and what lesson does Enceladus have for plumes on Europa? The inferred vapour column densities of the Europa [1] and Enceladus [3] plumes are similar, but the inferred velocity and mass flux of the former are higher. At Enceladus, the inferred plume strength is modulated by its orbital position [4,5], suggesting that tides opening and closing cracks control the eruption behaviour [6,7]. An additional source of stress potentially driving eruptions is the effect of slow freezing of the ice shell above[7,8]. The original detection of the Europa plume was close to apocentre, when polar fractures are expected to be in tension [1]. Follow-up observations at the same orbital phase did not detect a plume [9], although the Galileo E12 magnetometer data may provide evidence for an earlier plume [Khurana, pers. comm.]. One possible explanation for the plume's disappearance is that longer-period tidal effects are playing a role; there are hints of similar secular changes in the Enceladus data [4,5]. Another is that detectability of the Europa plumein the aurora observations also depends on variations in electron density (which affects the UV emission flux) [9]. Or it may simply be that eruptive activity on Europa is highly time-variable, as on Io. At Enceladus, the plume scale height is independent of orbital position and plume brightness [5]. This suggests that the vapour velocity does not depend on crack width, consistent with supersonic flow through a near-surface throat. The large scale height inferred for the Europa plume likewise suggests supersonic behaviour. Continuous fallback of solid plume material at Enceladus affects both the colour [10] and surface texture [2] of near-polar regions. Less frequent plume activity would produce subtler effects; whether the sparse available imagery at Europa [11

  14. Energetic particle fluxes in vicinity of Jupiter's moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podzolko, Mikhail; Getselev, Igor; Gubar, Yuriy; Veselovsky, Igor

    Currently several projects of sending research space vehicles to Jupiter and its Galilean moons in 2020 are being developed. In particular, Russian Space Agency proposed the project of Europa lander. During the mission the spacecraft will be affected by charged particles of various origins. The greatest hazard will originate from powerful Jupiter's radiation belts, especially during the time of spacecraft operation near Europa and on its surface. The absorbed radiation dose during 2 months in Europa's orbit under shielding compared to that for "Galileo" spacecraft will amount to almost 1 megarad, the major contribution to it will originate from relativistic electrons. However, near Europa part of the charged particle flux will be shaded by the moon. Obviously, fluxes of particles of all energies on its surface will be lower by at least 2 times, than in the same point of space without Europa. But furthermore, the reduction of the fluxes in vicinity of Europa is nonuniform, and differs for the surface and the low-altitude orbit. This is caused by several factors: the complexity of particle trajectories near Europa and in Jupiter's magnetosphere in general, difference of Europa's orbital plane from Jupiter's geomagnetic equator plane, certain disturbance of Jupiter's magnetic field in vicinity of Europa, possible influence of electric fields and Europa's tenuous atmosphere. In the current study computations of energetic particle flux distribution near Europa and on its surface are made, taking into account several of the above-mentioned factors.

  15. Is Europa's Subsurface Water Ocean Warm?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.; Ekholm, A. G.; Showman, A. P.; Lorenz, R. D.

    2002-01-01

    Europa's subsurface water ocean may be warm: that is, at the temperature of water's maximum density. This provides a natural explanation of chaos melt-through events and leads to a correct estimate of the age of its surface. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  16. Europa's Northern Trailing Hemisphere: Lineament Stratigraphic Framework

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Figueredo, P. H.; Hare, T.; Ricq, E.; Strom, K.; Greeley, R.; Tanaka, K.; Senske, D.

    2004-01-01

    Knowledge of the global distribution of Europan geologic units in time and space is a necessary step for the synthesis of the results of the Galileo mission and in preparation for future exploration (namely, by JIMO) of the satellite. We have initiated the production of the first Global Geological Map of Europa. As a base map, we use the recently published global photomosaic of Europa (U.S.G.S. Map I-2757) and additional Galileo SSI images at their original resolution. The map is being produced entirely on GIS format for analysis and combination with other datasets [1]. One of the main objectives of this project is to establish a global stratigraphic framework for Europa. In the absence of a well-developed cratering record, this goal will be achieved using the satellite s global network of lineaments (ridges, ridge complexes and bands; cf. [2]). Here we present the preliminary stratigraphic framework synthesized from the sequence of lineaments derived for the northern trailing hemisphere of Europa (Figure 1, below), and we discuss its significance and some emerging implications.

  17. Subsurface Exploration Technologies and Strategies for Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    French, L. C.; Anderson, F. S.; Carsey, F. D.; Green, J. R.; Lane, A. L.; Zimmerman, W. F.

    2001-01-01

    The Galileo data from Europa has resulted in the strong suggestion of a large, cold, salty, old subglacial ocean and is of great importance. We have examined technology requirements for subsurface exploration of Europa and determined that scientific access to the hypothesized Europa ocean is a key requirement. By 'scientific access' we intend to direct attention to the fact that several aspects of exploration of a site such as Europa must be addressed at the system level. Specifically needed are a robotic vehicle that can descend through ice, scientific instrumentation that can interrogate the ice near the vehicle (but largely unaffected by its presence), scientific instrumentation for the subglacial ocean, communication for data and control, chemical analysis of the environment of the vehicle in the ice as well as the ocean, and methods for conducting the mission without contamination. We have embarked on a part of this extremely ambitious development sequence by developing the Active Thermal Probe, or Cryobot. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  18. Evidence for a subsurface ocean on Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, M.H.; Belton, M.J.S.; Chapman, C.R.; Davies, M.E.; Geissler, P.; Greenberg, R.; McEwen, A.S.; Tufts, B.R.; Greeley, R.; Sullivan, R.; Head, J.W.; Pappalardo, R.T.; Klaasen, K.P.; Johnson, T.V.; Kaufman, J.; Senske, D.; Moore, J.; Neukum, G.; Schubert, G.; Burns, J.A.; Thomas, P.; Veverka, J.

    1998-01-01

    Ground-based spectroscopy of Jupiter's moon Europa, combined with gravity data, suggests that the satellite has an icy crust roughly 150 km thick and a rocky interior. In addition, images obtained by the Voyager spacecraft revealed that Europa's surface is crossed by numerous intersecting ridges and dark bands (called lineae) and is sparsely cratered, indicating that the terrain is probably significantly younger than that of Ganymede and Callisto. It has been suggested that Europa's thin outer ice shell might be separated from the moon's silicate interior by a liquid water layer, delayed or prevented from freezing by tidal heating; in this model, the lineae could be explained by repetitive tidal deformation of the outer ice shell. However, observational confirmation of a subsurface ocean was largely frustrated by the low resolution (>2 km per pixel) of the Voyager images. Here we present high-resolution (54 m per pixel) Galileo spacecraft images of Europa, in which we find evidence for mobile 'icebergs'. The detailed morphology of the terrain strongly supports the presence of liquid water at shallow depths below the surface, either today or at some time in the past. Moreover, lower- resolution observations of much larger regions suggest that the phenomena reported here are widespread.

  19. Europa Tide Inversion from REASON Altimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haynes, M.; Schroeder, D. M.; Steinbrügge, G.; Bills, B. G.

    2015-12-01

    Determining the amplitude of Europa's tides is central to understanding its ice shell and subsurface ocean. We assess the accuracy of retrieving the tidal amplitude solely using altimetry profiles produced by the REASON instrument (Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface), selected for the Europa Clipper mission. We investigate retrieval of the first Love number, h2, by inverting the entire set of altimetric ground tracks over the life of the mission. The inversion simultaneously estimates h2, long-wavelength topography, and spacecraft orbit parameters. In its simplest form, the inversion is quite robust: the time and location of the ground track uniquely fixes the phase of the sampled tide, where surface roughness acts as noise to be averaged out. In addition, we make an initial evaluation of altimetric biases that arise from known and hypothesized Europa topography using surface point target simulations. Overall, we find that the altimeter alone is capable of retrieving the first tidal Love number with accuracy sufficient to observationally constrain ice-shell thickness.

  20. Planetary protection for Europa radar sounder antenna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aaron, Kim M.; Moussessian, Alina; Newlin, Laura E.; Willis, Paul B.; Chen, Fei; Harcke, Leif J.; Chapin, Elaine; Jun, Insoo; Gim, Yonggyu; McEachen, Michael; Allen, Scotty; Kirchner, Donald; Blankenship, Donald

    2016-05-01

    The potential for habitability puts stringent requirements on planetary protection for a mission to Europa. A long-wavelength radar sounder with a large antenna is one of the proposed instruments for a future Europa mission. The size and construction of radar sounding antennas make the usual methods of meeting planetary protection requirements challenging. This paper discusses a viable planetary protection scheme for an antenna optimized for Europa radar sounding. The preferred methodology for this antenna is exposure to 100 kGy (10 Mrad) in water of gamma radiation using a Cobalt-60 source for both bulk and surface sterilization and exposure to vapor hydrogen peroxide for surface treatment for possible recontamination due to subsequent handling. For the boom-supported antenna design, selected tests were performed to confirm the suitability of these treatment methods. A portion of a coilable boom residual from an earlier mission was irradiated and its deployment repeatability confirmed with no degradation. Elasticity was measured of several fiberglass samples using a four-point bending test to confirm that there was no degradation due to radiation exposure. Vapor hydrogen peroxide treatment was applied to the silver-coated braid used as the antenna radiating element as it was the material most likely to be susceptible to oxidative attack under the treatment conditions. There was no discernable effect. These tests confirm that the radar sounding antenna for a Europa mission should be able tolerate the proposed sterilization methods.

  1. Europa Missions: Generic Materials Test Methodology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willis, Paul B.

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation discusses: radiation fundamentals, radiation damage, how radiation dosage is determined, fluence testing approaches, ionization damage exposure, displacement damage exposure, Europa energy "bins", rationale for group flux (energy bins), electron/proton group fluences, electron beam exposure testing, proton sources, reactor exposures, gamma exposures, preliminary exposure findings, testing caveats, preliminary conclusions, internal discharge, and electron dose depth curves.

  2. Project Galileo: completing Europa, preparing for Io

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, J. K.; Cox, Z. N.; Paczkowski, B. G.; Sible, R. W.; Theilig, E. E.

    2000-01-01

    Galileo has completed the Europa leg of the Galileo Europa Mission, and is now pumping down the apojove in each succeeding orbit in preparation for the Io phase. Including three encounters earlier in the primary mission, the total of ten close passes by Europa have provided a wealth of interesting and provocative information about this intriguing body. The results presented include new and exciting information about Europa's interactions with Jupiter's magnetosphere, its interior structure, and its tantalizing surface features, which strongly hint at a watery subsurface layer. Additional data concerning Callisto, and its own outlook for a subsurface ocean are also presented. In addition the engineering aspects of operating the spacecraft during the past year are explored, as well as a brief examination of what will be the challenges to prepare for the Io encounters. The steadily increasing radiation dosage that the spacecraft is experiencing is well beyond the original design parameters, and is contributing to a number of spacecraft problems and concerns. The ability of the flight team to analyze and solve these problems, even at the reduced staffing levels of an extended mission, is a testament to their tenacity and loyalty to the mission. The engineering data being generated by these continuing radiation-induced anomalies will prove invaluable to designers of future spacecraft to Jupiter and its satellites. The lessons learned during this arduous process are presented. c 2000 International Astronautical Federation. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Exploring Europa's Habitability: Science achieved from the Europa Orbiter and Clipper Mission Concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senske, D. A.; Prockter, L. M.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Patterson, G. W.; Vance, S.

    2012-12-01

    Europa is a prime candidate in the search for present-day habitable environments in our solar system. Europa is unique among the large icy satellites because it probably has a saltwater ocean today beneath an ice shell that is geodynamically active. The combination of irradiation of its surface and tidal heating of its interior could make Europa a rich source of chemical energy for life. Perhaps most importantly, Europa's ocean is believed to be in direct contact with its rocky mantle, where conditions could be similar to those on Earth's biologically rich sea floor. Hydrothermal zones on Earth's seafloor are known to be rich with life, powered by energy and nutrients that result from reactions between the seawater and the warm rocky ocean floor. Life as we know it depends on three principal "ingredients": 1) a sustained liquid water environment; 2) essential chemical elements that are critical for building life; and 3) a source of energy that could be utilized by life. Europa's habitability requires understanding whether it possesses these three ingredients. NASA has enlisted a study team to consider Europa mission options feasible over the next decade, compatible with NASA's projected planetary science budget and addressing Planetary Decadal Survey priorities. Two Europa mission concepts (Orbiter and multiple flyby—call the "Clipper") are undergoing continued study with the goal to "Explore Europa to investigate its habitability." Each mission would address this goal in complementary ways, with high science value of its own. The Orbiter and Clipper architectures lend themselves to specific types of scientific measurements. The Orbiter concept is tailored to the unique geophysical science that requires being in orbit at Europa. This includes confirming the existence of an ocean and characterizing that ocean through geophysical measurements of Europa's gravitational tides and magnetic induction response. It also includes mapping of the global morphology and

  4. Search for Trace Species at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, Melissa; Sparks, William; Spencer, John

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the present surface composition of Europa provides critical information about its potential habitability. From Earth we currently have very few tools at our disposal to measure Europa’s composition. Two notable exceptions are Keck NIR spectroscopy (cf Brown and Hand 2013) and Hubble Space Telescope UV spectroscopy (cf Cunningham et al. 2015). In March 2015 we obtained 5 orbits of deep UV spectroscopy of Europa using the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph covering wavelength range 1170-1760 Å. The purpose of the observations was to detect trace species in Europa’s exosphere, which is generated by charged particle sputtering of Europa’s water ice surface. The composition of the exosphere therefore provides an indirect measurement of surface composition. Furthermore, if active plumes are present, the composition of the exosphere may also reflect the composition of Europa’s subsurface water reservoir. Of particular interest in the observed wavelength range are multiplets of atomic chlorine, because chlorine is predicted to be a major constituent of Europa’s ocean (Kargel et al. 2000), and Na and K chlorides are expected to be major constituents of the icy shell (Zolotov and Shock 2001; Zolotov and Kargel 2009). The present situation at Europa is analogous to that at Io in the late 1990s, when chlorine ions were first detected in the plasma near Io (Kuppers and Schneider 2000), motivating searches for atomic chlorine and chlorine-bearing species that were subsequently detected in Io’s atmosphere (Lellouch et al. 2003, Feaga et al. 2004). Galileo plasma measurements have detected chlorine ions near Europa (Volwerk et al. 2001), which has motivated the present search for chlorine in Europa’s exosphere. We will present the new COS spectra of Europa and discuss the implications of the trace species that have been detected in these data.

  5. Mapping Europa's Thermophysical Properties from Galileo PPR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathbun, Julie A.; Rodriguez, N. J.; Spencer, J. R.

    2009-09-01

    The Galileo Photopolarimeter-Radiometer (PPR) instrument mapped thermal infrared radiation from Jupiter and the Galilean satellites. We use the resulting brightness temperatures at a range of local times to map the thermal properties of Europa's surface, namely bolometric albedo and thermal inertia. Ten high-quality PPR observations were identified based on their coverage and lack of noise. We divided the surface of Europa into 10 degree bins and searched the high-quality data for points in each of those bins. We sorted through the bins to find those with observations near noon and at night, as comparison of these times provides the most robust constraint on thermal properties. For each of these bins, we fit a thermal model to determine the thermal inertia and bolometeric albedo of that bin. Our resulting maps of these quantities cover only the subset of the surface where sufficient data was obtained: a band near the anti-Jovian point and a thinner band near 310 W longitude. Allowing for the low resolution of our maps, our thermally-derived albedos appear to correlate with the albedo features observed in the Galileo SSI basemap. The thermal inertia maps provide a unique probe of the cm-scale properties of Europa's surface, and thus constrain surface processes. Knowledge of diurnal temperatures also allows estimation of the detectability of endogenic hot spots. The improved knowledge of Europa's surface temperature distribution provided by these temperature maps and derived thermophysical properties will also aid in the design of thermal instrumentation to search for endogenic activity on future Europa missions.

  6. The europa initiative for esa's cosmic vision: a potential european contribution to nasa's Europa mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc, Michel; Jones, Geraint H.; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Sterken, Veerle J.

    2016-04-01

    The assessment of the habitability of Jupiter's icy moons is considered of high priority in the roadmaps of the main space agencies, including the decadal survey and esa's cosmic vision plan. the voyager and galileo missions indicated that europa and ganymede may meet the requirements of habitability, including deep liquid aqueous reservoirs in their interiors. indeed, they constitute different end-terms of ocean worlds, which deserve further characterization in the next decade. esa and nasa are now both planning to explore these ice moons through exciting and ambitious missions. esa selected in 2012 the juice mission mainly focused on ganymede and the jupiter system, while nasa is currently studying and implementing the europa mission. in 2015, nasa invited esa to provide a junior spacecraft to be carried on board its europa mission, opening a collaboration scheme similar to the very successful cassini-huygens approach. in order to define the best contribution that can be made to nasa's europa mission, a europa initiative has emerged in europe. its objective is to elaborate a community-based strategy for the proposition of the best possible esa contribution(s) to nasa's europa mission, as a candidate for the upcoming selection of esa's 5th medium-class mission . the science returns of the different potential contributions are analysed by six international working groups covering complementary science themes: a) magnetospheric interactions; b) exosphere, including neutrals, dust and plumes; c) geochemistry; d) geology, including expressions of exchanges between layers; e) geophysics, including characterization of liquid water distribution; f) astrobiology. each group is considering different spacecraft options in the contexts of their main scientific merits and limitations, their technical feasibility, and of their interest for the development of esa-nasa collaborations. there are five options under consideration: (1) an augmented payload to the europa mission main

  7. Science and Reconnaissance from the Europa Clipper Mission Concept: Exploring Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senske, D.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Prockter, L. M.; Paczkowski, B.; Vance, S.; Goldstein, B.; Magner, T. J.; Cooke, B.

    2014-12-01

    Europa is a prime candidate to search for a present-day habitable environment in our solar system. As such, NASA has engaged a Science Definition Team (SDT) to define a strategy to advance our scientific understanding of this icy world with the goal: Explore Europa to investigate its habitability. A mission architecture is defined where a spacecraft in Jupiter orbit would make many close flybys of Europa, concentrating on remote sensing to explore the moon. The spacecraft trajectory would permit ~45 flybys at a variety of latitudes and longitudes, enabling globally distributed regional coverage of Europa's surface. This concept is known as the Europa Clipper. The SDT recommended three science objectives for the Europa Clipper: Ice Shell and Ocean--Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; Composition--Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry; Geology--Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities. The SDT also considered implications of the recent HST detection of plumes at Europa. To feed forward to potential future exploration that could be enabled by a lander, it was deemed that the Clipper should provide the capability to perform reconnaissance. In consultation with NASA Headquarters, the SDT developed a reconnaissance goal: Characterize Scientifically Compelling Sites, and Hazards, for a Potential Future Landed Mission to Europa. This leads to two objectives: Site Safety--Assess the distribution of surface hazards, the load-bearing capacity of the surface, the structure of the subsurface, and the regolith thickness; Science Value--Assess the composition of surface materials, the geologic context of the surface, the potential for geological activity, the proximity of near surface water, and the potential for active

  8. A SIMPLE Perspective on Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, B. E.

    2014-12-01

    While on the surface, Europa and the Earth may seem very different worlds, below their respective icy crusts, the two share remarkably similar conditions, temperatures, pressures (within a factor of a few) and potentially salinity. Thus the interface between Earth's thick permanent ice shelves and ocean is an important and little explored analog for the physicochemical, and possibly microbial, characteristics of Europa. Here, processes of melt, freeze, and marine ice accretion are controlled by gradients in ice thickness, currents, and ocean temperatures. The details of this process are not well characterized, even on Earth, in particular for the impact these have on the biological potential of these ices. For Europa, such a process may not only provide a habitable niche at ice-ocean interface, but also potentially within the ice shell. In addition, any material formed at the interface may be subject to transport upward through convection or diapirism, potentially delivering ocean-derived materials to the shallow subsurface, participating in an ice "conveyor belt" that will affect the habitability of Europa's ice and ocean alike. In the 2012, 2014 and 2015 austral summer antarctic field seasons, NASA's SIMPLE project (Sub-Ice Marine and PLanetary-analog Ecosystems), has been tasked with characterizing these processes in the McMurdo Ice Shelf, a small ice shelf easily accessible from USAP's McMurdo Station. Using sub-ice vehicles, ice penetrating radar, and other measurements of this unexplored region, the SIMPLE team is building a comprehensive picture of processes at the ice-ocean interface and within the brine-infiltrated ice shelf in order to advance hypotheses for Europa. In addition, the technologies supported by the project are advancing NASA's capabilities to detect processes and properties within ice by ice penetrating radar, and with in situ measurements, that will support Europa Clipper and future landers. The SIMPLE team consists of members from Georgia

  9. The Geology and Astrobiology of Europa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyba, C. F.; Hand, K. P.

    2009-12-01

    Galileo’s discovery of the jovian moons was a crucial step in the process, completed by Newton, that overthrew the Aristotelian dichotomy between the physics of the terrestrial realm and the physics of the heavens. Now, 400 years later, we know of one kind of biology, Earth biology (DNA-protein life) and have glimpses of other possibilities more closely or distantly related (e.g., the RNA world). The galilean satellite Europa is one of the most likely venues in our solar system for presenting us with another example of life, and life likely from an entirely separate origin. Europa therefore gives us a chance to extend our understanding of biology beyond Earth biology to a more generalized biology, providing a biological counterpart to the galilean/newtonian revolution. This possibility is the reason that Europa is one of the highest priorities in solar system exploration. It is a still entirely speculative but credible possibility, because of Europa’s extraordinary geophysics and chemistry. First, radiogenic decay and tidal energy appear sufficient to maintain a subsurface liquid water ocean on Europa that resides between an ice shell and a rocky mantle. Gravity measurements confirm this differentiation, and magnetometer measurements seem to confirm the liquidity of the ocean. Magnetometer measurements further put strong limits on the thickness of the ice shell overlying the ocean and on the salinity of the ocean itself. Because the ocean is covered by kilometers of ice, the enormous free energy of sunlight is rarely available for chemistry or possible biology, but radiolytic chemistry at the surface ice may provide a powerful oxidizing arrow for the ocean that, coupled with deep hydrothermal activity, maintains a supply of electron acceptor and donor pairs that could be used by life. The details of this scenario depend on surface impact gardening and sputtering rates, and on the interaction of the ice shell with the ocean. Current estimates based on cratering

  10. The Europa Explorer - A Fresh Look at Exploring Europa with an RPS-Powered Spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abelson, Robert D.; Clark, Karia B.

    2007-01-01

    An orbital mission to Europa has been identified as a high priority by the science community for several years. The difficulty of this type of mission, primarily due to the propulsive requirements and Jupiter's trapped radiation, led to many studies which investigated various approaches to meeting the science goals. A flagship-class Europa orbiting mission, which performs a multi-year study of the Jupiter system, can now be envisioned relying on existing technologies, having significantly more capability and returning considerably more science data than previous conventional propulsion mission concepts. This study resulted in several mission concept designs ranging significantly in capability and commensurate cost. The concept discussed herein returns three year's worth of Cassini data (~3 Tbit) in approximately 90 days around Europa. During its 3 month (90 day) Europa Prime Mission, the spacecraft would orbit Europa over 1000 times and provide three orders of magnitude more close (<5000 km altitude) Europa observing time than Galileo. A science group was formed to verify that the science objectives and goals were being adequately met by the mission design concept. The mission concept consists of a single orbiter which would traverse to Jupiter by means of a gravity assist trajectory and reach Jupiter ~6 years after launch, followed by an ~112 year tour of the Galilean satellites before entering Europa orbit. The Europa Prime Mission would be 90 days with high expectations of being operational for upwards of a year. Due to the significant power requirements, tight pointing requirements and intense radiation levels, this mission would be enabled by radioisotope power systems (RPSs). RPSs would be used for all onboard electrical power, with the excess heat used for thermal control of the spacecraft's subsystems. While the mission 31 baselines the use of eight Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (MMRTGs), trade studies were also performed to assess

  11. Europa Explorer: A Mission to Explore Europa and Investigate Its Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, K. B.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Greeley, R.

    2007-12-01

    Europa is the astrobiological archetype for icy satellite habitability, with a warm, salty, water ocean with plausible chemical energy sources. It is also a geophysical wonderland of interrelated ice shell processes that are intimately related to the ocean and tides, and of complex interactions among its interior, surface, atmosphere, and particles and fields environments. In 2007, NASA commissioned a study of a flagship-class mission to Europa, with the aim of launching as early as 2015. The difficulty of this type of mission, primarily due to the propulsive requirements and Jupiter's trapped radiation, led to many previous studies which investigated various approaches to meeting the science objectives. The Europa Explorer is a mature orbiter concept to explore Europa and investigate its habitability, fulfilling objectives laid out by the National Research Council's Planetary Science Decadal Survey. The mission examines Europa's ocean, ice shell, chemistry, geology, external environment, and neighborhood. With a nominal launch in June 2015, the flight system arrives at Jupiter in 6 years using a Venus- Earth-Earth Gravity Assist trajectory. It would orbit Jupiter for 2 years using gravity assists of the icy Galilean satellites to lower its energy, providing the opportunity for significant Jupiter system science. It would then enter Europa orbit at an altitude of 100-200 km, where it would perform science investigations for 1 year. A campaign- based operations scenario has been developed which permits return of 5.4 Tbits of science data beginning in July 2021, and emphasizing the highest priority Europa science objectives early in the orbital phase of the mission. The baseline mission concept includes 11 instruments that address high-priority investigations while providing the flexibility to respond to discoveries. A less ambitious mission has also been evaluated which has 8 instruments and returns about a third of the data with 6 months of orbital operations at

  12. First evidence for a Europa plasma torus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Intriligator, D. S.; Miller, W. D.

    1982-01-01

    The evidence from the Pioneer 10 plasma analyzer that plasma derived from Europa was present in the Jovian magnetosphere in December 1973 is summarized. Plasma detected between 1900 UT and 2100 UT on December 3, 1973, reveals a number of significant phenomena near the expected position of Europa's L shell. Mass addition to the magnetospheric plasma is indicated by a local increase in density apparently superimposed on the density gradient of Iogenic plasma. This increase in plasma density is unlike any phenomenon observed when the spacecraft is near a lunar L shell. The density shows fluctuations that make possible an estimate of the net outflow speed of magnetospheric ions per Jovian rotation. A radial flow speed in 1973 of 0.37 km/s from the Pioneer data is made, together with an estimate of 1 km/s in 1979 from Voyager 2 data, thus indicating a significant change.

  13. Europa planetary protection for Juno Jupiter Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernard, Douglas E.; Abelson, Robert D.; Johannesen, Jennie R.; Lam, Try; McAlpine, William J.; Newlin, Laura E.

    2013-08-01

    NASA's Juno mission launched in 2011 and will explore Jupiter and its near environment starting in 2016. Planetary protection requirements for avoiding the contamination of Europa have been taken into account in the Juno mission design. In particular Juno's polar orbit, which enables scientific investigations of parts of Jupiter's environment never before visited, also greatly assist avoiding close flybys of Europa and the other Galilean satellites. The science mission is designed to conclude with a deorbit burn that disposes of the spacecraft in Jupiter's atmosphere. Compliance with planetary protection requirements is verified through a set of analyses including analysis of initial bioburden, analysis of the effect of bioburden reduction due to the space and Jovian radiation environments, probabilistic risk assessment of successful deorbit, Monte-Carlo orbit propagation, and bioburden reduction in the event of impact with an icy body.

  14. Europa Planetary Protection for Juno Jupiter Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernard, Douglas E.; Abelson, Robert D.; Johannesen, Jennie R.; Lam, Try; McAlpine, William J.; Newlin, Laura E.

    2010-01-01

    NASA's Juno mission launched in 2011 and will explore the Jupiter system starting in 2016. Juno's suite of instruments is designed to investigate the atmosphere, gravitational fields, magnetic fields, and auroral regions. Its low perijove polar orbit will allow it to explore portions of the Jovian environment never before visited. While the Juno mission is not orbiting or flying close to Europa or the other Galilean satellites, planetary protection requirements for avoiding the contamination of Europa have been taken into account in the Juno mission design.The science mission is designed to conclude with a deorbit burn that disposes of the spacecraft in Jupiter's atmosphere. Compliance with planetary protection requirements is verified through a set of analyses including analysis of initial bioburden, analysis of the effect of bioburden reduction due to the space and Jovian radiation environments, probabilistic risk assessment of successful deorbit, Monte-Carlo orbit propagation, and bioburden reduction in the event of impact with an icy body.

  15. Liquid water and active resurfacing on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. W.; Reynolds, R. T.; Cassen, P. M.; Peale, S. J.

    1983-01-01

    Arguments for recent resurfacing of Europa by H2O from a liquid layer are presented, based on new interpretations of recent spacecraft and earth-based observations and revised theoretical calculations. The heat flow in the core and shell due to tidal forces is discussed, and considerations of viscosity and convection in the interior are found to imply water retention in the outer 60 km or so of the silicates, forming a layer of water/ice many tens of km thick. The outer ice crust is considered to be too thin to support heat transport rates sufficient to freeze the underlying water. Observational evidence for the calculations would consist of an insulating layer of frosts derived from water boiling up between cracks in the surface crust. Evidence for the existence of such a frost layer, including the photometric function of Europa and the deposits of sulfur on the trailing hemisphere, is discussed.

  16. The EJSM Jupiter-Europa Orbiter: Mission Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Clark, K.; Greeley, R.; Hendrix, A. R.; Tan-Wang, G.; Lock, R.; van Houten, T.; Ludwinski, J.; Petropoulis, A.; Jun, I.; Boldt, J.; Kinnison, J.

    2008-09-01

    Missions to explore Europa have been imagined ever since the Voyager mission first suggested that Europa was geologically very young. Subsequently, Galileo supplied fascinating new insights into that satellite's secrets. The Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) would be the NASA-led portion of the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), an international mission with orbiters developed by NASA, ESA and possibly JAXA. JEO would address key components of the complete EJSM science objectives and would be designed to function alone or in conjunction with the ESA-led Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter and JAXA-led Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter. The JEO mission concept uses a single orbiter flight system which would travel to Jupiter to perform a multi-year study of the Jupiter system and Europa, including 2.5-3 years of Jupiter system science and a comprehensive Europa orbit phase of upt ot a year. This abstract describes the design concept of this mission.

  17. Europa Lander mission and the context of international cooperation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Europa Lander Team; Zelenyi, L.; Korablev, O.; Martynov, M.; Popov, G. A.; Blanc, M.; Lebreton, J. P.; Pappalardo, R.; Clark, K.; Fedorova, A.; Akim, E. L.; Simonov, A. A.; Lomakin, I. V.; Sukhanov, A.; Eismont, N.

    2011-08-01

    From 2007 the Russian Academy of Sciences and Roscosmos consider to develop a Europa surface element, in coordination with the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) international project planned to study the Jupiter system. The main scientific objectives of the Europa Lander are to search for the signatures of possible present and extinct life, in situ studies of the Europa internal structure, the surface and the environment. The mission includes the lander, and the relay orbiter, to be launched by Proton and carried to Jupiter with electric propulsion. The mass of scientific instruments on the lander is ˜50 kg, and its planned lifetime is 60 days. A dedicated international Europa Lander Workshop (ELW) was held in Moscow in February 2009. Following the ELW materials and few recent developments, the paper describes the planned mission, including the science goals, technical design of the mission elements, the ballistic scheme, and the synergy between the Europa Lander and the EJSM.

  18. Natural and False Color Views of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    This image shows two views of the trailing hemisphere of Jupiter's ice-covered satellite, Europa. The left image shows the approximate natural color appearance of Europa. The image on the right is a false-color composite version combining violet, green and infrared images to enhance color differences in the predominantly water-ice crust of Europa. Dark brown areas represent rocky material derived from the interior, implanted by impact, or from a combination of interior and exterior sources. Bright plains in the polar areas (top and bottom) are shown in tones of blue to distinguish possibly coarse-grained ice (dark blue) from fine-grained ice (light blue). Long, dark lines are fractures in the crust, some of which are more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) long. The bright feature containing a central dark spot in the lower third of the image is a young impact crater some 50 kilometers (31 miles) in diameter. This crater has been provisionally named 'Pwyll' for the Celtic god of the underworld.

    Europa is about 3,160 kilometers (1,950 miles) in diameter, or about the size of Earth's moon. This image was taken on September 7, 1996, at a range of 677,000 kilometers (417,900 miles) by the solid state imaging television camera onboard the Galileo spacecraft during its second orbit around Jupiter. The image was processed by Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fuer Luftund Raumfahrt e.V., Berlin, Germany.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the Galileo mission home page on the World Wide Web at http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  19. Assessment of Alternative Europa Mission Architectures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Langmaier, Jerry; Elliott, John; Clark, Karla; Pappalardo, Robert; Reh, Kim; Spilker, Tom

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the science merit, technical risk and qualitative assessment of relative cost of alternative architectural implementations as applied to a first dedicated mission to Europa. The objective was accomplished through an examination of mission concepts resulting from previous and ongoing studies. Key architectural elements that were considered include moon orbiters, flybys (single flybys like New Horizons and multiple flybys similar to the ongoing Jupiter System Observer study), sample return and in situ landers and penetrators.

  20. Continued evolution of Europa subsurface exploration technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carsey, F. D.; Hecht, M. H.; Lane, A. L.; Mogensen, C.; Zimmerman, W.

    2002-01-01

    The Galileo results convincingly indicate that Europa has a deep salty ocean covered by a shell of water ice a few tens of kilometers thick; this physical description gives rise to a host of thoughtful speculation as to the nature of the ocean, its seafloor, and the likelihood of microbial life within it. We argue that this situation points to the high desirability of a series of in-situ missions to examine the ice and, ultimately, the ocean.

  1. Geologic Evidence of Internal Activity on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This six frame mosaic of Europa's surface shows a variety of interesting geologic features. The prominent 'X' near the center of the mosaic is the junction of two 'triplebands.' Triplebands are seen here to be made up of parallel sets of ridges, and can be traced for over 1,600 kilometers (off the image) across Europa's surface. Directly to the south of the 'X' is a 75 by 100 kilometer (km) area where the icy crust of Europa has been disrupted by activity from below. This activity could be motion in liquid water, convection in warm ice, or some other process. Many icy blocks, some as large as 10 km across, have been rafted from the edges of this zone. Also seen in this mosaic are various pits and domes that range in size from a few kilometers to nearly 20 km across. These geologic features provide evidence of thermal activity below Europa's surface at the time that the features formed.

    These images were obtained by the Solid State Imaging (CCD) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft during its sixth orbit around Jupiter. North is to the top of the picture, with the sun illuminating the scene from the right. The center of this mosaic is located near 10 degrees north latitude, 271 degrees west longitude. The image, which is about 300 by 300 km across, was acquired at a resolution of 180 meters per picture element.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov.

  2. Compositional Mapping of Europa's Surface with SUDA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kempf, S.; Sternovsky, Z.; Horanyi, M.; Hand, K. P.; Srama, R.; Postberg, F.; Altobelli, N.; Gruen, E.; Gudipati, M. S.; Schmidt, J.; Zolotov, M. Y.; Tucker, S.; Hoxie, V. C.; Kohnert, R.

    2015-12-01

    The Surface Mass Analyzer (SUDA) measures the composition of ballistic dust particles populating the thin exospheres that were detected around each of the Galilean moons. Since these grains are direct samples from the moons' icy surfaces, unique composition data will be obtained that will help to define and constrain the geological activities on and below the moons' surface. SUDA will make a vital contribution to NASA's mission to Europa and provide key answers to its main scientific questions about the surface composition, habitability, the icy crust, and exchange processes with the deeper interior of the Jovian icy moon Europa. SUDA is a time-of- flight, reflectron-type impact mass spectrometer, optimised for a high mass resolution which only weakly depends on the impact location. The small size, low mass and large sensitive area meet the challenging demands of mission to Europa. A full-size prototype SUDA instrument was built in order to demonstrate its performance through calibration experiments at the dust accelerator at NASA's IMPACT institute at Boulder, CO, with a variety of cosmo-chemically relevant dust analogues. The effective mass resolution of m/Δm of 150-300 is achieved for mass range of interest m = 1-150.

  3. Enhanced electromagnetic sounding of Europa's ocean using CubeSats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crary, Frank; Holmes, Justin; Malaspina, David; Mason, James; Ranquist, Drake; Schiller, Quintin; Sturner, Andrew; Kohnert, Rick

    2015-04-01

    Diagnosing the properties of Europa's ocean is a key objective of the planned Europa Clipper mission. Magnetic field measurements reveal the inductive signatures of the ocean, but also contain perturbations from the magnetospheric interaction with Europa. Determining the properties of the ocean using this technique requires separating the induced field from that of the magnetospheric interaction. One solution is to use magnetometer-bearing CubeSats to make simultaneous flybys along trajectories separated from that of the Europa Clipper. We describe a concept for such nanosatellites and how they could greatly enhance the precision of induced magnetic field ocean soundings.

  4. A highly integrated payload suite for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bentley, M.; Kraft, S.; Steiger, R.; Varlet, F.; Voigt, D.; Falkner, P.; Peacock, A.

    The four Galilean moons have always held a public and scientific fascination due to their diverse and dynamic nature. Amongst the moons, Europa holds a special place for its potential liquid water ocean, beneath its icy crust. This prospect of water places Europa on a par with Mars in terms of its viability for harbouring life. The first hints of Europa's icy surface came from early telescopic observations, which noted an unusually high albedo. Ground based spectroscopy then demonstrated absorption features of relatively pure water ice. Imagery from Pioneer, Voyager, and more recently Galileo confirm this, with the kilometre scale resolution of Galileo showing what appear to be ice flows. The lack of cratering, pointing to a geologically recent surface, furthermore suggests that liquid water could well exist today. The Galileo Europa Mission (GEM) provided much more extensive data during its 8 close orbits, including limited areas of extremely high resolution imaging (6 m), and radio science that confirmed the differentiated nature of Europa. However, many fundamental questions remain that can best be answered by a dedicated orbiter. For example: - Does a liquid water ocean exist? What it its extent vertically and laterally? - What is the composition of the crust? - What are the geological processes operating? The importance of these most basic questions have inspired mission proposals from all of the major space agencies. In Europe, ESA have performed a study into a mission called the "Jupiter Minisat Explorer" in order to identify the key technologies that would have to be developed [1]. The key technological challenges are caused by the harsh Jovian radiation environment, the lack of solar energy available and the thermal problems of such a cold environment. Last, but not least, a payload must be designed that satisfies these requirements and is both low power and low mass. All of these factors dictate the use of a Highly Integrated Payload Suite (HIPS). Such a

  5. Trajectory Design for the Europa Clipper Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffington, Brent

    2014-01-01

    Europa is one of the most scientifically intriguing targets in planetary science due to its potential suitability for extant life. As such, NASA has funded the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to jointly determine and develop the best mission concept to explore Europa in the near future. The result of nearly 4 years of work--the Europa Clipper mission concept--is a multiple Europa flyby mission that could efficiently execute a number of high caliber science investigations to meet Europa science priorities specified in the 2011 NRC Decadal Survey, and is capable of providing reconnaissance data to maximize the probability of both a safe landing and access to surface material of high scientific value for a future Europa lander. This paper will focus on the major enabling component for this mission concept--the trajectory. A representative trajectory, referred to as 13F7-A21, would obtain global-regional coverage of Europa via a complex network of 45 flybys over the course of 3.5 years while also mitigating the effects of the harsh Jovian radiation environment. In addition, 5 Ganymede and 9 Callisto flybys would be used to manipulate the trajectory relative to Europa. The tour would reach a maximum Jovicentric inclination of 20.1 deg. have a deterministic (Delta)V of 164 m/s (post periapsis raise maneuver), and a total ionizing dose of 2.8 Mrad (Si).

  6. Reconstructing Plate Motions on Europa with GPlates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutler, B. B.; Collins, G. C.; Prockter, L. M.; Patterson, G.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Rhoden, A.; Cooper, C. M.

    2015-12-01

    Observations of past plate tectonic - like motions in Europa's icy lithosphere have been reported in previous studies. Quantifying the nature, age, and amount of plate motion is important for geophysical models of Europa's ice shell and for astrobiology, since subsumed pates could drive the flow of nutrients into the subsurface ocean. We have used GPlates software (Williams et al., GSA Today 2012) and a mosaic of regional-resolution Galileo SSI data from orbits E11, E15, E17, and E19 to make interactive reconstructions of both the Northern Falga region (60N, 220W) and the Castalia Macula region (0N, 225W). The advantage of this method is that plate motions are calculated on a sphere, while still maintaining the original Galileo image pieces in their proper geographic locations. Previous work on the Castalia Macula region (Patterson et al. J.Struct.Geol. 2006) and the adjacent Phaidra Linea region (Patterson and Ernst, LPSC 2011) found offsets along spreading boundaries, and then calculated the best fit finite rotations to close those offsets. Though this method is mathematically rigorous and gives a statistical goodness of fit, it is not easy to test multiple hypotheses for candidate piercing points or divisions of candidate plate boundaries. Through the interactive environment, we found that we could better account for observed offsets in this region by breaking it into 32 different plates. Patterson and Ernst broke the Phaidra region into 6 plates which exhibited nonrigid behavior, where our study breaks it into 16 rigid plates. The Northern Falga Regio area is interesting due to the potential for large amounts of subsumption of Europa's icy crust in this location. The previous reconstruction (Kattenhorn and Prockter, Nat.Geosci. 2014) was based on planar geometry, and we have replicated these results using a spherically-based reconstruction. We will present the plate maps and reconstructions for both of these regions, along with the best fit rotation poles.

  7. Europa's near-surface O2 atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, T. A.; Johnson, R. E.

    The surfaces of 'airless' bodies in our solar system are covered by porous regoliths; granular, porous surfaces generated by micrometeor impact. Europa's tenuous neutral atmosphere (composed primarily of O2 ) is generated by UV and plasma irradiation of, and sublimation from, this regolith. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observation by McGrath et al. (2004) suggested that Europa's O2 atmosphere is spatially nonuniform. Previous simulations (e.g. Shematovich et al., Icarus, 2005), which assumed that O2 could only be lost by pickup and escape, found that a spatially nonuniform source could not produce the morphology suggested by the HST observations. It is shown here that a nonuniform surface/O2 interaction, treated here as surface reactivity, results in a spatially nonuniform O2 atmosphere with the highest column density above the regions of lowest reactivity. We can reproduce this nonuniformity even with very slight reactivity. Slight reactivity makes a difference because of the many interactions an O2 molecule experiences with the surface during its lifetime; for which there are two reasons: (1) the many returns to the surface experienced by a thermal molecule; desorption followed by ballistic arc followed by desorption and so on. (2) the regolith structure: each time an O2 molecule returns to the surface it interacts not just once, but many times due to the porous nature of the regolith (Cassidy and Johnson, Icarus, 2005). Thus, in addition to the atmosphere above the surface, there is a substantial amount of gas in the porous regolith. This "regolith atmosphere" may resolve a question surrounding CO2 condensed on Europa's surface.

  8. Europa Surface Radiation Environment for Lander Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.; Sturner, Steven J.

    2006-01-01

    The Jovian magnetospheric particle environment at Europa's surface is critical to assessment of landed astrobiological experiments in three respects: (1) the landing site must be chosen for the best prospects for detectable organic or inorganic signs of Life, e.g. regions of freshly emergent flows from the subsurface; (2) lander systems must reach the surface through the Jovian magnetospheric environment and operate long enough on the surface to return useful data; (3) lander instrumentation must be capable of detecting signs of life in the context of the local environmental radiation and associated chemistry. The Galileo, Voyager, and Pioneer missions have provided a wealth of data on energetic particle intensities throughout the Jovian magnetosphere including from many flybys of Europa. cumulative radiation dosages for spacecraft enroute to Europa can be well characterized, but knowledge of the surface radiation environment is very limited. Energetic electrons should primarily impact the trailing hemisphere with decreasing intensity towards the center of the leading hemisphere and are the most significant radiation component down to meter depths in the surface regolith due to secondary interactions. Observed surface distribution for sulfates is suggestive of electron irradiation but may have alternative interpretations. Having much-larger magnetic gyroradii than electrons, energetic protons and heavier ions irradiate more of the global surface. The particular orientations of electron, proton, and ion gyromotion would project into corresponding directional (e.g., east-west) anisotropies of particle flu into the surface. Particular topographic features at the landing site may therefore offer shielding from part of the incident radiation.

  9. Calculations of electric currents in Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colburn, D. S.; Reynolds, R. T.

    1986-01-01

    Electrical currents should flow in the Galilean satellite, Europa, because it is located in Jupiter's corotating magnetosphere. The possible magnitudes of these currents are calculated by assuming that Europa is a differentiated body consisting of an outer H2O layer and a silicate core. Two types of models are considered here: one in which the water is completely frozen and a second in which there is an intermediate liquid layer. For the transverse electric mode (eddy currents), the calculated current density in a liquid layer is approximately 10 to the -5/Am. For the transverse magnetic mode (unipolar generator), the calculated current density in the liquid is severely constrained by the ice layer to a range of only 10 to the -10 to -11th power/ Am, for a total H2O thickness of 100 km, provided that neither layer is less than 4 km thick. The current density is less for a completely frozen H2O layer. If transient cracks were to appear in the ice layer, thereby exposing liquid, the calculated current density could rise to a range of 10 to the -6 to 10 to the -5/Am, depending on layer thicknesses, which would require an exposed area of 10 to the -9 to 10 to the -8 of the Europa surface. The corresponding total current of 2.3x10 to the 5th power A could in 1 yr. electrolyze 7x10 to the 5th power kg of water (and more if the cells were in series), and thereby store up to 10 the 8th power J of energy, but it is not clear how electrolysis can take place in the absence of suitable electrodes. Electrical heating would be significant only if the ice-layer thickness were on the order of 1 m, such as might occur if an exposed liquid surface were to freeze over; the heating under this condition could hinder the thickening of the ice layer.

  10. Numerical Simulations of Europa Hydrothermal Plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodman, J. C.; Lenferink, E.

    2009-12-01

    The liquid water interiors of Europa and other icy moons of the outer solar system are likely to be driven by geothermal heating from the sea floor, leading to the development of buoyant hydrothermal plumes. These plumes potentially control icy surface geomorphology, and are of interest to astrobiologists. We have performed a series of simulations of these plumes using the MITGCM. We assume in this experiment that Europa's ocean is deep (of order 100 km) and unstratified, and that plume buoyancy is controlled by temperature, not composition. A series of experiments was performed to explore a limited region of parameter space, with ocean depth H ranging from 50 to 100 km deep, source heat flux Q between 1 and 10 GW, and values of the Coriolis parameter f between 30% and 90% of the Europa average value. As predicted by earlier work, the plumes in our simulations form narrow cylindrical chimneys (a few km across) under the influence of the Coriolis effect. These plumes broaden over time until they become baroclinically unstable, breaking up into cone-shaped eddies when they become 20-35 km in diameter; the shed eddies are of a similar size. Large-scale currents in the region of the plume range between 1.5 and 5 cm/s; temperature anomalies in the plume far from the seafloor are tiny, varying between 30 and 160 microkelvin. Variations in plume size, shape, speed, and temperature are in excellent agreement with previous laboratory tank experiments, and in rough agreement with theoretical predictions. Plume dynamics and geometry are controlled by a "natural Rossby number" which depends strongly on depth H and Coriolis parameter f, but only weakly on source heat flux Q. However, some specific theoretical predictions are not borne out by these simulations. The time elapsed between startup of the source and the beginning of eddy-shedding is much less variable than predicted; also, the plume temperature varies with ocean depth H when our theory says it should not. Both of

  11. Jupiter Europa Orbiter Architecture Definition Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rasmussen, Robert; Shishko, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The proposed Jupiter Europa Orbiter mission, planned for launch in 2020, is using a new architectural process and framework tool to drive its model-based systems engineering effort. The process focuses on getting the architecture right before writing requirements and developing a point design. A new architecture framework tool provides for the structured entry and retrieval of architecture artifacts based on an emerging architecture meta-model. This paper describes the relationships among these artifacts and how they are used in the systems engineering effort. Some early lessons learned are discussed.

  12. Seismic detectability of meteorite impacts on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuji, Daisuke; Teanby, Nicholas

    2016-04-01

    Europa, the second of Jupiter's Galilean satellites, has an icy outer shell, beneath which there is probably liquid water in contact with a rocky core. Europa, may thus provide an example of a sub-surface habitable environment so is an attractive object for future lander missions. In fact, the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE) mission has been selected for the L1 launch slot of ESA's Cosmic Vision science programme with the aim of launching in 2022 to explore Jupiter and its potentially habitable icy moons. One of the best ways to probe icy moon interiors in any future mission will be with a seismic investigation. Previously, the Apollo seismic experiment, installed by astronauts, enhanced our knowledge of the lunar interior. For a recent mission, NASA's 2016 InSight Mars lander aims to obtain seismic data and will deploy a seismometer directly onto Mars' surface. Motivated by these works, in this study we show how many meteorite impacts will be detected using a single seismic station on Europa, which will be useful for planning the next generation of outer solar system missions. To this end, we derive: (1) the current small impact flux on Europa from Jupiter impact rate models; (2) a crater diameter versus impactor energy scaling relation for ice by merging previous experiments and simulations; (3) scaling relations for seismic signals as a function of distance from an impact site for a given crater size based on analogue explosive data obtained on Earth's icy surfaces. Finally, resultant amplitudes are compared to the noise level of a likely seismic instrument (based on the NASA InSight mission seismometers) and the number of detectable impacts are estimated. As a result, 0.5-3.0 local/regional small impacts (i.e., direct P-waves through the ice crust) are expected to be detected per year, while global-scale impact events (i.e., PKP-waves refracted through the mantle) are rare and unlikely to be detected by a short duration mission. We note that our results are

  13. Europa Explorer - An Exceptional Mission Using Existing Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Karla B.

    2007-01-01

    A mission to Europa has been identified as a high priority by the science community for several years. The difficulty of an orbital mission, primarily due to the propulsive requirements and Jupiter's trapped radiation, led to many studies which investigated various approaches to meeting the science goals. The Europa Orbiter Mission studied in the late 1990's only met the most fundamental science objectives. The science objectives have evolved with the discoveries from the Galileo mission. JPL studied one concept, Europa Explorer, for a Europa orbiting mission which could meet a much expanded set of science objectives. A study science group was formed to verify that the science objectives and goals were being adequately met by the resulting mission design concept. The Europa Explorer design emerged primarily from two key self-imposed constraints: 1) meet the full set of identified nonlander science objectives and 2) use only existing technology.

  14. A new concept for the exploration of Europa.

    PubMed

    Rampelotto, Pabulo Henrique

    2012-06-01

    The Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) is the major Outer Planet Flagship Mission in preparation by NASA. Although well designed, the current EJSM concept may present problematic issues as a Flagship Mission for a long-term exploration program that will occur over the course of decades. For this reason, the present work reviews the current EJSM concept and presents a new strategy for the exploration of Europa. In this concept, the EJSM is reorganized to comprise three independent missions focused on Europa. The missions are split according to scientific goals, which together will give a complete understanding of the potential habitability of Europa, including in situ life's signal measurements. With this alternative strategy, a complete exploration of Europa would be possible in the next decades, even within a politically and economically constrained environment. PMID:22794296

  15. Europa's differentiated internal structure: inferences from four Galileo encounters.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J D; Schubert, G; Jacobson, R A; Lau, E L; Moore, W B; Sjogren, W L

    1998-09-25

    Radio Doppler data from four encounters of the Galileo spacecraft with the jovian moon Europa have been used to refine models of Europa's interior. Europa is most likely differentiated into a metallic core surrounded by a rock mantle and a water ice-liquid outer shell, but the data cannot eliminate the possibility of a uniform mixture of dense silicate and metal beneath the water ice-liquid shell. The size of a metallic core is uncertain because of its unknown composition, but it could be as large as about 50 percent of Europa's radius. The thickness of Europa's outer shell of water ice-liquid must lie in the range of about 80 to 170 kilometers. PMID:9748159

  16. Life Beneath Glacial Ice - Earth(!) Mars(?) Europa(?)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Grasby, Stephen E.; Longazo, Teresa G.; Lisle, John T.; Beauchamp, Benoit

    2002-01-01

    We are investigating a set of cold springs that deposit sulfur and carbonate minerals on the surface of a Canadian arctic glacier. The spring waters and mineral deposits contain microorganisms, as well as clear evidence that biological processes mediate subglacial chemistry, mineralogy, and isotope fractionation . The formation of native sulphur and associated deposits are related to bacterially mediated reduction and oxidation of sulphur below the glacier. A non-volcanic, topography driven geothermal system, harboring a microbiological community, operates in an extremely cold environment and discharges through solid ice. Microbial life can thus exist in isolated geothermal refuges despite long-term subfreezing surface conditions. Earth history includes several periods of essentially total glaciation. lee in the near subsurface of Mars may have discharged liquid water in the recent past Cracks in the ice crust of Europa have apparently allowed the release of water to the surface. Chemolithotrophic bacteria, such as those in the Canadian springs, could have survived beneath the ice of "Snowball Earth", and life forms with similar characteristics might exist beneath the ice of Mars or Europa. Discharges of water from such refuges may have brought to the surface living microbes, as well as longlasting chemical, mineralogical, and isotopic indications of subsurface life.

  17. Antarctic analog for dilational bands on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurford, T. A.; Brunt, K. M.

    2014-09-01

    Europa's surface shows signs of extension, which is revealed as lithospheric dilation expressed along ridges, dilational bands and ridged bands. Ridges, the most common tectonic feature on Europa, comprise a central crack flanked by two raised banks a few hundred meters high on each side. Together these three classes may represent a continuum of formation. In Tufts' Dilational Model ridge formation is dominated by daily tidal cycling of a crack, which can be superimposed with regional secular dilation. The two sources of dilation can combine to form the various band morphologies observed. New GPS data along a rift on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica is a suitable Earth analog to test the framework of Tufts' Dilational Model. As predicted by Tufts' Dilational Model, tensile failures in the Ross Ice Shelf exhibit secular dilation, upon which a tidal signal can be seen. From this analog we conclude that Tufts' Dilational Model for Europan ridges and bands may be credible and that the secular dilation is most likely from a regional source and not tidally driven.

  18. Antarctic Analog for Dilational Bands on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurford, T. A.; Brunt, K. M.

    2014-01-01

    Europa's surface shows signs of extension, which is revealed as lithospheric dilation expressed along ridges, dilational bands and ridged bands. Ridges, the most common tectonic feature on Europa, comprise a central crack flanked by two raised banks a few hundred meters high on each side. Together these three classes may represent a continuum of formation. In Tufts' Dilational Model ridge formation is dominated by daily tidal cycling of a crack, which can be superimposed with regional secular dilation. The two sources of dilation can combine to form the various band morphologies observed. New GPS data along a rift on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica is a suitable Earth analog to test the framework of Tufts' Dilational Model. As predicted by Tufts' Dilational Model, tensile failures in the Ross Ice Shelf exhibit secular dilation, upon which a tidal signal can be seen. From this analog we conclude that Tufts' Dilational Model for Europan ridges and bands may be credible and that the secular dilation is most likely from a regional source and not tidally driven.

  19. Europa Clipper Mission Concept Preliminary Planetary Protection Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Melissa; Schubert, Wayne; Newlin, Laura; Cooper, Moogega; Chen, Fei; Kazarians, Gayane; Ellyin, Raymond; Vaishampayan, Parag; Crum, Ray

    2016-07-01

    The science objectives of the proposed Europa Clipper mission consist of remotely characterizing any water within and beneath Europa's ice shell, investigating the chemistry of the surface and ocean, and evaluating geological processes that may permit Europa's ocean to possess the chemical energy necessary for life. The selected payload supporting the science objectives includes: Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS), Interior Characterization of Europa using Magnetometry (ICEMAG), Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE), Europa Imaging System (EIS), Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON), Europa Thermal Emission Imaging System (E-THEMIS), MAss SPectrometer for Planetary EXploration/Europa (MASPEX), Ultraviolet Spectrograph/Europa (UVS), and SUrface DUst Mass Analyzer (SUDA). Launch is currently baselined as 2022. Pending the yet to be selected launch vehicle, the spacecraft would either arrive to the Jovian system on a direct trajectory in 2025 or an Earth-Venus-Earth-Earth gravity assist interplanetary trajectory arriving in 2030. The operational concept consists of multiple low-altitude flybys of Europa to obtain globally distributed regional coverage of the Europan surface. According to COSPAR Policy, it is currently anticipated that the Europa Clipper mission would be classified as a Category III mission. That is, the mission is to a body "of significant interest relative to the process of chemical evolution and/or the origin of life or for which scientific opinion provides a significant chance of contamination which could jeopardize a future biological experiment." Therefore, the expected driving planetary protection requirement for the mission is that the probability of inadvertent contamination of an ocean or other liquid water body shall be less than 1x10-4 per mission. This requirement applies until final disposition of the spacecraft, however in practice, would only apply until the spacecraft is

  20. The Europa Imaging System (EIS): Investigating Europa's geology, ice shell, and current activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turtle, Elizabeth; Thomas, Nicolas; Fletcher, Leigh; Hayes, Alexander; Ernst, Carolyn; Collins, Geoffrey; Hansen, Candice; Kirk, Randolph L.; Nimmo, Francis; McEwen, Alfred; Hurford, Terry; Barr Mlinar, Amy; Quick, Lynnae; Patterson, Wes; Soderblom, Jason

    2016-07-01

    NASA's Europa Mission, planned for launch in 2022, will perform more than 40 flybys of Europa with altitudes at closest approach as low as 25 km. The instrument payload includes the Europa Imaging System (EIS), a camera suite designed to transform our understanding of Europa through global decameter-scale coverage, topographic and color mapping, and unprecedented sub- meter-scale imaging. EIS combines narrow-angle and wide-angle cameras to address these science goals: • Constrain the formation processes of surface features by characterizing endogenic geologic structures, surface units, global cross-cutting relationships, and relationships to Europa's subsurface structure and potential near-surface water. • Search for evidence of recent or current activity, including potential plumes. • Characterize the ice shell by constraining its thickness and correlating surface features with subsurface structures detected by ice penetrating radar. • Characterize scientifically compelling landing sites and hazards by determining the nature of the surface at scales relevant to a potential lander. EIS Narrow-angle Camera (NAC): The NAC, with a 2.3°° x 1.2°° field of view (FOV) and a 10-μμrad instantaneous FOV (IFOV), achieves 0.5-m pixel scale over a 2-km-wide swath from 50-km altitude. A 2-axis gimbal enables independent targeting, allowing very high-resolution stereo imaging to generate digital topographic models (DTMs) with 4-m spatial scale and 0.5-m vertical precision over the 2-km swath from 50-km altitude. The gimbal also makes near-global (>95%) mapping of Europa possible at ≤50-m pixel scale, as well as regional stereo imaging. The NAC will also perform high-phase-angle observations to search for potential plumes. EIS Wide-angle Camera (WAC): The WAC has a 48°° x 24°° FOV, with a 218-μμrad IFOV, and is designed to acquire pushbroom stereo swaths along flyby ground-tracks. From an altitude of 50 km, the WAC achieves 11-m pixel scale over a 44-km

  1. Jovian Tour Design for Orbiter and Lander Missions to Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campagnola, Stefano; Buffington, Brent B.; Petropoulos, Anastassios E.

    2013-01-01

    Europa is one of the most interesting targets for solar system exploration, as its ocean of liquid water could harbor life. Following the recommendation of the Planetary Decadal Survey, NASA commissioned a study for a flyby mission, an orbiter mission, and a lander mission. This paper presents the moon tours for the lander and orbiter concepts. The total delta v and radiation dose would be reduced by exploiting multi-body dynamics and avoiding phasing loops in the Ganymede-to- Europa transfer. Tour 11-O3, 12-L1 and 12-L4 are presented in details and their performaces compared to other tours from previous Europa mission studies.

  2. Modelling Europa's interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere: Influence of plumes in Europa's atmosphere on the plasma environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloecker, A.; Saur, J.; Roth, L.

    2015-12-01

    We study the influence of plumes in Europa's atmosphere on the interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere and the plasma environment. We apply a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model, which includes plasma production and loss due to electron impact ionization and dissociative recombination, and electromagnetic induction in a subsurface water ocean.The model considers the magnetospheric and ionospheric electrons separately. We show that an atmospherical inhomogeneity, such as a plume, affects the plasma interaction in the way that a pronounced north-south asymmetry in the near and the Alfvénic far field develops. Furthermore, a "small Alfvén winglet" within Europa's Alfvén wing forms. We also investigate if such signatures of atmospherical inhomogeneities are visible in magnetic field measurements of the Galileo magnetometer. In addition to our MHD model we apply an analytical approach based on the model by Saur et al. (2007) for our studies. We compare the model results with the observed magnetic field data from three flybys of Europa that occurred during the Alfvén wing crossing.

  3. Exploring Europa with an RPS-Powered Spacecraft Results of the Europa Explorer Mission Concept Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation focuses on the results of the more recent and detailed Europa Explorer (EE) study. Based on the Europa Geophysical Explorer (EGE) the EE Study was more detailed and reached a modified design point, it re-affirmed all the conclusions reached during the EGE Study. The presentation reviews some of the important considerations of the study, including the trajectory design with earth gravity assists, the radiation considerations, the desired instruments for studying Europa, the total mass available, a conceptual illustration of the spacecraft. The attitude, propulsion and thermal control issues are also addressed. The data communications issues are reviewed. The expectations from the mission are summarized in the conclusion. These include a 90 day operational period, that is likely to continue for over a year; that EE would produce 1000 more observations than the Galileo mission; that EE would carry over 200 kg of instrumentation (including shielding); that EE would return over 21 Gigabits of data per Earth day; there would be about 340kg of unused mass, which could be used for more instrumentation, or a lander; and that this would be designed with currently available technology.

  4. Tidal response of Europa's subsurface ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karatekin, Özgür; Comblen, Richard; Toubeau, Jonathan; Deleersnijder, Eric; van Hoolst, Tim; Dehant, Veronique

    2010-05-01

    Observations of Cassini and Galileo spacecrafts suggest the presence of subsurface global water oceans under the icy shells of several satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. Previous studies have shown that in the presence of subsurface oceans, time-variable tides cause large periodic surface displacements and that tidal dissipation in the icy shell becomes a major energy source that can affect long-term orbital evolution. However, in most studies so far, the dynamics of these satellite oceans have been neglected. In the present study, we investigate the tidal response of the subsurface ocean of Europa to a time-varying potential. Two-dimensional nonlinear shallow water equations are solved on a sphere by means of a finite element code. The resulting ocean tidal flow velocities and surface displacements will be presented.

  5. Amino acid synthesis in Europa's subsurface environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbas, Sam H.; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2008-10-01

    It has been suggested that Europa's subsurface environment may provide a haven for prebiotic evolution and the development of exotic biotic systems. The detection of hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid, water, hydrates and related species on the surface, coupled with observed mobility of icebergs, suggests the presence of a substantial subsurface liquid reservoir that actively exchanges materials with the surface environment. The atmospheric, surface and subsurface environments are described with their known chemistry. Three synthetic schemes using hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid and hydrocyanic acid leading to the production of larger biologically important molecules such as amino acids are described. Metabolic pathways based on properties of the subsurface ocean environment are detailed. Tidal heating, osmotic gradients, chemical cycling, as well as hydrothermal vents, provide energy and materials that may support a course of prebiotic evolution leading to the development or sustenance of simple biotic systems. Putative organisms may employ metabolic pathways based on chemical oxidation reduction cycles occurring in the putative subsurface ocean environment.

  6. Radar properties of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ostro, S. J.

    1982-01-01

    The radar properties of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are summarized and present understanding of these properties is documented. The radar techniques are described, observational results reviewed, and salient aspects of the radar data set discussed. Theoretical interpretation of the satellites' anomalous radar properties is addressed, including aspects such as external scattering and double reflection from hemispherical craters, the random-facet model, total internal reflection, multiple total internal reflection, the high radar geometric albedos, the tenous upper layer, the two-component regolith, and compositional effects. It is concluded that multiple total internal reflection from randomly oriented subsurface facets can explain the anomalous circular polarization inversion in the radar echoes from the three satellites. Several refinements of the Goldstein-Green (1980) scattering model are suggested.

  7. Europa Uomo: the European Prostate Cancer Coalition.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Tom; Denis, Louis J

    2007-01-01

    Europa Uomo is a patient-led, non-governmental association (NGO), launched formally in Milan in 2004 with a legal base in Antwerp. As a coalition of prostate cancer patient groups with representation in 18 European countries, the NGO focusses on awareness, early detection, optimal treatment, multi-professional care and, above all, quality of life and patient advocacy. In the majority of European countries prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer affecting men beyond middle age. The incidence and substantial mortality rises with age, peaking in the seventh decade. Standards of diagnosis and treatment vary across Europe and attitudes differ. Information about the early detection and awareness of prostate cancer available to the public leaves much to be desired. Since 2002, involved individuals, patient support groups, patients, family members, physicians, urologists, oncologists and nurses joined in the formation of an independent, international, non-profit association of patient-led prostate cancer support groups from European countries known as Europa Uomo, the European Prostate Cancer Coalition. This Coalition was legally established as an NGO in June 2004 in Milan with the headquarters and secretariat in Antwerp, Belgium. Its membership represents 18 countries by the national or regional groups listed in Table 16.1 with their respective contact persons. The coalition is led by a steering committee under the control of the annual general assembly. The steering committee members and their co-ordinates are listed in Table 16.2. Scientific advice is given by a scientific committee chaired by Prof. H. Van Poppel as the liaison officer with the European Association of Urology (EAU). The support for EAU guidelines appears on the Web site and will be linked to all members in their own language (www.cancerworld.org/europauomo). The goals and activities of Europa Uomo have been condensed in a series of slides at the request of the Eurocan+Plus collaboration to

  8. Europa - The prospects for an ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reynolds, R. T.; Mckay, C. P.; Kasting, J. F.; Squires, S. W.

    1988-01-01

    Tidal dissipation in the satellites of a giant planet may provide sufficient heating to maintain a liquid water ocean below a thin ice layer. In the solar system, Europa, one of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, may have such an ocean. Both theoretical calculations and certain observations support its existence, although proof is lacking. The putative ocean would probably have temperatures, pressures, and chemistry conducive to biologic activity. However, the environment would be severely energy limited. Possible energy sources include transient transmission of sunlight through fractures in the ice and hydrothermal activity on the ocean floor. While temporary conditions could exist that are within the range of adaptation of certain terrestrial organisms, origin of life under such conditions seems unlikely. In other solar systems, however, larger satellites with more significant heat flow could provide environments that are stable over an order of aeons and in which life could perhaps evolve.

  9. Europa's Thermal Surface From Galileo PPR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, Nathaniel; Rathbun, J.; Spencer, J.

    2009-01-01

    Europa, one of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter, may harbor a subsurface ocean beneath its icy crust. We use the thermal data gathered from the Galileo spacecraft's PPR instrument to search for endogenic activity. Evidence of endogenic activity would provide direct support for a subsurface-ocean. We are modeling variations in temperature over the course of a day and then fitting these models to the PPR data. The two key variables that affect surface temperature are bolometric albedo and thermal inertia. We are determining these variables for each point on the surface, which will allow us to create a global model of exogenic activity due to sunlight. This information will allow us to analyze the threshold where endogenic activity becomes great enough to be detectable in the PPR data.

  10. Analytical model of Europa's O2 exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milillo, Anna; Plainaki, Christina; Orsini, Stefano; De Angelis, Elisabetta; Mangano, Valeria; Massetti, Stefano; Mura, Alessandro; Rispoli, Rosanna; Colasanti, Luca

    2015-04-01

    The origin of the exosphere of Europa is its water ice surface. The existing exosphere models, assuming either a collisionless environment (simple Monte Carlo techniques) or a kinetic approach (Direct Monte Carlo Method) both predict that the major constituent of the exosphere is molecular oxygen. Specifically, O2 is generated at the surface through radiolysis and chemical interactions of the water dissociation products. The non-escaping O2 molecules circulate around the moon impacting the surface several times, due to their long lifetime and due to their non- sticking, suffering thermalization to the surface temperature after each impact. In fact, the HST observations of the O emission lines have manifested the presence of an asymmetric atomic Oxygen envelope, evidencing the possible existence of a thin asymmetric molecular Oxygen atmosphere. The existing Monte Carlo models are not easily applicable as input of simulations devoted to the study of the plasma interactions with the moon. On the other hand, the simple exponential density profiles cannot well depict the higher temperature/higher altitudes component originating by radiolysis. On the contrary, it would be important to have a suitable and user-friendly model to use as a tool. This study presents an analytical 3D model that is able to describe the molecular Oxygen exosphere by reproducing the asymmetries due to two configurations among Europa, Jupiter and the Sun, that is illumination at leading and at trailing side. This model is obtained by a non-linear fit procedure of the EGEON Monte Carlo model to a Chamberlain density profile. Different parameters of the model are able to describe various exosphere properties thus allowing a detailed investigation of the exospheric characteristics.

  11. Impact Driven Chemistry on Europa's Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khare, B. N.; NNa Mvondo, D.; Borucki, J. G.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Belisle, W. A.; Wilhite, P.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-08-01

    A new energy source for organic synthesis on simulated Europan surfaces, electrical discharge, light emission, and magnetic phenomena from impacts into the ice, has been studied [Borucki et al. J. Geophys. Res. 107 (E11) 5114 (2002)]. Part of the impactor's kinetic energy is converted into electrical potential. The mechanical disruption causes the release of energy as light, heat, and electrical and magnetic fields as secondary emissions that synthesizes complex organic material named tholin [Sagan and Khare, Nature 277, 102 (1979)] in the area of impact craters. The morphology of the impact craters indicates that tholin is the result of outflow from the fracture zone. Large pool of liquid water may exist for thousands of years as suggested for Titan [Thompson and Sagan, Eur. Space Agency Spec. Publ., ESA-SP, 338, 167 (1992)] and may also apply to Europa potentially driving prebiotic chemistry due to energy pumped in from the secondary emissions. We have detected 8.8 ppm of H2O2 from impact of a 1/4" iron bullet at 5.3 km/s over water ice at ca. -100 C. H2O2 has been detected on the surface of Europa [Carlson et al., Science 283, 2062 (1999)]. Further confirmation by Raman Scattering at 874.5 cm-1 and IR absorbance at 2854 cm-1 is continuing. Since the impactor is limited in the number of experiments we can run, other experiments used a laser induced plasma (LIP) to shock ice mixed with ammonium sulphate and methanol. We detected CH4, CO, N2O, C2H6, CH3CN, CH3COCH3, HCOOCH3 (methyl formate), and traces of HCN. LIP on a mixture of water and methanol ice produced CH4, CO, HCHO, ethanol, formic acid methylester, propanol, acetone, dimethoxyme, and possibly ethanone-1phenyl or other phenyl group. NH3 and methanol could be delivered on impact of comets while sulfur expelled from Io.

  12. A closer look at Chaos on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This mosaic of the Conamara Chaos region on Jupiter's moon, Europa, clearly indicates relatively recent resurfacing of Europa's surface. Irregularly shaped blocks of water ice were formed by the break up and movement of the existing crust. The blocks were shifted, rotated, and even tipped and partially submerged within a mobile material that was either liquid water, warm mobile ice, or an ice and water slush. The presence of young fractures cutting through this region indicates that the surface froze again into solid, brittle ice.

    The background image in this picture was taken during Galileo's sixth orbit of Jupiter in February, 1997. Five very high resolution images which were taken during the spacecraft's twelfth orbit in December, 1997 provide an even closer look at some of the details. This mosaic shows some of the high resolution data inset into the context of this tumultuous region.

    North is to the top of the picture, and the sun illuminates the scene from the east (right). The picture, centered at 9 degrees north latitude and 274 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 35 by 50 kilometers (20 by 30 miles). The finest details visible in the very high resolution insets are about 20 meters (22 yards) across, and in the background image, 100 meters (110 yards) across. The insets were taken on December 16, 1997, at ranges as close as 880 kilometers (550 miles) by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  13. Flow-like Features On Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image shows features on Jupiter's moon Europa that may be 'flows' from ice volcanoes. It was taken by the Galileo spacecraft solid state imaging (CCD) system during its seventh orbit around Jupiter. North is to the top of the image. The sun illuminates the scene from the left, showing features with shapes similar to lava flows on Earth. Two such features can be seen in the northwest corner of the image. The southern feature appears to have flowed over a ridge along its western edge. Scientists use these types of relationships to determine which feature formed first. In this case, the ridge probably formed before the flow-like feature that covers it.

    The image, centered at 22.6 degrees north latitude and 106.7 degrees west longitude, covers an area of 180 by 215 kilometers (112 by 134 miles). The smallest distinguishable features in the image are about 1.1 kilometers (0.7 miles) across. This image was obtained on April 28, 1997, when Galileo was 27,590 kilometers (16,830 miles) from Europa.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  14. Solar-Powered Europa Orbiter Design Study (2007)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliott, John; Langmaier, Jerry; Pappalardo, Robert; Strange, Nathan; Spilker, Tom; Lock, Rob; Reh, Kim

    2008-01-01

    The feasibility of implementing a solar-powered mission around Europa has been evaluated periodically over the last decade. Most recently, an assessment was performed as part of the 2006 Europa Explorer (EE) Study, which evaluated the practicality of implementing that mission design with large solar arrays instead of radioisotope power systems (RPS). This previous study went into some depth in considering the issues related to the use of solar arrays in the Europa orbit illumination and radiation environment. The study concluded that an all-solar option was impractical to meet the science objectives as defined in that study by the science team. This conclusion resulted from the prohibitive mass, packaging and articulation issues associated with the very large (approx.300 sq m) solar arrays required to accommodate frequent eclipse periods associated with the particular Europa orbit used.

  15. Detectability of Potentially Entrained Microorganisms at the Surface of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dalton, J. B.

    2002-01-01

    New spectral measurements of bacteria taken at cryogenic temperatures provide insights on the surface composition of Europa as well as the detectability of microbes on the surface. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  16. Linking Europa's plume activity to tides, tectonics, and liquid water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoden, Alyssa Rose; Hurford, Terry A.; Roth, Lorenz; Retherford, Kurt

    2015-06-01

    Much of the geologic activity preserved on Europa's icy surface has been attributed to tidal deformation, mainly due to Europa's eccentric orbit. Although the surface is geologically young (30-80 Myr), there is little information as to whether tidally-driven surface processes are ongoing. However, a recent detection of water vapor near Europa's south pole suggests that it may be geologically active. Initial observations indicated that Europa's plume eruptions are time-variable and may be linked to its tidal cycle. Saturn's moon, Enceladus, which shares many similar traits with Europa, displays tidally-modulated plume eruptions, which bolstered this interpretation. However, additional observations of Europa at the same time in its orbit failed to yield a plume detection, casting doubt on the tidal control hypothesis. The purpose of this study is to analyze the timing of plume eruptions within the context of Europa's tidal cycle to determine whether such a link exists and examine the inferred similarities and differences between plume activity on Europa and Enceladus. To do this, we determine the locations and orientations of hypothetical tidally-driven fractures that best match the temporal variability of the plumes observed at Europa. Specifically, we identify model faults that are in tension at the time in Europa's orbit when a plume was detected and in compression at times when the plume was not detected. We find that tidal stress driven solely by eccentricity is incompatible with the observations unless additional mechanisms are controlling the eruption timing or restricting the longevity of the plumes. The addition of obliquity tides, and corresponding precession of the spin pole, can generate a number of model faults that are consistent with the pattern of plume detections. The locations and orientations of these hypothetical source fractures are robust across a broad range of precession rates and spin pole directions. Analysis of the stress variations across

  17. Orbiter, Flyby and Lander Mission Concepts for Investigating Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prockter, L. M.

    2012-04-01

    Coauthors: R. T. Pappalardo (1), F. Bagenal (2), A. C. Barr (3), B. G. Bills (1), D. L. Blaney (1), D. D. Blankenship (4), W. Brinckerhoff (5), J. E. P. Connerney (5), K. Hand (1), T. Hoehler (6), W. Kurth (7), M. McGrath (8), M. Mellon (9), J. M. Moore (6), D. A. Senske (1), E. Shock (10), D. E. Smith (11), T. Gavin (1), G. Garner (1), T. Magner (12), B. C. Cooke (1), R. Crum (1), V. Mallder (12), L. Adams (12), K. Klaasen (1), G. W. Patterson (12), and S. D. Vance (1); 1: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA; 2: University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA; 3: Brown University, Providence, RI, USA; 4: University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, Austin, TX, USA; 5: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA; 6: NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA, USA; 7: University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA; 8: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, USA; 9: Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, USA; 10: Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA; 11: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; 12: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD, USA. Introduction: Assessment of Europa's habitability requires understanding whether the satellite possesses the three "ingredients" for life: water, chemistry, and energy. The National Research Council's Planetary Decadal Survey [1] placed an extremely high priority on Europa science but noted that the budget profile for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission concept [2] is incompatible with NASA's projected planetary science budget. Thus, in April 2011, NASA enlisted a small Europa Science Definition Team (ESDT) to consider Europa mission options that might be more feasible over the next decade from a programmatic perspective. The ESDT has studied three Europa mission concepts: a Europa orbiter, a Europa multiple-flyby mission, and a Europa lander. These share an overarching goal: Explore Europa to investigate its habitability

  18. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sittler, E.; Cooper, J.; Hartle, R.; Lipatov, A.; Mahaffy, P.; Paterson, W.; Paschalidis, N.; Coplan, M.; Cassidy, T.

    2010-01-01

    NASA and ESA are planning the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) to the Jupiter system with specific emphasis to Europa and Ganymede, respectively. The Japanese Space Agency is also planning an orbiter mission to explore Jupiter's magnetosphere and the Galilean satellites. For NASA's Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) we are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) with two main goals which can also be applied to the other Galilean moons, 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter's magnetosphere and 2) infer the 4n surface composition to trace elemental [1] and significant isotopic levels. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, and between the moon surfaces and subsurface layers putatively including oceans. The measurement of the interactions for all the Galilean moons can be used to trace the in situ ion measurements of pickup ions back to either Europa's or Ganymede's surface from the respectively orbiting spacecraft. The IMS instrument, being developed under NASA's Astrobiology Instrument Development Program, would maximally achieve plasma measurement requirements for JEO and EJSM while moving forward our knowledge of Jupiter system composition and source processes to far higher levels than previously envisaged.

  19. Dive Europa: a search-for-life initiative.

    PubMed

    Naganuma, T; Uematsu, H

    1998-06-01

    Liquid water, underwater volcanoes and possibly life forms have been suggested to be present beneath the estimated 10 km-thick ice shell of Europa the Jovian satellite J2. Europa's possible ocean is estimated to be 100-200km deep. Despite the great depth of the Europa's ocean, hydrostatic pressure at the seafloor would be 130-260 MPa, corresponding to 13-26 km depth of a theoretical Earth's ocean. The hydrostatic pressure is not beyond the edge of existing deep-sea technology. Here we propose exploration of Europa's deep-sea by the use of current technologies, taking a symbolic example of a deep submergence vehicle Shinkai 6500 which dives to a depth of 6.5 km deep (50 km depth of Europa's ocean). Shinkai 6500 is embarkable in the payload bay of the Space Shuttles in terms of size and weight for the transportation to a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Secondary boost is needed for interplanetary flight from the LEO. On-orbit assembly of the secondary booster is a technological challenge. The International Space Station (ISS) and ISS-related technologies will facilitate the secondary boost. Also, ice shell drilling is a challenge and is needed before the dive into Europa's ocean. These challenges should be overcome during a certain leading time for matured experience in the ISS operation. PMID:11541880

  20. Impact Features on Europa: Results of the Galileo Europa Mission (GEM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. M.; Asphaug, E.; Morrison, D.; Sullivan, R. J.; Chapman, C. R.; Greeley, R.; Klemaszewski, J. E.; Kadel, S.; Chuang, F.; Moreau, J.; Williams, K. K.; Geissler, P. E.; McEwen, A. S.; Turtle, E. A.; Phillips, C. B.; Tufts, B. R.; Head, J. W.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Collins, G. C.; Neukum, G.; Wagner, R.; Klaasen, K. P.; Breneman, H. H.; McGee, K. P.; Senske, D. A.; Granahan, J.; Belton, M. J. S.; Galileo SSI Team

    1998-09-01

    The Galileo Orbiter, during the GEM phase of this mission, has examined a number of impact features on Europa at considerably better resolution and coverage than was possible from either Voyager or during the Galileo nominal mission. The new data allow us to describe the morphology and infer the geology of the largest impact features on Europa, which are probes into the crust. The GEM observations allow us to construct a suite of primary impact features on Europa; a comprehensive "family" portrait and ordering (by size on one axis and morphologic variations within a given size bin along the other). We have also made detailed description of individual impact features including topography (from stereo), crater-related materials deposits, cross-cutting relations, and material-related color variations. We observe two basic types of large impact features: (1) "classic" impact craters that grossly resemble well-preserved lunar craters of similar size but are more topographically subdued (e.g., Pwyll); and (2) very flat circular features that lack the basic topographic structures of impact craters such as raised rims, a central depression, or central peaks, and which largely owe their identification as impact features to the field of secondary craters radially sprayed about them (e.g., Callanish). One of our preliminary conclusions are that Callanish and Tyre display non-"classic" impact features morphologies and a series of large concentric structural rings cutting impact-feature-related materials. Impact simulations suggest that Callanish and Tyre would not be produced by impact into a solid ice target, but may be explained by impact into an ice layer 10 to 15 km thick overlying a low viscosity material such as water.

  1. Understanding the Variability of Europa's Interaction with the Jovian Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khurana, Krishan; Jia, Xianzhe; Paranicas, Chris; Cassidy, Timothy; Hansen, Kenneth

    2014-05-01

    Field and plasma observations from the vicinity of Europa by the Galileo spacecraft show that Europa's response to the corotating field and plasma impinging on it is binary in nature. Galileo successfully encountered Europa 10 times during its mission. During nine of these flybys, the interaction between Europa and Jupiter was observed to be fairly modest. The modeling of magnetic data from these flybys shows that the interaction currents were in the range of 0.5 MA and the plasma addition to the corotating flow was between 2 - 8 kg/s. However, during one of the flybys, namely E12, the field and plasma perturbations were observed to be extremely large. During this flyby, the magnetic field was observed to almost double in strength from its nominal value of 450 nT. The plasma density in the environment was also extremely high during this flyby (exceeding 800 particles/cm-3 compared to the nominal values of 50-100 particles/cm3 expected near Europa's orbit). The energetic ion fluxes on the other hand were seen to drop significantly in count presumably from ion losses and cooling in Europa's environment. In order to understand the two interaction states of Europa observed so far, we have now developed quantitative 3-D MHD models of plasma interactions of Europa with Jupiter's magnetosphere. In these models we include the effects of plasma pick-up and plasma interaction with a realistic exosphere as well as the contribution of the electromagnetic induction. We will present results of these quantitative models and show that the plasma interaction is strongest when Europa is located at the center of Jupiter's current sheet. We find that plasma mass loading rates are extremely variable over time. We will investigate various mechanisms by which such variability in mass-loading could be produced including episodically enhanced sputtering from trapped gaseous molecules in ice and enhanced plasma interaction with a vent(s) generated dense exosphere. The new model will aid

  2. Topography within Europa's Mannann'an crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This three dimensional effect is created by superimposing images of Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, which were taken from slightly different perspectives. When viewed through red (left eye) and blue (right eye) filters, this product, a stereo anaglyph, shows variations in height of surface features.

    This view shows the rim and interior of the impact crater Mannann'an, on Jupiter's moon Europa. The stereo image reveals the rim of the crater which appears as a tall ridge near the left edge of the image, as well as and numerous small hills on the bottom of the crater. One of the most striking features is the large pit surrounded by circular cracks on the right side of the image, with dark radiating fractures in its center.

    The right (blue) image is a high resolution image (20 meters per picture element) taken through a clear filter. The left (red) image is composed of lower resolution (80 meters per picture element) color images taken through violet, green, and near-infrared filters and averaged to approximate an unfiltered view.

    North is to the top of the picture and the sun illuminates the scene from the east (right). The image, centered at 3 degrees north latitude and 120 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 18 by 4 kilometers (11 by 2.5 miles). The finest details that can be discerned in this picture are about 40 meters (44 yards) across. The images were taken on March 29th, 1998 at 13 hours, 17 minutes, 29 seconds Universal Time at a range of 1934 kilometers by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for

  3. Tírez lake as a terrestrial analog of Europa.

    PubMed

    Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Rodríguez, Nuria; Kargel, Jeffrey S; Kessler, Carola González; Amils, Ricardo; Remolar, David Fernández

    2003-01-01

    Tírez Lake (La Mancha, central Spain) is proposed as a terrestrial analogue of Europa's ocean. The proposal is based on the comparison of the hydrogeochemistry of Tírez Lake with the geochemical features of the alteration mineralogy of meteoritic precursors and with Galileo's Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer data on Europa's surface. To validate the astrobiological potential of Tírez Lake as an analog of Europa, different hydrogeochemical, mineral, and microbial analyses were performed. Experimental and theoretical modeling helped to understand the crystallization pathways that may occur in Europa's crust. Calculations about the oxidation state of the hypothetical Europan ocean were estimated to support the sulfate-rich neutral liquid model as the origin of Europa's observed hydrated minerals and to facilitate their comparison with Tírez's hydrogeochemistry. Hydrogeochemical and mineralogical analyses showed that Tírez waters corresponded to Mg-Na-SO(4)-Cl brines with epsomite, hexahydrite, and halite as end members. A preliminary microbial ecology characterization identified two different microbial domains: a photosynthetically sustained community represented by planktonic/benthonic forms and microbial mat communities, and a subsurficial anaerobic realm in which chemolithotrophy predominates. Fluorescence in situ hybridization has been used to characterize the prokaryotic diversity of the system. The subsurficial community seemed to be dominated by sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogens. Frozen Tírez brines were analyzed by Fourier-transform infrared techniques providing spectra similar to those reported previously using pure components and to the Galileo spectral data. Calorimetric measurements of Tírez brines showed pathways and phase metastability for magnesium sulfate and sodium chloride crystallization that may aid in understanding the processes involved in the formation of Europa's icy crust. The use of fluorescence hybridization techniques for

  4. A Search for Signs of Life and Habitability on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fonda, Mark (Technical Monitor); McKay, Christoper P.; Eicken, H.; Neuer, S.; Sogin, M.; Waite, H.; Warmflash, D.

    2003-01-01

    Europa is a key target in the search for life beyond the Earth because of consistent evidence that below the icy surface there is liquid water. Future missions to Europa could confirm the presence and nature of the ocean and determine the thickness of the ice layer. Confirming the presence of an ocean and determining the habitability of Europa are key astrobiology science objectives. Nevertheless, the highest priority objective for astrobiology will be a search for life. How could a search for life be accomplished on a near-term mission given the thick ice cover? One answer may lie in the surface materials. If Europa has an ocean, and if that ocean contains life, and if water from the ocean is carried up to the surface, then signs of life may be contained in organic material on the surface. Organics that derive from biological processes (dead organisms) are distinct from organics derived from non-biological processes in several aspects. First, biology is selective and specific in its use of molecules. For example, Earth life uses 20 left-handed amino acids. Second, biology can leave characteristic isotopic patterns. Third, biology often produces large complex molecules in high concentrations, for example lipids. Organic material that has been on the surface of Europa for long periods of time would be reprocessed by the strong radiation field probably erasing any signature of biological origin. Evidence of life in the ocean may be found on the surface of Europa if regions of the surface contained relatively recent material carried up from the ocean through cracks in the icy lithosphere. But organic material that has been on the surface of Europa for long periods of time would be reprocessed by the strong radiation field probably erasing any signature of biological origin. Thus, the detailed analysis required may not be possible via remote sensing but direct sampling of the material below the radiation processed upper meter is probably required.

  5. Elektronische Citizen Cards in Deutschland und Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, Bernd

    Meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren, der Bedarf an elektronischen Identitäten entsteht durch die wachsende Mobilität der Gesellschaft bei einem gleichzeitig steigenden Bedarf an Onlinepräsenz. Diese elektronischen Identitäten machen natürlich auch vor den staatlichen Ausweisen nicht halt, wie zum Beispiel dem Reisepass, aber auch dem Personalausweis und weiteren Ausweisdokumenten. Wobei es bei den staatlich herausgegebenen oder kontrollierten Ausweisen immer um zwei verschiedene Dinge geht: Einmal um die hoheitliche Funktion, wie zum Beispiel beim Reisepass. Hier geht es zum Beispiel darum, in einem Europa mit gefallenen Grenzen und bei freiem Reiseverkehr für alle Personen, die in diesem Raum wohnen, insbesondere auch im Schengener Raum, die Möglichkeit zu schaffen, auch künftig noch Personenkontrollen durchzuführen. Auch der Reiseverkehr über die europäischen Grenzen hinaus ist insofern ein Problem, da die Identitätenprüfung an den Grenzkontrollen immer schwieriger wird. Deswegen braucht man an dieser Stelle Möglichkeiten, um eine Personenüberprüfung durchzuführen, um feststellen zu können, dass diese Person auch zum Dokument gehört.

  6. DSMC simulation of Europa water vapor plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berg, J. J.; Goldstein, D. B.; Varghese, P. L.; Trafton, L. M.

    2016-10-01

    A computational investigation of the physics of water vapor plumes on Europa was performed with a focus on characteristics relevant to observation and spacecraft mission operations. The direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method was used to model the plume expansion assuming a supersonic vent source. The structure of the plume was determined, including the number density, temperature, and velocity fields. The possibility of ice grain growth above the vent was considered and deemed probable for large (diameter > ∼20 m) vents at certain Mach numbers. Additionally, preexisting grains of three diameters (0.1, 1, 50 μm) were included and their trajectories examined. A preliminary study of photodissociation of H2O into OH and H was performed to demonstrate the behavior of daughter species. A set of vent parameters was evaluated including Mach number (Mach 2, 3, 5), reduced temperature as a proxy for flow energy loss to the region surrounding the vent, and mass flow rate. Plume behavior was relatively insensitive to these factors, with the notable exception of mass flow rate. With an assumed mass flow rate of ∼1000 kg/s, a canopy shock occurred and a maximum integrated line of sight column density of ∼1020 H2O molecules/m2 was calculated, comparing favorably with observation (Roth et al., 2014a).

  7. Europa Ice Cliffs-High Resolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This view of the Conamara Chaos region on Jupiter's moon Europa shows cliffs along the edges of high-standing ice plates. The washboard texture of the older terrain has been broken into plates which are separated by material with a jumbled texture. The cliffs themselves are rough and broadly scalloped, and smooth debris shed from the cliff faces is piled along the base. For scale, the height of the cliffs and size of the scalloped indentations are comparable to the famous cliff face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

    This image was taken on December 16, 1997 at a range of 900 kilometers (540 miles) by the solid state imaging system (camera) on NASA's Galileo spacecraft. North is to the top right of the picture, and the sun illuminates the surface from the east. This image, centered at approximately 8 degrees north latitude and 273 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 1.5 kilometers by 4 kilometers (0.9 miles by 2.4 miles). The resolution is 9 meters (30 feet) per picture element.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  8. Europa and Callisto under the watchful gaze of Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    One moment in an ancient, orbital dance is caught in this color picture taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Dec. 7, 2000, just as two of Jupiter's four major moons, Europa and Callisto, were nearly perfectly aligned with each other and the center of the planet.

    The distances are deceiving. Europa, seen against Jupiter, is 600,000 kilometers (370,000 miles) above the planet's cloud tops. Callisto, at lower left, is nearly three times that distance from the cloud tops. Europa is a bit smaller than Earth's Moon and has one of the brightest surfaces in the solar system. Callisto is 50 percent bigger -- roughly the size of Saturn's largest satellite, Titan -- and three times darker than Europa. Its brightness had to be enhanced in this picture, relative Europa's and Jupiter's, in order for Callisto to be seen in this image.

    Europa and Callisto have had very different geologic histories but share some surprising similarities, such as surfaces rich in ice. Callisto has apparently not undergone major internal compositional stratification, but Europa's interior has differentiated into a rocky core and an outer layer of nearly pure ice. Callisto's ancient surface is completely covered by large impact craters: The brightest features seen on Callisto in this image were discovered by the Voyager spacecraft in 1979 to be bright craters, like those on our Moon. In contrast, Europa's young surface is covered by a wild tapestry of ridges, chaotic terrain and only a handful of large craters.

    Recent data from the magnetometer carried by the Galileo spacecraft, which has been in orbit around Jupiter since 1995, indicate the presence of conducting fluid, most likely salty water, inside both worlds.

    Scientists are eager to discover whether the surface of Saturn's Titan resembles that of Callisto or Europa, or whether it is entirely different when Cassini finally reaches its destination in 2004.

    Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and

  9. The State of the Plasma Sheet and Atmosphere at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shemansky, D. E.; Yung, Y. L.; Liu, X.; Yoshii, J.; Hansen, C. J.; Hendrix, A.; Esposito, L. W.

    2014-12-01

    The Hall et al. (1995) report announcing the discovery of atomic oxygen FUV emission from Europa included a conclusion that the atmosphere was dominated by O2. Over the following 20 years publications referencing the atmosphere accepted this conclusion, and calculations of rates, particularly mass loading of the magnetosphere depended on a composition that was of order 90% O2. Analysis of the Europa emission spectrum in the present work, leads to the conclusion that the O I emission properties were misinterpreted. The interpretation of the source process depends on the ratio of the O I 1356 and 1304 A multiplet emissions (R(4:5) = (I(1356)/I(1304)). The value of R(4:5) never reaches the lower limit for electron impact dissociation of O2 for any of the 7 recorded disk averaged measurements between 1994 and 2013. Analysis of the Cassini UVIS exposures show the 1304 A multiplet to be optically thick, and the emissions are modeled as direct electron and solar photon excitation of O I. The result is a model atmosphere dominated by O I and O II, with neutral density a factor of 100 below the original O2 model. Other considerations show incompatibility with an O2 atmosphere. Deep exposures using the Cassini UVIS EUV spectrograph provide the state of the plasma sheet at Europa. The ion species are identified as mainly outwardly diffused mass from the Io plasma torus with a minor contribution from Europa. Plasma time-constants are of the order of 200 days. Neutral species in the plasma sheet are not measureable. The energy flux in the magnetosphere L-shells are mainly responsible for energy deposition maintaining the plasma sheet. The energy content in the Io and Europa L-shells, as measured, is similar, but the mean radiative cooling rate in the Io plasma torus at the time of the Cassini encounter was 565 femtoergs cm-3 s-1, compared to 7.3 at Europa, reflecting the difference between an active and inactive planetary satellite, particularly considering the fact that most

  10. Exospheric signatures of alkalis abundances in Europa's regolith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cipriani, F.; Leblanc, F.; Witasse, O.; Cassidy, T.; Johnson, R. E.

    2008-12-01

    Sputtering of Europa's surface material by Jupiter's magnetospheric plasma results in a strong coupling between the moon's exosphere and its surface content (Johnson 2001). In particular, the presence of alkalis in Europa's exosphere (Brown and Hill 1996, Brown 2001, Brown 2004, Leblanc et al 2005; Cassidy et al. 2008), sputtered from potential surface salts embedded in the icy regolith, supports the hypothesis of a geologically young surface associated with a subsurface ocean. We have carried out test-particle simulations of the ejection of sodium and potassium atoms from the icy matrix of Europa, by both magnetospheric ions and electrons sputtering and desorption stimulated by UV solar photons (hereafter noted PSD). We show that a minimal surface source term of sodium of 3x106cm-2.s-1 is required to produce the average emission intensities observed at different positions of Europa's orbit around Jupiter, in good agreement with Leblanc et al 2002. We also obtain that PSD alone can not account for the emission brightness variations reported in Leblanc et al (2005), as suggested earlier. Instead we propose that a plasma transient corresponding to a global increase of the flux of particles impacting the surface by a factor of about 8 compared to the ambient energetic ions and electrons flux during 10 hours would be sufficient to explain the observed emission enhancement (Cipriani et al 2008). At altitudes typically lower than 500km, we observe that the surface content produces clear asymmetries of the exospheric density from trailing to leading hemispheres consistent with the Cassini observations of Europa in eclipse (Cassidy et al. 2008). We investigate those asymmetries and relate them to signatures of surface processes such as PSD, or surface inhomogeneities and density gradients of sodium. Of particular importance is the estimated Na/K ratio at Europa, whose estimated values close to 20 support the hypothesis of endogenic processes releasing sodium bearing

  11. The Detectability of Heat Flow Signatures on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paige, D. A.; Hayne, P. O.; Spencer, J. R.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Bennett, K. A.; Mellon, M. T.; Bandfield, J. L.; Aharonson, O.

    2014-12-01

    Europa is planetary body with a young, tectonically active ice shell and a subsurface liquid water ocean. These characteristics make it one of the most promising places in the solar system to search for extant life beyond Earth. Conventional wisdom dictates that temperatures at the surface of Europa's ice shell are not expected to exceed 130K, which is well below the stability temperature of liquid water or brines. However, the regional or local-scale surface temperatures on Europa could be elevated due to regional or local scale heat flow anomalies as manifested by regional variations in tidal heating, recent cracks in the ice shell, or episodic eruptive plumes. Using a sophisticated ray-tracing thermal model developed for the moon and Mercury, we have explored the potential detectability of a range of heat flow anomalies on Europa from remote sensing measurements of the thermal emission and solar reflection from the Europa's surface. We find that the thermal emission signatures of potential heat flow anomalies can be differentiated from those caused by topography, roughness, exposed ice blocks and Jupiter shine. We further quantify the requirements for accuracy and signal-to-noise, as well as the requirements, for spatial, spectral and diurnal coverage, and conclude that heat flow signatures from sites of recent plume activity should be readily detectable, even if they are not currently active.

  12. Studies for the Europagenic Plasma Source in Jupiter's Inner Magnetosphere during the Galileo Europa Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, William H.

    2004-01-01

    Progress in research to understand the three-dimensional nature of the Europagenic plasma torus is summarized. Efforts to improve the plasma torus description near Europa's orbit have included a better understanding of Europa's orbit and an improved description of the planetary magnetic field. New plasma torus chemistry for molecular and atomic species has been introduced and implemented in Europa neutral cloud models. Preliminary three-dimensional model calculations for Europa's neutral clouds and their plasma sources are presented.

  13. Dark and Bright Ridges on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This high-resolution image of Jupiter's moon Europa, taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft camera, shows dark, relatively smooth region at the lower right hand corner of the image which may be a place where warm ice has welled up from below. The region is approximately 30 square kilometers in area. An isolated bright hill stands within it. The image also shows two prominent ridges which have different characteristics; youngest ridge runs from left to top right and is about 5 kilometers in width (about 3.1 miles). The ridge has two bright, raised rims and a central valley. The rims of the ridge are rough in texture. The inner and outer walls show bright and dark debris streaming downslope, some of it forming broad fans. This ridge overlies and therefore must be younger than a second ridge running from top to bottom on the left side of the image. This dark 2 km wide ridge is relatively flat, and has smaller-scale ridges and troughs along its length.

    North is to the top of the picture, and the sun illuminates the surface from the upper left. This image, centered at approximately 14 degrees south latitude and 194 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 15 kilometers by 20 kilometers (9 miles by 12 miles). The resolution is 26 meters (85 feet) per picture element. This image was taken on December 16, 1997 at a range of 1300 kilometers (800 miles) by Galileo's solid state imaging system.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  14. Terrain on Europa under Changing Lighting Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    These images obtained by the Solid State Imaging (CCD) system aboard NASA's Galileo spacecraft show the same region of Europa under different lighting conditions. The upper image was obtained on June 28th, 1996 during Galileo's first orbit around Jupiter under 'high-sun' conditions -- the equivalent of taking a picture from a high altitude at noon (with the sun directly overhead). Note that albedo (light/dark) features are emphasized. Compare this to the lower image containing a higher-resolution inset. This (inset) image was taken on November 6th, 1996 during the spacecraft's third orbit under 'low-sun' illumination -- the equivalent of taking a picture from a high altitude at sunrise or sunset. Note that in this image the albedo features are not readily apparent. Instead, the topography of the terrain is emphasized. Planetary geologists use information from images acquired under a variety of lighting conditions to identify different types of structures and interpret how they formed. Note that the bright linear features in the upper image are seen to be ridges in the lower image. The circular feature on the right side of both images, Cilix, is approximately 25 kilometers (15 miles) across.

    The area seen in the upper image is 312 kilometers (187 miles) by 570 kilometers (342 miles) across; the area covered by the inset is 36 kilometers (22 miles) by 315 kilometers (190 miles) across. Both of these images are centered near 2 South latitude, 185 West longitude. North is to the top of the frames.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  15. Tides on Europa: The membrane paradigm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuthe, Mikael

    2015-03-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa has a thin icy crust which is decoupled from the mantle by a subsurface ocean. The crust thus responds to tidal forcing as a deformed membrane, cold at the top and near melting point at the bottom. In this paper I develop the membrane theory of viscoelastic shells with depth-dependent rheology with the dual goal of predicting tidal tectonics and computing tidal dissipation. Two parameters characterize the tidal response of the membrane: the effective Poisson's ratio ν bar and the membrane spring constant Λ, the latter being proportional to the crust thickness and effective shear modulus. I solve membrane theory in terms of tidal Love numbers, for which I derive analytical formulas depending on Λ, ν bar , the ocean-to-bulk density ratio and the number k2∘ representing the influence of the deep interior. Membrane formulas predict h2 and k2 with an accuracy of a few tenths of percent if the crust thickness is less than one hundred kilometers, whereas the error on l2 is a few percents. Benchmarking with the thick-shell software SatStress leads to the discovery of an error in the original, uncorrected version of the code that changes stress components by up to 40%. Regarding tectonics, I show that different stress-free states account for the conflicting predictions of thin and thick shell models about the magnitude of tensile stresses due to nonsynchronous rotation. Regarding dissipation, I prove that tidal heating in the crust is proportional to Im (Λ) and that it is equal to the global heat flow (proportional to Im (k2)) minus the core-mantle heat flow (proportional to Im (k2∘)). As an illustration, I compute the equilibrium thickness of a convecting crust. More generally, membrane formulas are useful in any application involving tidal Love numbers such as crust thickness estimates, despinning tectonics or true polar wander.

  16. Orbit Determination Covariance Analysis for the Europa Clipper Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ionasescu, Rodica; Martin-Mur, Tomas; Valerino, Powtawche; Criddle, Kevin; Buffington, Brent; McElrath, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    A new Jovian satellite tour is proposed by NASA, which would include numerous flybys of the moon Europa, and would explore its potential habitability by characterizing the existence of any water within and beneath Europa's ice shell. This paper describes the results of a covariance study that was undertaken on a sample tour to assess the navigational challenges and capabilities of such a mission from an orbit determination (OD) point of view, and to help establish a delta V budget for the maneuvers needed to keep the spacecraft on the reference trajectory. Additional parametric variations from the baseline case were also investigated. The success of the Europa Clipper mission will depend on the science measurements that it will enable. Meeting the requirements of the instruments onboard the spacecraft is an integral part of this analysis.

  17. Exogenic and endogenic albedo and color patterns on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcewen, A. S.

    1986-01-01

    New global and high-resolution multispectral mosaics of Europa have been produced from the Voyager imaging data. Photometric normalizations are based on multiple-image techniques that explicitly account for intrinsic albedo variations through pixel-by-pixel solutions. The exogenic color and albedo pattern on Europa is described by a second-order function of the cosine of the angular distance from the apex of orbital motion. On the basis of this second-order function and of color trends that are different on the leading and trailing hemispheres, the exogenic pattern is interpreted as being due to equilibrium between two dominant processes: (1) impact gardening and (2) magnetospheric interactions, including sulfur-ion implantation and sputtering redistribution. Removal of the model exogenic pattern in the mosaics reveals the endogenic variations, consisting of only two major units: darker (redder) and bright materials. Therefore Europa's visual spectral reflectivity is simple, having one continuous exogenic pattern and two discrete endogenic units.

  18. Measurement of the Atmospheres of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wurz, P.; Vorburger, A.; Galli, A.; Tulej, M.; Thomas, N.; Alibert, Y.; Barabash, S.; Wieser, M.; Lammer, H.

    2014-04-01

    The European Space Agency has selected the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission to fly to the Jupiter system and to visit the icy moons Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. One of the selected scientific instruments is the Particle Environment Package (PEP) that includes a Neutral gas and Ion mass spectrometer (NIM). NIM will measure the composition of the exospheres of these three moons during flybys and in orbit of Ganymede. We present Monte Carlo calculations of Europa's exosphere including all relevant processes to release particles into the exosphere, which are sublimation, sputtering, and the plume release. For the surface composition we compiled composition data from existing spectroscopic observations and from formation models. We derive density profiles for different scenarios (e.g. day/night, in co-rotation flow, ...), and make predictions on the expected NIM measurements for the planned Europa flyby trajectories of JUICE .

  19. Exploration and protection of Europa's biosphere: implications of permeable ice.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Richard

    2011-03-01

    Europa has become a high-priority objective for exploration because it may harbor life. Strategic planning for its exploration has been predicated on an extreme model in which the expected oceanic biosphere lies under a thick ice crust, buried too deep to be reached in the foreseeable future, which would beg the question of whether other active satellites might be more realistic objectives. However, Europa's ice may in fact be permeable, with very different implications for the possibilities for life and for mission planning. A biosphere may extend up to near the surface, making life far more readily accessible to exploration while at the same time making it vulnerable to contamination. The chances of finding life on Europa are substantially improved while the need for planetary protection becomes essential. The new National Research Council planetary protection study will need to go beyond its current mandate if meaningful standards are to be put in place. PMID:21417946

  20. In Pursuit of Analogs for Europa's Dynamics & Potential Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Britney E.; Blankenship, D. D.; Greenbaum, J. S.; Young, D. A.

    2010-10-01

    Future Europa exploration will seek to characterize the distribution of shallow subsurface water as well as to understand the formation of surface features through dynamic ice-shell processes. Radar sounding will be a critical tool for imaging these features, and should be of primary interest to the astrobiology community for understanding how and where life might arise on Europa. To develop successful instrumentation and data interpretation techniques for exploring Europa, we must leverage analogous terrestrial environments and processes. Airborne ice penetrating radar is now a mature tool in terrestrial studies of Earth's ice sheets, and orbital examples have been successfully deployed at Earth's Moon and Mars. It is a distinct possibility that water within or just below the ice on Europa has played a role in forming some of its dynamic terrain. Observations of rotated blocks and dark floor materials may suggest that brines existed in the near subsurface and enabled the formation of such features. The University of Texas High Capability Airborne Radar Sounder (HiCARS) developed to study Antarctic ice sheet dynamics has been configured to test observation scenarios for Europa. We discuss recent results from the 60 MHz HiCARS system over brine infiltrated Antarctic marine ice as an analog for processes affecting the formation of pits and chaos. Basal melt occurring below terrestrial marine ice is directly analogous to processes that may operate on Europa if the shell is "thin,” and will be similar to processes occurring instead within the ice sheet in the case of a thicker, multi-layer ice sheet where enriched brines may remain liquid within the shell. A key site for further investigation of conductive and "convective” ices is found in the polythermal glaciers in the Arctic, and the case for this exploration will be illuminated.

  1. Science and Reconnaissance from the Europa Clipper Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prockter, L. M.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Senske, D.; Vance, S.; Patterson, G.; Paczkowski, B.; Goldstein, B.; Magner, T. J.; Cooke, B.

    2013-12-01

    The Europa Clipper mission concept is the subject of a NASA-funded study by a joint JPL/APL science and technical team. The Clipper spacecraft would launch in the 2021 timeframe and would be placed in orbit around Jupiter to perform a detailed investigation of Europa, a world that shows strong evidence for a liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust, and which could host conditions favorable for life. As envisioned, a highly capable, radiation-tolerant spacecraft with a diverse instrument suite would make repeated close flybys of Europa. The Europa Clipper science objectives are: (1) Ocean and Ice Shell - Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; (2) Composition - Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry; (3) Geology - Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities. To maximize success of potential future landed missions, the Europa Clipper would include a reconnaissance capability. Reconnaissance objectives are: (1) Landing Safety - Assess the distribution of surface hazards, the load-bearing capacity of the surface, the structure of the subsurface, and the regolith thickness for specific surface sites; (2) Scientific Value - Assess the composition of surface materials, the geologic context of the surface, the potential for geologic activity, the proximity of near surface water, and the potential for active upwelling of ocean material for the reconnaissance sites. We here present updates on the mission concept, the current encounter trajectory, and science and reconnaissance objectives.

  2. The Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE) Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaney, D. L.; Hibbitts, C.; Clark, R. N.; Dalton, J. B., III; Davies, A. G.; Green, R. O.; Hedman, M. M.; Langevin, Y.; Lunine, J. I.; McCord, T. B.; Murchie, S. L.; Paranicas, C.; Seelos, F. P., IV; Soderblom, J. M.; Cable, M. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE) investigation was selected by NASA to be part of the next Europa Mission in May 2015. The MISE instrument is designed to enable the identification and mapping of organics, salts, acid hydrates, water ice phases, altered silicates, and radiolytic compounds at global (≤ 10 km), regional (≤ 300 m), and local scales (~ 25 m). Mapping the composition of specific landforms is critical to understanding surface and subsurface geologic processes, including recent or current activity. High spatial resolution compositional mapping is also essential for detecting small outcrops of organics and salts. Distribution maps of astrobiologically relevant compounds and their geologic context can be used to assess whether Europa's ocean is capable of supporting life. MISE could provide fundamental information on where future Europa landers would have the highest probability of detecting evidence of life. The MISE instrument design is for a high-optical throughput pushbroom imaging spectrometer that could observe effectively throughout a flyby or in orbit around Europa. MISE would cover a spectral range from 0.8-5 μm at 10 nm/channel, with an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 250 μrad/pixel and a swath width of 300 active pixels. The 0.8-2.5 μm region is essential for quantifying hydrates and bulk surface composition, while the 3-5 μm region is required for detecting low abundances of organics, most radiolytic products, and discriminating salts from acid hydrates. These longer wavelengths can also be used to measure thermal emissions from currently active regions. MISE is designed to operate within Europa's challenging radiation environment and deal with both radiation noise and total integrated dose. The MISE design is the result of collaboration between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (California Institute of Technology) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (John Hopkins' University).

  3. THE JOINT ESA-NASA EUROPA JUPITER SYSTEM MISSION (EJSM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebreton, J.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Blanc, M.; Bunce, E. J.; Dougherty, M. K.; Erd, C.; Grasset, O.; Greeley, R.; Johnson, T. V.; Clark, K. B.; Prockter, L. M.; Senske, D. A.

    2009-12-01

    The joint "Europa Jupiter System Mission" (EJSM) is an international mission under study in collaboration between NASA and ESA. Its goal is to study Jupiter and its magnetosphere, the diversity of the Galilean satellites, the physical characteristics, composition and geology of their surfaces. Europa and Ganymede are two primary targets of the mission. The reference mission architecture consists of the NASA-led Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) and the ESA-led Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). The two primary goals of the mission are i) to determine whether the Jupiter system harbors habitable worlds and ii) to characterize the processes within the Jupiter system. The science objectives addressing the first goal are to: i) characterize and determine the extent of subsurface oceans and their relations to the deeper interior, ii) characterize the ice shells and any subsurface water, including the heterogeneity of the ice, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; iii) characterize the deep internal structure, differentiation history, and (for Ganymede) the intrinsic magnetic field; iv) compare the exospheres, plasma environments, and magnetospheric interactions; v) determine global surface composition and chemistry, especially as related to habitability; vi) understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and identify and characterize candidate sites for future in situ exploration. The science objectives for addressing the second goal are to: i) understand the Jovian satellite system, especially as context for Europa and Ganymede; ii) evaluate the structure and dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere; iii) characterize processes of the Jovian magnetodisk/magnetosphere; iv) determine the interactions occurring in the Jovian system; and v) constrain models for the origin of the Jupiter system. Both spacecraft would carry a complement of 11-12 instruments launch separately in 2020 and use a Venus-Earth-Earth Gravity Assist (VEEGA

  4. Sulfuric acid on Europa and the radiolytic sulfur cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlson, R. W.; Johnson, R. E.; Anderson, M. S.

    1999-01-01

    A comparison of laboratory spectra with Galileo data indicates that hydrated sulfuric acid is present and is a major component of Europa's surface. In addition, this moon's visually dark surface material, which spatially correlates with the sulfuric acid concentration, is identified as radiolytically altered sulfur polymers. Radiolysis of the surface by magnetospheric plasma bombardment continuously cycles sulfur between three forms: sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide, and sulfur polymers, with sulfuric acid being about 50 times as abundant as the other forms. Enhanced sulfuric acid concentrations are found in Europa's geologically young terrains, suggesting that low-temperature, liquid sulfuric acid may influence geological processes.

  5. Charged particles on the Earth-Jupiter-Europa spacecraft trajectory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podzolko, M. V.; Getselev, I. V.; Gubar, Yu. I.; Veselovsky, I. S.; Sukhanov, A. A.

    2011-08-01

    Charged particle fluxes on the trajectory of future Russian space research mission to Jupiter and its satellite Europa are investigated. The existing experimental data and models of Jupiter's main magnetic field and radiation belts are summarized. Preliminary results of computations of energetic particle fluxes and radiation doses for each stage of the flight are given. Special attention is paid to estimation of radiation conditions in Europa's orbit and on its surface; influence of the satellite on spatial distribution of the fluxes of charged particles of various energies is studied.

  6. UV Imaging of Europa & Ganymede: Unveiling Satellite Aurora & Electrodynamical Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, Melissa

    1999-07-01

    We propose to obtain dispersed ultraviolet images of Europa and Ganymede using STIS to isolate atomic oxygen {1304 and 1356 Angstrom} and hydrogen {Lyman-Alpha} emissions, to study the interaction of the Jovian magnetosphere with the tenuous oxygen atmospheres of these icy satellites. Previous spectroscopic observations, from both HST {with GHRS} and Galileo, suggest the presence of polar aurorae on Ganymede whose geometry would be clearly delineated in these images. Europa is expected to show an oxygen emission morphology similar to that recently discovered on Io.

  7. Dynamic Ice-Water Interactions Form Europa's Chaos Terrains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Schmidt, B. E.; Patterson, G. W.; Schenk, P.

    2011-12-01

    Unique to the surface of Europa, chaos terrain is diagnostic of the properties and dynamics of its icy shell. We present a new model that suggests large melt lenses form within the shell and that water-ice interactions above and within these lenses drive the production of chaos. This model is consistent with key observations of chaos, predicts observables for future missions, and indicates that the surface is likely still active today[1]. We apply lessons from ice-water interaction in the terrestrial cryosphere to hypothesize a dynamic lense-collapse model to for Europa's chaos terrain. Chaos terrain morphology, like that of Conamara chaos and Thera Macula, suggests a four-phase formation [1]: 1) Surface deflection occurs as ice melts over ascending thermal plumes, as regularly occurs on Earth as subglacial volcanoes activate. The same process can occur at Europa if thermal plumes cause pressure melt as they cross ice-impurity eutectics. 2) Resulting hydraulic gradients and driving forces produce a sealed, pressurized melt lense, akin to the hydraulic sealing of subglacial caldera lakes. On Europa, the water cannot escape the lense due to the horizontally continuous ice shell. 3) Extension of the brittle ice lid above the lense opens cracks, allowing for the ice to be hydrofractured by pressurized water. Fracture, brine injection and percolation within the ice and possible iceberg toppling produces ice-melange-like granular matrix material. 4) Refreezing of the melt lense and brine-filled pores and cracks within the matrix results in raised chaos. Brine soaking and injection concentrates the ice in brines and adds water volume to the shell. As this englacial water freezes, the now water-filled ice will expand, not unlike the process of forming pingos and other "expansion ice" phenomena on Earth. The refreezing can raise the surface and create the oft-observed matrix "domes" In this presentation, we describe how catastrophic ice-water interactions on Earth have

  8. The Ionospheres of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kliore, A. J.; Anabtawi, A.; Nagy, A. F.

    2001-12-01

    The U.S. Galileo spacecraft, which has been in orbit around Jupiter since December, 1995, has provided opportunities to collect s-band radio occultation data using the 70 meter antennas of the NASA/JPL Deep Space Net(DSN) at Goldstone, California, Madrid, Spain, and Canberra, Australia. To date, four occultations and one near-occultation by Europa (J2) have been observed. They have shown the presence of electron plasma having a density near the surface of 10,000 to 20,000 cm-3 (Kliore, et al., Science, 277, 1997). If the underlying neutral atmosphere is assumed to consist of H2O or O2, the maximum neutral density near the surface can be inferred to be about 108 cm-3. Ganymede (J3) has also been observed five times by Galileo radio occultation. The results are almost entirely negative, with only one measurement out of ten yielding a possible observation of an ionosphere having a maximum density of about 5,000 cm-3 at an altitude of about 16 km. The failure to observe an ionosphere on Ganymede is at first glance surprising, in view of the detection of oxygen and hydrogen above its surface (c.f., Hall, et al., Astrophys. J., 499, 1998; Barth, et al., GRL, 24, 1997), and it was thought to be due to the shielding effect of Ganymede's magnetic field upon the impinging particles from Jupiter's magnetosphere. Callisto has occulted Galileo four times, and these observations have produced some interesting results. Of the eight individual measurements , two are negative, and six are positive. Two of those six, show unmistakable classic ionospheric layers, having peak electron densities of 15,000 to 20,000 cm-3 . A closer examination of all of these results has revealed a plausible reason for why some observations yield positive results , and some do not. It appears that in order for an ionosphere to be observed, the trailing hemisphere of the satellite must be in sunlight. In that way, the atmosphere created by sputtering effects of the Jovian magnetosphere can be ionized by

  9. The Speciation of Sulfur in an Ocean on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zolotov, M. Yu.; Shock, E. L.

    2002-01-01

    Stability of native sulfur, iron sulfides, and aqueous sulfur compounds is evaluated at assumed P-T conditions of the Europa's ocean floor. Pyrite, gypsum, and ferric hydroxides can coexist in contact with sulfate-rich oceanic water. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. Workshop on Europa's Icy Shell: Past, Present, and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the workshop on Europa's Icy Shell: Past, Present, and Future, February 6-8,2004, Houston, Texas. Administration and publications support for this meeting were provided by the staff of the Publications and Program Services Department at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

  11. Salts and Radiation Products on the Surface of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, M. E.; Hand, K. P.

    2013-04-01

    The surface of Europa could contain the compositional imprint of an underlying interior ocean, but competing hypotheses differ over whether spectral observations from the Galileo spacecraft show the signature of ocean evaporates or simply surface radiation products unrelated to the interior. Using adaptive optics at the W. M. Keck Observatory, we have obtained spatially resolved spectra of most of the disk of Europa at a spectral resolution ∼40 times higher than seen by the Galileo spacecraft. These spectra show a previously undetected distinct signature of magnesium sulfate salts on Europa, but the magnesium sulfate is confined to the trailing hemisphere and spatially correlated with the presence of radiation products like sulfuric acid and SO2. On the leading, less irradiated, hemisphere, our observations rule out the presence of many of the proposed sulfate salts, but do show the presence of distorted water ice bands. Based on the association of the potential MgSO4 detection on the trailing side with other radiation products, we conclude that MgSO4 is also a radiation product, rather than a constituent of a Europa ocean brine. Based on ocean chemistry models, we hypothesize that, prior to irradiation, magnesium is primarily in the form of MgCl2, and we predict that NaCl and KCl are even more abundant, and, in fact, dominate the non-ice component of the leading hemisphere. We propose observational tests of this new hypothesis.

  12. Sulfuric Acid on Europa's Surface and the Radiolytic Sulfur Cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlson, R.; Johnson, R.; Anderson, M.

    1999-01-01

    Galileo infrared spectra of Europa's surface show distorted water bands that have been attributed to hydrated evaporite salts (McCord et al., J. Geophys. Res. 104, 11827, 1999) or to the scattering properties of ice (Dalton and Clark, Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 30, 1081, 1998).

  13. SALTS AND RADIATION PRODUCTS ON THE SURFACE OF EUROPA

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M. E.; Hand, K. P.

    2013-04-15

    The surface of Europa could contain the compositional imprint of an underlying interior ocean, but competing hypotheses differ over whether spectral observations from the Galileo spacecraft show the signature of ocean evaporates or simply surface radiation products unrelated to the interior. Using adaptive optics at the W. M. Keck Observatory, we have obtained spatially resolved spectra of most of the disk of Europa at a spectral resolution {approx}40 times higher than seen by the Galileo spacecraft. These spectra show a previously undetected distinct signature of magnesium sulfate salts on Europa, but the magnesium sulfate is confined to the trailing hemisphere and spatially correlated with the presence of radiation products like sulfuric acid and SO{sub 2}. On the leading, less irradiated, hemisphere, our observations rule out the presence of many of the proposed sulfate salts, but do show the presence of distorted water ice bands. Based on the association of the potential MgSO{sub 4} detection on the trailing side with other radiation products, we conclude that MgSO{sub 4} is also a radiation product, rather than a constituent of a Europa ocean brine. Based on ocean chemistry models, we hypothesize that, prior to irradiation, magnesium is primarily in the form of MgCl{sub 2}, and we predict that NaCl and KCl are even more abundant, and, in fact, dominate the non-ice component of the leading hemisphere. We propose observational tests of this new hypothesis.

  14. JUICE Planetary Protection Approach for Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Dmitrij; Erd, Christian; Grasset, Olivier

    The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission was selected by ESA as the first L-Class Mission in the Cosmic Vision Programme. JUICE is an ESA-led mission to investigate Jupiter, the Jovian system with particular focus on habitability of Ganymede and Europa. The baseline mission architecture assumes development, launch and operation by ESA of a single spacecraft in the Jovian system. JUICE will characterise Ganymede and Europa as planetary objects and potential habitats, study Ganymede, Europa, Callisto and Io in the broader context of the system of Jovian moons, and focus on Jupiter science including the planet, its atmosphere and the magnetosphere as a coupled system. The JUICE planetary protection approach for Europa is to ensure that the probability of impact is less than 10-4 during all phases with a credible impact risk. The JUICE science team has published an analysis demonstrating that there is only a remote chance that contamination carried by a spacecraft could compromise future investigations on Ganymede. This would qualify JUICE as a planetary protection category II mission with respect to the Ganymede phase without any impact constraints.

  15. Searching for less perturbed elliptical orbits around Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso dos Santos, J.; Carvalho, J. P. S.; Prado, A. F. B. A.; Vilhena de Moraes, R.

    2015-10-01

    Space missions intending to visit Europa, one of the famous Galilean's moons of Jupiter, are among the most important topics in space activities today. There is an increasing interest in the scientific community to send spacecrafts to be inserted into Europa's orbit, with goals like mapping its surface and gravitational field. From the quality of the observations until the orbital maneuvers, the required aspects for the success of the mission will depend on the orbits used by the spacecraft. The present work searches for less perturbed elliptical orbits around Europa, because they are very important, since these orbits are expected to be more stable to place the spacecraft. The development of the study is based on the net effects of the perturbing forces over the time, evaluated by the integral of those forces with respect to the time. The value of this integral depends both on the dynamical model and the orbit of the spacecraft. Jupiter's third-body perturbation and the J2 and J3 terms of the gravitational potential of Europa are the perturbing forces considered. The results presented here are obtained by performing numerical integrations of the perturbing forces, and they show the locations of the less perturbed orbits.

  16. Europa's crustal biosphere: Implications for exploration and contamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, R.; Tufts, B. R.; Hoppa, G. V.; Geissler, P. E.

    2000-10-01

    Physical characterization of Europa's crust shows it to be rich in potentially habitable niches, with several timescales for change that would allow stability for organisms to prosper and still require and drive evolution and adaptation. Studies of tectonics on Europa indicate that tidal stress causes much of the surface cracking, that cracks penetrate through to liquid water (so the ice must be thin), and that cracks continue to be worked by tidal stress. Thus a global ocean is (or was until recently) well linked to the surface. Daily tidal flow (period 10-2 yr) transports substances up and down through the active cracks, mixing surface oxidants and fuels (cometary material) with the oceanic reservoir of endogenic and exogenic substances. Organisms moving with the flow or anchored to the walls could exploit the disequilibrium chemistry, and those within a few meters of the surface could photosynthesize. Cracks remain active for at least 104 yr, but deactivate as nonsynchronous rotation moves them to different stress regimes in <106 yr. Thus, to survive, organisms squeezed into the ocean must migrate to new cracks, and those frozen in place must hibernate. Most sites will remelt and release captive critters within 106 yr based on the prevalence of chaotic terrain, which covers nearly half of Europa. Linkage of the ocean to the surface also could help sustain life in the ocean by delivering oxidants and fuels. Suboceanic volcanism (if any) could provide additional sites and support for life, but is not necessary. Thus Europa's biosphere (habitable if not inhabited) likely extends from within the ocean up to the surface, with important implications for exploration strategies: The problem becomes not how to drill down to the ocean, but rather how to choose an active (or recently active) landing site where the ocean comes to the surface. Exploration resources need to go into high resolution reconnaissance. Also, with its biosphere reaching the surface, Europa may be

  17. Prospects For Earth-Based Measurements Of Europa's Librations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margot, Jean-Luc; Campbell, D. B.; Peale, S. J.

    2010-10-01

    The exploration of Europa is of great interest because it may be hospitable to certain life forms [1]. Several lines of evidence suggest that a subsurface ocean exists beneath an icy shell [2,3], but there is debate about the thickness of the shell [4], which impacts Europa's astrobiological potential. As in the case of Mercury, it may be possible to determine whether an outer shell is decoupled from the interior and to evaluate the shell thickness by measuring the amplitude of forced longitude librations [5,6]. In the simplest configuration of a rigid shell decoupled from a spherically symmetric interior, the libration amplitude is amplified from the nominal value of 18" by C/Cs, where C is the polar moment of inertia of the body and Cs is that of the outer shell that participates in the librations. For a 100-km thick shell, the libration amplitude would reach 200", an estimate that remains valid even in the presence of gravitational coupling between asymmetrical layers [7]. If there are significant departures from rigid behavior, the shell may deform with the ocean underneath and exhibit a libration amplitude of 52" [8]. Europa reaches closest approach in October 2011, offering a once-in-a-decade opportunity to measure spin rate variations by tracking radar speckles, as advocated by Holin [9,10]. Librations of a rigid shell thinner than 100 km would be detectable. We will describe the experimental design and expected sensitivity. References: [1] NRC, Europa Science Strategy, 1999. [2,3] Kivelson et al, Greeley et al, in Jupiter, CUP, 2004. [4] Greenberg, Unmasking Europa, Praxis, 2008. [5] Peale, Nature 262, 1976. [6] Margot et al, Science 316, 2007. [7] van Hoolst et al, Icarus 195, 2008. [8] Goldreich and Mitchell, Icarus, in press. [9] Green, in Radar Astronomy, McGraw-Hill, 1968. [10] Holin, Radiophys. Quant. Elec. 31, 1988.

  18. Effect of Ice Anelasticity on Europa's Tidal Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, Julie; Johnson, Torrence

    2010-05-01

    Most models of Europa's tidal response have been based on the assumption that Europa behaves as a Maxwell body. However, the Maxwell model is inadequate at reproducing the response of planetary material to cyclic stressing because it does not account for anelasticity. For the conditions of temperature, and cyclic stressing and frequencies affecting planetary satellites, material anelasticity may dominate tidal response. The attenuation spectrum of silicates has been much studied by means of laboratory experiments and theoretical models of ice microphysics. These studies indicate that the Andrade model provides a better representation for silicates viscoelastic and anelasticity. Research on planetary ices attenuation properties has received less support, especially from experimental work. However, available literature, relevant to terrestrial studies, suggests that the Andrade model also provides a good match to experimental measurement of ice attenuation properties. The present study will apply the Andrade model to the modeling of Europa's tidal response. This model will explore the range of possible parameters available on ice and rock properties, available in the literature. For the ice, the range of parameters will also be constrained by experimental work developed in the Planetary Tides Simulation Facility (PTSF - JPL). In that framework, the tidal response depends on cyclic stress, viscoelastic structure, and two parameters that account for the nature, density, and geometry of the material defects and the relaxation time of the material. Empirical relationships between these different parameters are being constrained with the PTSF experiment for dislocation-and grain boundary sliding- driven anelasticity. From ranging a wide parameter space, we have determined conditions for which anelasticity becomes the dominant mechanism accommodating tidal stress and driving internal dissipation (tidal heating). Our survey of the parameter space indicates that ice

  19. Phyllosilicates and Cometary Impacts on the Surface of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirley, J. H.; Kamp, L. W.; Dalton, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    Near-infrared imaging of Jupiter's moon Europa obtained during the Galileo Mission reveals a 30-km-diameter multi-ring structure near Europa's equator at ~100° W longitude, near the orbital leading-side apex (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02561). Spectral absorption features of phyllosilicate minerals are detected in a discontinuous annulus of lower-albedo materials located at a mean distance of ~120 km from the center of the feature. Other diagnostic spectral absorption features are detected in possible impact melt deposits that line the putative crater floor. Transport to the surface of hydrated layer silicate minerals from Europa's interior is unlikely, due to the ~100-km-thick watery barrier that separates Europa's surface from its rocky mantle. However, two complementary mechanisms exist whereby cometary impacts may account for the presence and areal distribution of phyllosilicates and related materials within our study area. Oblique impacts of active or inactive cometary nuclei may disperse fragmented but chemically unaltered phyllosilicates from the least-shocked portions of the body of the impactor (Pierazzo and Melosh 2000; Met. Plan. Sci. 35, 117). The high temperatures and pressures attained during cometary impacts will in addition vaporize silicates from more highly shocked leading-edge locations within the impactor, to thereafter yield hydrated impact glasses and their alteration products, plausibly including phyllosilicates and other materials. Impact modeling (after Kraus et al. 2011; Icarus 214, 724) provides quantitative support for delivery and emplacement of material sufficient to account for the near-infrared signatures observed, while the nuclei of Jupiter family comets such as Halley and Tempel 1 exhibit compositions with the requisite abundance of silicates. Successful delivery by impacts of solid-phase phyllosilicates to the surface of Europa raises the possibility that carbonaceous materials from the impactor may likewise

  20. Thermo-Chemical Convection in Europa's Icy Shell with Salinity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Han, L.; Showman, A. P.

    2005-01-01

    Europa's icy surface displays numerous pits, uplifts, and chaos terrains that have been suggested to result from solid-state thermal convection in the ice shell, perhaps aided by partial melting. However, numerical simulations of thermal convection show that plumes have insufficient buoyancy to produce surface deformation. Here we present numerical simulations of thermochemical convection to test the hypothesis that convection with salinity can produce Europa's pits and domes. Our simulations show that domes (200-300 m) and pits (300-400 m) comparable to the observations can be produced in an ice shell of 15 km thick with 5-10% compositional density variation if the maximum viscosity is less than 10(exp 18) Pa sec. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  1. Tidal reorientation and the fracturing of Jupiter's moon Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcewen, A. S.

    1986-01-01

    The lineaments on Europa are discussed in terms of the orientation of the lineaments relative to the tensile stress trajectories due to tidal distortions and to nonsynchronous rotation. The cracks are noticeable by their darker albedo compared to the presumed water ice surrounding them. The stress trajectories for tidal distortion of a thin elastic shell are superimposed on Mercator projection maps of the lineaments. It is shown that the lineaments are mainly oriented at high angles to the tensile stress trajectories that would be expected for regularly occurring nonsynchronous rotation, i.e., extensional fractures would appear. The reorientation motions which would cause the fractures are estimated. It is suggested that the fractures occur episodically to release stresses built up on the tensile surface of the crust during the continuous nonsynchronous rotation of Europa.

  2. Patterns of fracture and tidal stresses on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helfenstein, P.; Parmentier, E. M.

    1983-01-01

    A comparison of dark band, triple band, and cuspate ridge orientations with the fracture patterns predicted for tidal distortion due to orbital recession and eccentricity is undertaken, to test the hypothesized identification of Europa's lineaments as tidal distortion and planetary volume change fractures. Short, reticule dark bands near the anti-Jove point could be tension cracks caused by orbital eccentricity. Long, arcuate dark bands and triple bands peripheral to the anti-Jove point may be strike-slip faults due to orbital recession. The orientation and distribution of cuspate ridges, if they are compressional, suggests their formation in response to a combination of orbital recession and planetary volume decrease. If surface fracturing is due to tidal deformation, important constraints are exerted by it on Europa's orbital evolution.

  3. Ridges on Europa: Origin by Incremental Ice-Wedging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.; Turtle, E. P.

    2004-01-01

    The surface of Europa is covered by ridges that display a variety of morphologies . The most common type is characterized by a double ridge divided by an axial trough. These ridges are, in general, narrow (typically only a few km across) and remarkably linear. They are up to a few hundred meters high and the inner and outer slopes appear to stand at the angle of repose . A number of diverse mechanisms have been proposed to explain the formation of these ubiquitous features , although none can fully account for all of their observed characteristics. We propose a different formation theory in which accumulation of material within cracks that open during the extensional phase of the tidal cycle prevents complete closure of the cracks during the tidal cycle s compressional phase. This accumulation deforms the surrounding ice and, in time, results in the growth of a landform remarkably similar to the ridges observed on Europa.

  4. Searching for liquid water in Europa by using surface observatories.

    PubMed

    Khurana, Krishan K; Kivelson, Margaret G; Russell, Christopher T

    2002-01-01

    Liquid water, as far as we know, is an indispensable ingredient of life. Therefore, locating reservoirs of liquid water in extraterrestrial bodies is a necessary prerequisite to searching for life. Recent geological and geophysical observations from the Galileo spacecraft, though not unambiguous, hint at the possibility of a subsurface ocean in the Jovian moon Europa. After summarizing present evidence for liquid water in Europa, we show that electromagnetic and seismic observations made from as few as two surface observatories comprising a magnetometer and a seismometer offer the best hope of unambiguous characterization of the three-dimensional structure of the ocean and the deeper interior of this icy moon. The observatories would also help us infer the composition of the icy crust and the ocean water. PMID:12449858

  5. Signature of Europa's Ocean Density on Gravity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, J. C.; Rambaux, N.

    2015-12-01

    Observations by the Galileo mission at Europa and Cassini-Huygens mission at Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Enceladus, and Titan have found deep oceans at these objects with evidence for the presence of salts. Salt compounds are the products of aqueous alteration of the rock phase under hydrothermal conditions and have been predicted theoretically for these objects per analogy with carbonaceous chondrite parent bodies. Evidence for salt enrichment comes from magnetometer measurements (Galilean satellites), direct detection in the case of Enceladus, and inversion of the gravity data obtained at Titan. While there is direct detection for the presence of chlorides in icy grains ejected from Enceladus, the chemistry of the oceans detected so far, or even their densities, remain mostly unconstrained. However the increased ocean density impacts the interpretation of the tidal Love number k2and this may introduce confusion in the inference of the icy shell thickness from that parameter. We will present estimates of k2for a range of assumptions on Europa's hydrospheric structure that build on geophysical observations obtained by the Galileo mission combined with new models of Europa's interior. These models keep track of the compositions of the hydrated core and oceanic composition in a self-consistent manner. We will also estimate the electrical conductivity corresponding to the modeled oceanic composition. Finally we will explore how combining electromagnetic, topographic, and gravity data can decouple the signatures of the shell thickness and ocean composition on these geophysical observations. Acknowledgement: This work is being carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  6. Europa's Surface Properties from Secondary Crater Depth/Diameter Ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierhaus, Edward B.; Chapman, C. R.; Schenk, P. M.

    2007-10-01

    We find that secondary craters on Europa tend towards smaller depth-to-diameter (d/D) ratios than primary craters, consistent with observations on other cratered surfaces (the Moon and Mars). We measure craters near the resolution limit, so an individual crater profile is noisy and not definitive; however, the aggregate statistics of over 100 profiles demonstrate a systematic trend for shallow profiles. Primary crater collapse from a simple bowl shape to a more shallow profile (or more complex morphology) is a function of material strength and surface gravity: the transition will happen at smaller diameters for weaker surfaces or for those with higher surface gravity. However, secondary craters are usually more shallow at a given diameter than a primary, perhaps due to lower fragment impact speeds or self-burial during multiple, simultaneous impacts (McEwen and Bierhaus 2005). To first order, very cold ice and rock respond similarly to impact cratering, with predictable differences due to differences in strength, equations of state, etc. But Europa's surface is enigmatic: pervasive fracturing suggests a solid, competent material; chaos features and mobility of blocks within chaos suggest fluid-like behavior; radar measurements (Black et al. 2001) support the presence of a porous surface layer, as do thermal inertia models (Spencer 2004) -- though the thermal inertia only addresses the uppermost few cm. The d/D similarity of secondary craters on icy Europa and rocky surfaces (the Moon and Mars), whose surface evolutions are dominated by different processes, implies that either (a) material properties play a small role in the morphology of secondary craters, or (b) whatever processes operate to create Europa's surface features must leave the ice in a form that responds to cratering in a manner consistent with regoliths on other solar system surfaces. NASA Outer Planets Program funds this research.

  7. Search for volatiles on icy satellites. I. Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, R.H.; Cruikshank, D.P.; Tokunaga, A.T.; Smith, R.G.; Clark, R.N.

    1988-01-01

    New reflectance spectra have been obtained for both the leading and trailing sides of Europa, using the Cooled Grating Array Spectrometer (CGAS) of the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). The spectra are of higher precision than any yet obtained. Spectra of Europa's trailing side (central meridian longitude ???300??) obtained in 1985 show two weak absorptions near 2.2 and 2.3 ??m. Both of these features as well as others are seen in spectra obtained by R. N. Clark, R. B. Singer, P. D. Owensby, and F.P. Fanale (1980a, Bull. Amer. Astron. Soc. 12, 713-714) at similar central meridian longitude. Data obtained with an improved detector array in 1986, however, do not show the absorptions seen in the 1980 and 1985 spectra. It is not clear why the newest data do not show the apparent absorptions seen in previous years, but the suggestion is that either the 1980 and 1985 data are spurious or that the material responsible for the weak absorptions is no longer detectable. Analysis of the 1980 and 1985 data did not reveal any obvious source of systematic error capable of introducing spurious features, but we are skeptical of any explanation that cites transient deposition, movement, and/or destruction of material on Europa's trailing side to account for the nondetection of the features in the 1986 data. If the weak absorptions seen in the 1980 and 1985 data are real, they can be interpreted as indicating the transient spectroscopic presence of a molecular component on Europa's trailing side different from the water ice that is known to be the dominant surface constituent. Further monitoring is required to determine if the apparent absorptions are real. ?? 1988.

  8. Hybrid Simulations of the Plasma Interaction with Europa's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dols, V. J.; Delamere, P. A.; Wilson, R. J.; Weber, T. D.; Crary, F. J.; Bagenal, F.; Cassidy, T. A.

    2013-12-01

    Europa's atmosphere is about 100 times more tenuous than Io. The weaker ambient magnetic field and lower density of incident plasma means that the electrodynamic interaction is also weaker. Consequently, substantial fluxes of torus ions might reach the icy surface and produce radiolytic reactions. Molecular O2 is the dominant atmospheric product of this surface sputtering. Observations of oxygen UV emissions (specifically the ratio of OI 1356A / 1304A emissions) are consistent with an atmosphere that is composed predominately of O2 with a small amount (2%) of atomic O. Galileo observations along flybys close to Europa have revealed the existence of induced currents in a conducting ocean under the icy crust. They also showed that, from flyby to flyby, the plasma interaction is very variable. Asymmetries of the plasma density and temperature in the wake of Europa were also observed and still elude a clear explanation. Galileo mag data also detected ion cyclotron waves, which is an indication of heavy ion pickup close to the moon. We model the interaction between the plasma torus and Europa's atmosphere with a hybrid code, where ions are treated as kinetic particles moving under the Lorentz force and electrons as a fluid leading to a generalized formulation of Ohm's law. We prescribe an O2 atmosphere with a vertical density column consistent with UV observations and model the plasma properties along several Galileo flybys of the moon. We compare our results with the magnetometer observations, PLS electron density observations and a new re-analysis of the PLS plasma measurements (ion density, temperature and bulk flow velocity).

  9. Clathrate hydrates of oxidants in the ice shell of Europa.

    PubMed

    Hand, Kevin P; Chyba, Christopher F; Carlson, Robert W; Cooper, John F

    2006-06-01

    Europa's icy surface is radiolytically modified by high-energy electrons and ions, and photolytically modified by solar ultraviolet photons. Observations from the Galileo Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, ground-based telescopes, the International Ultraviolet Explorer, and the Hubble Space Telescope, along with laboratory experiment results, indicate that the production of oxidants, such as H2O2, O2, CO2, and SO2, is a consequence of the surface radiolytic chemistry. Once created, some of the products may be entrained deeper into the ice shell through impact gardening or other resurfacing processes. The temperature and pressure environments of regions within the europan hydrosphere are expected to permit the formation of mixed clathrate compounds. The formation of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide clathrates has been examined in some detail. Here we add to this analysis by considering oxidants produced radiolytically on the surface of Europa. Our results indicate that the bulk ice shell could have a approximately 1.7-7.6% by number contamination of oxidants resulting from radiolysis at the surface. Oxidant-hosting clathrates would consequently make up approximately 12-53% of the ice shell by number relative to ice, if oxidants were entrained throughout. We examine, in brief, the consequences of such contamination on bulk ice shell thickness and find that clathrate formation could lead to substantially thinner ice shells on Europa than otherwise expected. Finally, we propose that double occupancy of clathrate cages by O2 molecules could serve as an explanation for the observation of condensed-phase O2 on Europa. Clathrate-sealed, gas-filled bubbles in the near surface ice could also provide an effective trapping mechanism, though they cannot explain the 5771 A (O2)2 absorption. PMID:16805702

  10. Radiolytic Model for Chemical Composition of Europa's Atmosphere and Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, John F.

    2004-01-01

    The overall objective of the present effort is to produce models for major and selected minor components of Europa s neutral atmosphere in 1-D versus altitude and in 2-D versus altitude and longitude or latitude. A 3-D model versus all three coordinates (alt, long, lat) will be studied but development on this is at present limited by computing facilities available to the investigation team. In this first year we have focused on 1-D modeling with Co-I Valery Shematovich s Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code for water group species (H2O, O2, O, OH) and on 2-D with Co-I Mau Wong's version of a similar code for O2, O, CO, CO2, and Na. Surface source rates of H2O and O2 from sputtering and radiolysis are used in the 1-D model, while observations for CO2 at the Europa surface and Na detected in a neutral cloud ejected from Europa are used, along with the O2 sputtering rate, to constrain source rates in the 2-D version. With these separate approaches we are investigating a range of processes important to eventual implementation of a comprehensive 3-D atmospheric model which could be used to understand present observations and develop science requirements for future observations, e.g. from Earth and in Europa orbit. Within the second year we expect to merge the full water group calculations into the 2-D version of the DSMC code which can then be extended to 3-D, pending availability of computing resources. Another important goal in the second year would be the inclusion of sulk and its more volatile oxides (SO, SO2).

  11. Post Galileo-Europa-Mission Satellite Tour Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, M. G.; Johannesen, J. R.; Halsell, C. A.; Haw, R. J.; Pojman, J. L.

    2000-01-01

    The Galileo orbiter mission as originally envisioned would orbit Jupiter eleven times, closely encountering either Europa, Ganymede, or Callisto on ten of those orbits. This nominal or prime mission began with Jupiter orbit insertion on December 7, 1995 and ended as designed ten encounters later on December 1, 1997. An extension to this nominal mission was proposed, developed and accepted in 1997 and was designed to continue orbital operations through an additional two years until December 31, 1999. This follow- on mission, labelled the Galileo Europa Mission, visits Europa eight times, Callisto four times, and ends with two visits to Io. It augments the prime mission by offering many attractive additional opportunities for science, especially remote sensing. The opportunities include increased scrutiny of Europa, a world with a possible global ocean hidden beneath the surface ice-cap, and the first high resolution images of Io (the only major satellite not encountered during the nominal tour). In 1998 a new effort was begun to investigate a possible extension to GEM. Remote sensing observations will continue to be important but moreover, valuable unique in situ fields and particles measurements will be a high priority motivation in the design and selection of any post-GEM tour. A significant design feature of a possible post-GEM tour would be the extension of the mission through the December 2000 timeframe. This would permit the possibility of simultaneous fields and particles experiments coordinated with the Cassini spacecraft as it swings by the Jupiter system for the final gravity assist enroute to Saturn.

  12. Radar signal propagation through the ionosphere of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grima, Cyril; Blankenship, Donald D.; Schroeder, Dustin M.

    2015-11-01

    We review the current state of knowledge of the Europan plasma environment, its effects on radio wave propagation, and its impact on the performance and design of future radar sounders for the exploration of Europa's ice crust. The Europan ionosphere is produced in two independently-rotating hemispheres by photo-ionization of the neutral exosphere and interaction with the Io plasma torus, respectively. This combination is responsible for temporal and longitudinal ionospheric heterogeneities not well constrained by observations. When Europa's ionosphere is active, the maximum cut-off frequency is 1 MHz at the surface. The main impacts on radar signal propagation are dispersive phase shift and Faraday rotation, both a function of the total electron content (up to 4×1015 m-2) and the Jovian magnetic field strength at Europa (~420 nT). The severity of these impacts decrease with increasing center frequency and increase with altitude, latitude, and bandwidth. The 9 MHz channels on the Radar for Icy Moons Exploration (RIME) and proposed Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON) will be sensitive to the Europan ionosphere. For these or similar radar sounders, the ionospheric signal distortion from dispersive phase shift can be corrected with existing techniques, which would also enable the estimation of the total electron content below the spacecraft. At 9 MHz, the Faraday fading is not expected to exceed 6 dB under the worst conditions. At lower frequencies, any active or passive radio probing of the ice shell exploration would be limited to frequencies above 1-8 MHz (depending on survey configuration) below which Faraday rotation angle would lead to signal fading and detection ambiguity. Radar instruments could be sensitive to neutrals and electrons added in the exosphere from any plume activity if present.

  13. Evidence for subduction in the ice shell of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Prockter, Louise M.

    2014-10-01

    Jupiter’s icy moon Europa has one of the youngest planetary surfaces in the Solar System, implying rapid recycling by some mechanism. Despite ubiquitous extension and creation of new surface area at dilational bands that resemble terrestrial mid-ocean spreading zones, there is little evidence of large-scale contraction to balance the observed extension or to recycle ageing terrains. We address this enigma by presenting several lines of evidence that subduction may be recycling surface material into the interior of Europa’s ice shell. Using Galileo spacecraft images, we produce a tectonic reconstruction of geologic features across a 134,000 km2 region of Europa and find, in addition to dilational band spreading, evidence for transform motions along prominent strike-slip faults, as well as the removal of approximately 20,000 km2 of the surface along a discrete tabular zone. We interpret this zone as a subduction-like convergent boundary that abruptly truncates older geological features and is flanked by potential cryolavas on the overriding ice. We propose that Europa’s ice shell has a brittle, mobile, plate-like system above convecting warmer ice. Hence, Europa may be the only Solar System body other than Earth to exhibit a system of plate tectonics.

  14. Lander rocket exhaust effects on Europa regolith nitrogen assays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, Ralph D.

    2016-08-01

    Soft-landings on large worlds such as Europa or our Moon require near-surface retropropulsion, which leads to impingement of the rocket plume on the surface. Surface modification by such plumes was documented on Apollo and Surveyor, and on Mars by Viking, Curiosity and especially Phoenix. The low temperatures of the Europan regolith may lead to efficient trapping of ammonia, a principal component of the exhaust from monopropellant hydrazine thrusters. Deposited ammonia may react with any trace organics, and may overwhelm the chemical and isotopic signatures of any endogenous nitrogen compounds, which are likely rare on Europa. An empirical correlation of the photometrically-altered regions ('blast zones') around prior lunar and Mars landings is made, indicating A=0.02T1.5, where A is the area in m2 and W is the lander weight (thus, ~thrust) at landing in N: this suggests surface alteration will occur out to a distance of ~9 m from a 200 kg lander on Europa.

  15. EUROPA2: Plan Database Services for Planning and Scheduling Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bedrax-Weiss, Tania; Frank, Jeremy; Jonsson, Ari; McGann, Conor

    2004-01-01

    NASA missions require solving a wide variety of planning and scheduling problems with temporal constraints; simple resources such as robotic arms, communications antennae and cameras; complex replenishable resources such as memory, power and fuel; and complex constraints on geometry, heat and lighting angles. Planners and schedulers that solve these problems are used in ground tools as well as onboard systems. The diversity of planning problems and applications of planners and schedulers precludes a one-size fits all solution. However, many of the underlying technologies are common across planning domains and applications. We describe CAPR, a formalism for planning that is general enough to cover a wide variety of planning and scheduling domains of interest to NASA. We then describe EUROPA(sub 2), a software framework implementing CAPR. EUROPA(sub 2) provides efficient, customizable Plan Database Services that enable the integration of CAPR into a wide variety of applications. We describe the design of EUROPA(sub 2) from the perspective of both modeling, customization and application integration to different classes of NASA missions.

  16. The ionosphere of Europa from Galileo radio occultations.

    PubMed

    Kliore, A J; Hinson, D P; Flasar, F M; Nagy, A F; Cravens, T E

    1997-07-18

    The Galileo spacecraft performed six radio occultation observations of Jupiter's Galilean satellite Europa during its tour of the jovian system. In five of the six instances, these occultations revealed the presence of a tenuous ionosphere on Europa, with an average maximum electron density of nearly 10(4) per cubic centimeter near the surface and a plasma scale height of about 240 +/- 40 kilometers from the surface to 300 kilometers and of 440 +/- 60 kilometers above 300 kilometers. Such an ionosphere could be produced by solar photoionization and jovian magnetospheric particle impact in an atmosphere having a surface density of about 10(8) electrons per cubic centimeter. If this atmosphere is composed primarily of O2, then the principal ion is O2+ and the neutral atmosphere temperature implied by the 240-kilometer scale height is about 600 kelvin. If it is composed of H2O, the principal ion is H3O+ and the neutral temperature is about 340 kelvin. In either case, these temperatures are much higher than those observed on Europa's surface, and an external heating source from the jovian magnetosphere is required. PMID:9219689

  17. Interpretation of surface features of Europa obtained from occultations by Io. [astronomical observations - Jupiter (planet)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herzog, A. D.; Beebe, R. F.

    1975-01-01

    Light curves of occultations of Europa by Io were used to generate a crude map of albedo features on Europa. Impact parameters and magnitude ratios for each event were imposed on a model. Residuals between the observed and computed light curves were interpreted as albedo features on Europa. In order to improve the fit between the observations and the model a general polar brightening was employed. The effects of additional albedo features and alternate models are discussed.

  18. Space Weathering Perspectives on Europa Amidst the Tempest of the Jupiter Magnetospheric System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, J. F.; Hartle, R. E.; Lipatov, A. S.; Sittler, E. C.; Cassidy, T. A.; Ip. W.-H.

    2010-01-01

    Europa resides within a "perfect storm" tempest of extreme external field, plasma, and energetic particle interactions with the magnetospheric system of Jupiter. Missions to Europa must survive, functionally operate, make useful measurements, and return critical science data, while also providing full context on this ocean moon's response to the extreme environment. Related general perspectives on space weathering in the solar system are applied to mission and instrument science requirements for Europa.

  19. Mapping the Topography of Europa: The Galileo-Clipper Story

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, Paul M.

    2014-11-01

    The renewed effort to return to Europa for global mapping and landing site selection raises the question: What do we know about Europa topography and how do we know it? The question relates to geologic questions of feature formation, to the issue of ice shell thickness, mechanical strength, and internal activity, and to landing hazards. Our topographic data base for Europa is sparse indeed (no global map is possible), but we are not without hope. Two prime methods have been employed in our mapping program are stereo image and shape-from-shading (PC) slope analyses. On Europa, we are fortunate that many PC-DEM areas are also controlled by stereo-DEMs, mitigating the long-wavelength uncertainties in the PC data. Due to the Galileo antenna malfunction, mapping is limited to no more than 20% of the surface, far less than for any of the inner planets. Thirty-seven individual mapping sites have been identified, scattered across the globe, and all have now been mapped. Excellent stereo mapping is possible at all Sun angles, if resolution is below ~350 m. PC mapping is possible at Sun angles greater than ~60 degrees, if emission angles are less than ~40 degrees. The only extended contiguous areas of topographic mapping larger than 150 km across are the two narrow REGMAP mapping mosaics extending pole-to-pole along longitudes 85 and 240 W. These are PC-only and subject to long-wavelength uncertainties and errors, especially in the north/south where oblique imaging produces layover. Key findings include the mean slopes of individual terrain types (Schenk, 2009), topography across chaos (Schenk and Pappalardo, 2004), topography of craters and inferences for ice shell thickness (Schenk, 2002; Schenk and Turtle, 2009), among others. A key discovery, despite the limited data, is that Europan terrains rarely have topographic amplitude greater than 250 meters, but that regionally Europa has imprinted on it topographic amplitudes of +/- 1 km, in the form of raised plateaus and

  20. Gemini near-infrared observations of Europa's Hydrated Surface Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsang, C.; Spencer, J. R.; Grundy, W. M.; Dalton, J. B.

    2012-12-01

    Europa is a highly dynamic icy moon of Jupiter. It is thought the moon harbors a subsurface ocean, with the potential to sustain life, with Europa being a key target of ESA's forthcoming Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JUICE) mission. However, much is not known concerning the chemistry of the subsurface ocean. The surface is dominated by water ice, with a hydrated non-ice material component providing the distinctive albedo contrasts seen at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. These non-ice materials are concentrated at disrupted surface regions, providing a diagnostic probe for the chemistry and characteristics of the liquid ocean beneath. Leading but potentially competing theories on the composition of these hydrated non-ice materials suggest either sulfuric acid-water mixtures (Carlson et al., 1999) or hydrated magnesium/sodium salts (McCord et al., 1999). Recent reanalysis of Galileo-NIMS observations suggest a mixture of both - hydrated salts are present at all longitudes but the sulfuric acid hydrates are localized on the trailing side. We present preliminary analysis of new ground-based Gemini disk-resolved spectroscopy of Europa using the Near-Infrared Integrated Field Spectrometer (NIFS), taken in late 2011, at H (1.49 - 1.80 μm) and K bands (1.99 - 2.40 μm) with spectral resolving powers of ~ 5300. At these NIR wavelengths, with spectral resolution much better than Galileo-NIMS, the spectral absorption and continuum characteristics of these ice and non-ice materials can be separated out. In addition, the spatial resolution potentially allows identification of localized materials whose signature would be diluted in disk-integrated spectra. These observations of the trailing hemisphere use Altair adaptive optics to achieve spatial resolutions of 0.1" (~310 km per pixel) or better, potentially leading to better identification of the non-ice materials and their spatial distributions. References Carlson, R.W., R.E. Johnson, and M.S. Anderson 1999. Sulfuric acid

  1. The ``Perrier Oceans'' Of Europa And Enceladus (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matson, D.; Johnson, T. V.; Lunine, J. I.; Castillo, J. C.

    2010-12-01

    Icy satellites of the outer solar system can have subsurface oceans that contain significant amounts of dissolved gases. Crawford and Stevenson in their 1988 study of Europa introduced the term “Perrier Ocean” as a descriptive appellation for such situations. When pressure is reduced, for example as a consequence of faulting, over water from a Perrier ocean, gas comes out of solution in the form of bubbles. The density of the liquid is immediately reduced, and if the bubble volume is sufficient the fluid can become buoyant with respect to the icy crust. If so, the seawater-bubble mixture can rise to the surface or very near to the surface. Europa and Enceladus may represent the end-member examples of Perrier oceans. Today, Europa appears passive whereas Enceladus is erupting. Some characteristics seen at Enceladus that may be indicative of an active Perrier ocean are eruptive plumes and localized, relatively warm (“hot-spot”) thermal anomalies of significantly high heat flow (i.e., >15 GW of integrated power over Enceladus’ South Polar Region). Since Enceladus is smaller than Europa it is easier for it to erupt because less work has to be done against gravity to bring water to the surface. Crawford and Stevenson found that under today’s conditions eruptions at Europa would be difficult but not necessarily impossible. However, in the past, when the icy crust was thinner, the interior warmer, eruption of liquid to the surface regions could have been easier. Morphological evidence for past eruptions from a Perrier ocean is not necessarily unambiguous in that it may admit alternate interpretations. However, the best evidence for relatively recent activity may be some sort of thermal signature. Such anomalies may be observable to depths of tens of meters in relatively clean ice by space-borne high-precision microwave radiometry and ground-penetrating radar. This work was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under

  2. Europa's shallow subsurface: lakes, layers and life? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, B. E.; Soderlund, K. M.; Gooch, B. T.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2013-12-01

    With an icy exterior covering a global ocean, Europa has long been a target of interest in the search for life beyond Earth. A critical question related to the habitability of this icy world is: how does the ice shell recycle? Recent detection of shallow subsurface water lenses or "lakes" joins the evidence that implies Europa is currently active, recycling its ice shell. This new perspective has important astrobiological implications. At a surface age of 40-90 Myr, and about 50% covered by chaos terrain, Europa's resurfacing rate is likely to be very high if water does play a significant role in their formation. Because of the vigor of overturn implied if chaos does form by the collapse of ice above subsurface lenses, it is likely that surface and subsurface materials are well-mixed within the largest and deepest lenses, providing a mechanism for bringing oxidants and other surface contaminants to the deeper ice shell where it can reach the ocean by convective or compositional effects. The timescales over which large lenses refreeze (a few hundred thousand years) are large compared to the timescales for vertical transport (a few tens of thousands of years), while the timescales for smaller lenses are comparable to or shorter than convective timescales but involving smaller impurity loads than for larger more well-mixed sources. Melt lenses are intriguing potential habitats, particularly the larger features. Moreover, their formation likely requires the existence of impurities within the upper ice shell that may be sources of energy for microorganisms. Geomorphic evidence also exists for brine percolation that can disperse fluids both vertically and horizontally through pores and fractures. This process, observed in terrestrial ice shelves, may preserve liquid water within the ice matrix over many kilometers from the source. Horizontal transport of material may produce interconnectivity between distinct regions of Europa, providing a pathway for transferring

  3. Endurance: The rewards and challenges of landing a spacecraft on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calvin, C.; Rager, A.; Balint, T.; Santiago, D.; Anderson, J.; Cassidy, T.; Chavez-Clemente, D.; Corbett, B. M.; Hammerstein, H.; Hanley, T. R.; Letcher, A.; McGowan, E. M.; McMenamin, D. S.; Murphy, N.; Obland, M. D.; Parker, J. S.; Perron, T.; Petro, N.; Pulupa, M.; Schofield, R.; Sizemore, H. G.

    2005-12-01

    The possibility that a water ocean exists beneath Europa's icy shell makes Europa one of the most likely places in our solar system for life to have formed and prospered. In this study, we discuss ``Endurance,'' a proposed lander mission to Europa, and the issues involved in landing a spacecraft on the surface of Europa. Our lander was designed to meet the science objectives laid out in the JIMO SDT Report, namely to: 1) assess the habitability of the environment beneath the surface of Europa; 2) assess the geochemical and physical structure of the surface of Europa and provide ground truth for orbital studies; and 3) provide ground based geophysical studies of Europa's icy shell. Additionally, the mission is designed to assess surface conditions, such as surface structure and radiation levels, for future Europa lander missions. To achieve these objectives, our proposed science payload includes a seismometer, magnetometer, panoramic camera with multispectral imager, surface grinder (to assess the surface strength), microscopic imager, geochemical analysis device (i.e., GC-MS, PEPE), and radiation sensor. We selected the landing site of Castalia Macula suggested by Prockter and Schenk (2004) because its smooth, dark terrain indicates a young surface that may have resulted from recent interactions with the subsurface ocean. Although much can be learned from this mission, landing on Europa presents many challenges such as radiation, extreme cold, and the need to decontaminate the spacecraft to meet planetary protection requirements. The radiation at the surface of Europa requires that all instruments, with the exception of the magnetometer and the radiation detector, be shielded or contained within a vault. A controlled descent and smart landing software would be required to avoid obstacles, however the propellant required to land this mission significantly reduces the payload mass from the lander's mass allocation. Despite the harsh environment, the Endurance lander

  4. Europa Lander Mission: A Challenge to Find Traces of Alien Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, Lev; Korablev, Oleg; Vorobyova, Elena; Martynov, Maxim; Akim, Efraim L.; Zakahrov, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    An international effort dedicated to science exploration of Jupiter system planned by ESA and NASA in the beginning of next decade includes in-depth science investigation of Europa. In parallel to EJSM (Europa-Jupiter System Mission) Russian Space Agency and the academy of Science plan Laplace-Europa Lander mission, which will include the small telecommunication and science orbiter and the surface element: Europa Lander. In-situ methods on the lander provide the only direct possibility to assess environmental conditions, and to perform the search for signatures of life. A critical advantage of such in situ analysis is the possibility to enhance concentration and detection limits and to provide ground truth for orbital measurements. The science mission of the lander is biological, geophysical, chemical, and environmental characterizations of the Europa surface. Remote investigations from the orbit around Europa would not be sufficient to address fully the astrobiology, geodesy, and geology goals. The science objectives of the planned mission, the synergy between the Europa Lander and EJSM mission elements, and a brief description of the Laplace-Europa Lander mission are presented.

  5. A Hydrothermal Origin for the Sulfate-rich Ocean of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zolotov, M. Yu.; Shock, E. L.

    2001-01-01

    Thermodynamic calculations show that formation of a sulfate-rich ocean on Europa might require high-temperature alkaline hydrothermal processes in the oxidized silicate mantle. The ocean on Europa could be thought of as a cooled hydrothermal fluid. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  6. Tidal reorientation and the fracturing of Jupiter's moon Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McEwen, A.S.

    1986-01-01

    The most striking characteristic of Europa is the network of long linear albedo markings over the surface, suggestive of global-scale tectonic processes. Various explanations for the fractures have been proposed: Freezing and expansion of an early liquid water ocean1, planetary expansion due to dehydration of hydrated silicates2, localization by weak points in the crust generated by impacts3, and a combination of stresses due to planetary volume change and tidal distortions from orbital recession and orbital eccentricity4,5. Calculations by Yoder6 and Greenberg and Weidenschilling7 have shown that Europa may rotate slightly more rapidly than the synchronous rate, with a rotation period (reorientation through 360??) ranging from 20 to >103 yr if a liquid mantle is present, or up to 1010 yr if the satellite is essentially solid7. Helfen-stein and Parmentier8 modelled the stresses due to nonsynchronous rotation, and concluded that this could explain the long fractures in part of the anti-jovian hemisphere. In this note, I present a global map of lineaments with long arc lengths (>20?? or 550 km), and compare the lineament orientations to the tensile stress trajectories due to tidal distortions (changes in the lengths of three principal semiaxes) and to nonsynchronous rotation (longitudinal reorientation of two of the principal semiaxes). An excellent orthogonal fit to the lineaments is achieved by the stresses due to nonsynchronous rotation with the axis radial to Jupiter located 25?? east of its present position. This fit suggests that nonsynchronous rotation occurred at some time in Europa's history. ?? 1986 Nature Publishing Group.

  7. Constraints on the detection of cryovolcanic plumes on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Barnouin, Olivier S.; Prockter, Louise M.; Patterson, G. Wesley

    2013-09-01

    Surface venting is a common occurrence on several outer solar system satellites. Spacecraft have observed plumes erupting from the geologically young surfaces of Io, Triton and Enceladus. Europa also has a relatively young surface and previous studies have suggested that cryovolcanic eruptions may be responsible for the production of low-albedo deposits surrounding lenticulae and along triple band margins and lineae. Here, we have used the projected thicknesses of these deposits as constraints to determine the lifetimes of detectable cryovolcanic plumes that may have emplaced them. In an effort to explore the feasibility of detection of the particle component of plumes by spacecraft cameras operating at visible wavelengths, we present a conservative model to estimate plume characteristics such as height, eruption velocity, and optical depth under a variety of conditions. We find that cryovolcanic plumes on Europa are likely to be fairly small in stature with heights between 2.5 and 26 km, and eruption velocities between 81 and 261 m/s, respectively. Under these conditions and assuming that plumes are products of steady eruptions with particle radii of 0.5 μm, our model suggests that easily detectable plumes will have optical depths, τ, greater than or equal to 0.04, and that their lifetimes may be no more than 300,000 years. Plume detection may be possible if high phase angle limb observations and/or stereo imaging of the surface are undertaken in areas where eruptive activity is likely to occur. Cameras with imaging resolutions greater than 50 m/pixel should be used to make all observations. Future missions could employ the results of our model in searches for plume activity at Europa.

  8. Regional Mosaic of Chaos and Gray Band on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This mosaic of part of Jupiter's moon, Europa, shows a region that is characterized by mottled (dark and splotchy) terrain. The images in this mosaic were obtained by Solid State Imaging (CCD) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft during its eleventh orbit around Jupiter. North is to the top of the image, and the sun illuminates the scene from the right. Prior to obtaining these pictures, the age and origin of mottled terrain were not known. As seen here, the mottled appearance results from areas of the bright, icy crust that have been broken apart (known as 'chaos' terrain), exposing a darker underlying material. This terrain is typified by the area in the upper right-hand part of the image. The mottled terrain represents some of the most recent geologic activity on Europa. Also shown in this image is a smooth, gray band (lower part of image) representing a zone where the Europan crust has been fractured, separated, and filled in with material derived from the interior. The chaos terrain and the gray band show that this satellite has been subjected to intense geological deformation.

    The mosaic, centered at 2.9 degrees south latitude and 234.1 degrees west longitude, covers an area of 365 kilometers by 335 kilometers (225 miles by 210 miles). The smallest distinguishable features in the image are about 460 meters (1500 feet) across. These images were obtained on November 6, 1997, when the Galileo spacecraft was approximately 21,700 kilometers (13,237 miles) from Europa.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is a division of California Institute of Technology.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  9. Europa Global Views in Natural and Enhanced Colors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This color composite view combines violet, green, and infrared images of Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa, for a view of the moon in natural color (left) and in enhanced color designed to bring out subtle color differences in the surface (right). The bright white and bluish part of Europa's surface is composed mostly of water ice, with very few non-ice materials. In contrast, the brownish mottled regions on the right side of the image may be covered by hydrated salts and an unknown red component. The yellowish mottled terrain on the left side of the image is caused by some other unknown component. Long, dark lines are fractures in the crust, some of which are more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) long.

    North is to the top of the picture and the sun fully illuminates the surface. Europa is about 3,160 kilometers (1,950 miles) in diameter, or about the size of Earth's moon. The finest details that can be discerned are 25 kilometers across. The images in this global view were taken in June 1997 at a range of 1.25 million kilometers by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft, during its ninth orbit of Jupiter.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  10. High-Resolution Image of Europa's Ridged Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This spectacular image taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft camera shows a region of ridged plains on Jupiter's moon Europa. The plains are comprised of many parallel and cross-cutting ridges, commonly in pairs. The majority of the region is of very bright, but darker material is seen primarily in valleys between ridges. Some of the most prominent ridges have dark deposits along their margins and in their central valleys. Some of this dark material probably moved down the flanks of the ridges and has piled up along their bases. The most prominent ridges are about a kilometer in width (less than a mile). In the top right hand corner of the image the end of a dark wide ridge (about 2 kilometers or 1.2 miles across) is visible. Several deep fractures cut through this ridge and continue into the plains. The brightness of the region suggests that frost covers much of Europa's surface. This image looks different from those obtained earlier in Galileo's mission, because this image was taken with the Sun higher in Europa's sky.

    This image was taken on December 16, 1997 at a range of 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) by Galileo's solid state imaging system. North is to the top of the picture, and the Sun illuminates the surface from the upper left. This image, centered at approximately 14 degrees south latitude and 194 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) on each side. The resolution is 26 meters (85 feet) per picture element.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  11. Compositional Mapping of the Surfaces of Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruen, Eberhard; Horanyi, M.; Kempf, S.; Krueger, H.; Postberg, F.; Srama, R.; Sternovsky, Z.; Trieloff, M.

    2010-10-01

    The determination of the global surface compositions of Europa and Ganymede is a prime objective of the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). Classical methods to analyze surfaces of airless planetary objects are IR and gamma ray spectroscopy, and neutron backscatter measurements. Here we present a complementary method to analyze dust particles as samples of planetary objects from which they were released. All airless moons and planets are exposed to the ambient meteoroid bombardment that erodes the surface and generates ejecta particles. The Galileo dust detector (Krueger et al., Icarus, 164, 170, 2003) discovered tenuous ejecta clouds around all Galilean satellites. In-situ mass spectroscopic analysis of these dust particles impacting onto a detector of an orbiting spacecraft reveals their composition. Depending on the altitude from which the dust measurements are taken, the position of origin on the surface can be determined with at least corresponding resolution. Since the detection rates are on the order of thousands per day, spatially resolved maps of the surface composition can be obtained. This `dust spectrometer’ approach provides key chemical and isotopic constraints for varying provinces on the surfaces, leading to better understanding of the body's geological evolution. Traces of mineral or organic components in an ice matrix can be identified and quantified even at low impact speeds >1 km/s. Compositional measurements by the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer of ice grains emitted from Enceladus probed the deep interior of this satellite (Postberg et al., Nature, 459, 1098, 2009). New instrumentation has been developed that meet or exceeded the capabilities in sensitivity and mass resolution of all previous dust analyzers. The deployment of such dust analyzers on the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) and the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) missions will provide unprecedented information on the surface compositions of these satellites and their potential activity.

  12. Magnetospheric ion sputtering and water ice grain size at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, T. A.; Paranicas, C. P.; Shirley, J. H.; Dalton, J. B., III; Teolis, B. D.; Johnson, R. E.; Kamp, L.; Hendrix, A. R.

    2013-03-01

    We present the first calculation of Europa's sputtering (ion erosion) rate as a function of position on Europa's surface. We find a global sputtering rate of 2×1027 H2O s-1, some of which leaves the surface in the form of O2 and H2. The calculated O2 production rate is 1×1026 O2 s-1, H2 production is twice that value. The total sputtering rate (including all species) peaks at the trailing hemisphere apex and decreases to about 1/3rd of the peak value at the leading hemisphere apex. O2 and H2 sputtering, by contrast, is confined almost entirely to the trailing hemisphere. Most sputtering is done by energetic sulfur ions (100s of keV to MeV), but most of the O2 and H2 production is done by cold oxygen ions (temperature ∼ 100 eV, total energy ∼ 500 eV). As a part of the sputtering rate calculation we compared experimental sputtering yields with analytic estimates. We found that the experimental data are well approximated by the expressions of Famá et al. for ions with energies less than 100 keV (Famá, M., Shi, J., Baragiola, R.A., 2008. Sputtering of ice by low-energy ions. Surf. Sci. 602, 156-161), while the expressions from Johnson et al. fit the data best at higher energies (Johnson, R.E., Burger, M.H., Cassidy, T.A., Leblanc, F., Marconi, M., Smyth, W.H., 2009. Composition and Detection of Europa's Sputter-Induced Atmosphere, in: Pappalardo, R.T., McKinnon, W.B., Khurana, K.K. (Eds.), Europa. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.). We compare the calculated sputtering rate with estimates of water ice regolith grain size as estimated from Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) data, and find that they are strongly correlated as previously suggested by Clark et al. (Clark, R.N., Fanale, F.P., Zent, A.P., 1983. Frost grain size metamorphism: Implications for remote sensing of planetary surfaces. Icarus 56, 233-245.). The mechanism responsible for the sputtering rate/grain size link is uncertain. We also report a surface composition estimate using

  13. Diatoms on earth, comets, Europa and in interstellar space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, R. B.; Hoover, M. J.; Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.; Al-Mufti, S.

    1986-01-01

    There exists a close correspondence between the measured infrared properties of diatoms and the infrared spectrum of interstellar dust as observed in the Trapezium nebula and toward the galactic center source GC-IRS 7. Diatoms and bacteria also exhibit an absorbance peak near 2200 A, which is found to agree with the observed ultraviolet absorbance properties of interstellar grains. The observational data are reviewed, and the known properties of diatoms and bacteria are considered. It is suggested that these characteristics are consistent with the concept of a cosmic microbiological system in which these or similar microorganisms might exist on comets, Europa and in interstellar space.

  14. Tether-mission design for multiple flybys of moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanmartin, J. R. S.; Charro, M. C.; Sanchez-Arriaga, G. S. A.; Sanchez-Torres, A. S. T.

    2015-10-01

    A tether mission to carry out multiple flybys of Jovian moon Europa is here presented. There is general agreement on elliptic-orbit flybys of Europa resulting in cost to attain given scientific goals lower than if actually orbiting the moon, tethers being naturally fit to fly-by rather than orbit moons1. The present mission is similar in this respect to the Clipper mission considered by NASA, the basic difference lying in location of periapsis, due to different emphasis on mission-challenge metrics. Clipper minimizes damaging radiation-dose by avoiding the Jupiter neighborhood and its very harsh environment; periapsis would be at Europa, apoapsis as far as moon Callisto. As in all past outer-planet missions, Clipper faces, however, critical power and propulsion needs. On the other hand, tethers can provide both propulsion and power, but must reach near the planet to find high plasma density and magnetic field values, leading to high induced tether current, and Lorentz drag and power. The bottom line is a strong radiation dose under the very intense Radiation Belts of Jupiter. Mission design focuses on limiting dose. Perijove would be near Jupiter, at about 1.2-1.3 Jovian radius, apojove about moon Ganymede, corresponding to 1:1 resonance with Europa, so as to keep dose down: setting apojove at Europa, for convenient parallel flybys, would require two perijove passes per flyby (the Ganymede apojove, resulting in high eccentricity, about 0.86, is also less requiring on tether operations). Mission is designed to attain reductions in eccentricity per perijove pass as high as Δe ≈ - 0.04. Due the low gravity-gradient, tether spinning is necessary to keep it straight, plasma contactors placed at both ends taking active turns at being cathodic. Efficiency of capture of the incoming S/C by the tether is gauged by the ratio of S/C mass to tether mass; efficiency is higher for higher tape-tether length and lower thickness and perijove. Low tether bowing due to the Lorentz

  15. Europa's Oxygen Atmosphere: Effects due to Regolith Porosity and Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, T. A.; Johnson, R. E.

    2006-05-01

    The surfaces of "airless" bodies in our solar system are covered by porous regoliths, granular surfaces generated by micrometeor impact. Europa's tenuous neutral atmosphere is generated by UV and plasma irradiation of and sublimation from this regolith. Therefore, in addition to the atmosphere above the surface, there is a substantial amount of gas in the porous regolith. The effect of the regolith on the source processes and sinks are typically neglected in modeling the spatial distribution and composition of the atmosphere. The regolith complicates processes such as sputtering, the ejection of mostly neutral atoms and molecules due to energetic ion flux, because the incident ions encounter surfaces at a variety of angles, rather than one angle as usually assumed. Also, most ejecta produced within a regolith no longer have a direct line to space. If ejecta do not stick to or react with grain surfaces, then it may be safely assumed that the majority of ejecta will interact with grain surfaces before leaving the regolith. Similarly, a returning non-sticking particle experiences numerous interactions with grains below the nominal surface. As compared to a flat, smooth planetary surface, these many interactions enhance the probability of chemical reactions or sticking. F. Leblanc and R.E. Johnson have shown that the sticking coefficient is critical in describing the alkali atmosphere at Mercury and likely Europa. The regolith will also affect the velocity distribution of non-sticking ejecta and atmospheric species, which will affect the population of the Europa neutral torus. In this presentation the effect of regolith on the source and sink processes is demonstrated by generating the gravitationally bound and escaping components of the ballistic Europan atmosphere with and without regolith effects. Assuming that O2 can react in the regolith where there is a high sulfur content, we can generate a morphology roughly consistent with HST observations by McGrath and

  16. Human Missions to Europa and Titan - Why Not?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This report describes a long-term development plan to enable human exploration of the outer solar system, with a focus on Europa and Titan. These are two of the most interesting moons of Jupiter and Saturn, respectively, because they are the places in the solar system with the greatest potential for harboring extraterrestrial life. Since human expeditions to these worlds are considered impossible with current capabilities, the proposal of a well-organized sequence of steps towards making this a reality was formulated. The proposed Development Plan, entitled Theseus, is the outcome of a recent multinational study by a group of students in the framework of the Master of Space Studies (MSS) 2004 course at the International Space University (ISU). The Theseus Program includes the necessary development strategies in key scientific and technological areas that are essential for identifying the requirements for the exploration of the outer planetary moons. Some of the topics that are analysed throughout the plan include: scientific observations at Europa and Titan, advanced propulsion and nuclear power systems, in-situ resource utilization, radiation mitigation techniques, closed life support systems, habitation for long-term spaceflight, and artificial gravity. In addition to the scientific and technological aspects of the Theseus Program, it was recognized that before any research and development work may begin, some level of program management must be established. Within this chapter, legal issues, national and international policy, motivation, organization and management, economic considerations, outreach, education, ethics, and social implications are all considered with respect to four possible future scenarios which enable human missions to the outer solar system. The final chapter of the report builds upon the foundations set by Theseus through a case study. This study illustrates how such accomplishments could influence a mission to Europa to search for evidence

  17. New Model for Europa's Tidal Response Based after Laboratory Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, J. C.; McCarthy, C.; Choukroun, M.; Rambaux, N.

    2009-12-01

    We explore the application of the Andrade model to the modeling of Europa’s tidal response at the orbital period and for different librations. Previous models have generally assumed that the satellite behaves as a Maxwell body. However, at the frequencies exciting Europa’s tides and librations, material anelasticity tends to dominate the satellite’s response for a wide range of temperatures, a feature that is not accounted for by the Maxwell model. Many experimental studies on the anelasticity of rocks, ice, and hydrates, suggest that the Andrade model usually provides a good fit to the dissipation spectra obtained for a wide range of frequencies, encompassing the tidal frequencies of most icy satellites. These data indicate that, at Europa’s orbital frequency, the Maxwell model overestimates water ice attenuation at temperature warmer than ~240 K, while it tends to significantly underestimate it at lower temperatures. Based on the available data we suggest an educated extrapolation of available data to Europa’s conditions. We compute the tidal response of a model of Europa differentiated in a rocky core and a water-rich shell. We assume various degrees of stratification of the core involving hydrated and anhydrous silicates, as well as an iron core. The water-rich shell of Europa is assumed to be fully frozen, or to have preserved a deep liquid layer. In both cases we consider a range of thermal structures, based on existing models. These structures take into account the presence of non-ice materials, especially hydrated salts. This new approach yields a greater tidal response (amplitude and phase lag) than previously expected. This is due to the fact that a greater volume of material dissipates tidal energy in comparison to models assuming a Maxwell body. Another feature of interest is that the tidal stress expected in Europa is at about the threshold between a linear and non-linear mechanical response of water ice as a function of stress. Increased

  18. Possible problematic situations for the Europa cryorobotic mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kereszturi, A.

    We analyzed some possible dangerous and problematic situations which can take place during the descend of the Europa exlporer cryorobot inside the ice crust. Our work summarizing the followings: 1. consequences of the differences in the ice thickness and time of descend based on our and other workers' ice thickness estimations, 2. consequences of the tectonic movements in the crust during the descend of the cryorobot, 3. consequences of salt rich diapiric/cryomagmatic intrusions on the descend of the probe, 4. consequences of liquid water bodies inside the ice crust during the descend, 5. usage of the whole cryorobot below the ice crust as a robotic submarine.

  19. Human Missions to Europa and Titan - Why Not?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finarelli, Margaret G.

    2004-04-01

    This report describes a long-term development plan to enable human exploration of the outer solar system, with a focus on Europa and Titan. These are two of the most interesting moons of Jupiter and Saturn, respectively, because they are the places in the solar system with the greatest potential for harboring extraterrestrial life. Since human expeditions to these worlds are considered impossible with current capabilities, the proposal of a well-organized sequence of steps towards making this a reality was formulated. The proposed Development Plan, entitled Theseus, is the outcome of a recent multinational study by a group of students in the framework of the Master of Space Studies (MSS) 2004 course at the International Space University (ISU). The Theseus Program includes the necessary development strategies in key scientific and technological areas that are essential for identifying the requirements for the exploration of the outer planetary moons. Some of the topics that are analysed throughout the plan include: scientific observations at Europa and Titan, advanced propulsion and nuclear power systems, in-situ resource utilization, radiation mitigation techniques, closed life support systems, habitation for long-term spaceflight, and artificial gravity. In addition to the scientific and technological aspects of the Theseus Program, it was recognized that before any research and development work may begin, some level of program management must be established. Within this chapter, legal issues, national and international policy, motivation, organization and management, economic considerations, outreach, education, ethics, and social implications are all considered with respect to four possible future scenarios which enable human missions to the outer solar system. The final chapter of the report builds upon the foundations set by Theseus through a case study. This study illustrates how such accomplishments could influence a mission to Europa to search for evidence

  20. Designing capture trajectories to unstable periodic orbits around Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, Ryan P.; Lam, Try

    2006-01-01

    The hostile environment of third body perturbations restricts a mission designer's ability to find well-behaved reproducible capture trajectories when dealing with limited control authority as is typical with low-thrust missions. The approach outlined in this paper confronts this shortcoming by utilizing dynamical systems theory and an extensive preexisting database of Restricted Three Body Problem (RTBP) periodic orbits. The stable manifolds of unstable periodic orbits are utilized to attract a spacecraft towards Europa. By selecting an appropriate periodic orbit, a mission designer can control important characteristics of the captured state including stability, minimum altitudes, characteristic inclinations, and characteristic radii among others. Several free parameters are optimized in the non-trivial mapping from the RTBP to a more realistic model. Although the ephemeris capture orbit is ballistic by design, low-thrust is used to target the state that leads to the capture orbit, control the spacecraft after arriving on the unstable quasi-periodic orbit, and begin the spiral down towards the science orbit. The approach allows a mission designer to directly target fuel efficient captures at Europa in an ephemeris model. Furthermore, it provides structure and controllability to the design of capture trajectories that reside in a chaotic environment.

  1. Contributions to Crustal Mechanics on Europa from Subterranean Ocean Vibrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, Robert

    2016-03-01

    The recent discovery of subduction zones on Europa demonstrated a significant step forward in understanding the moon's surface mechanics. This work promotes the additional consideration that the surface mechanics have contributions from small relative pressure differentials in the subsurface ocean that create cracks in the surface which are then filled, sealed and healed. Crack formation can be small, as interior pressure can relatively easily breach the surface crust, generating cracks followed by common fracture formation backfilled with frozen liquid. This process will slowly increase the overall surface area of the moon with each sealed crack and fracture increasing the total surface area. This creeping growth of surface area monotonically decreases subsurface pressure which can eventually catastrophically subduct large areas of surface and so is consistent with current knowledge of observational topology on Europa. This tendency is attributed to a relatively lower energy threshold to crack the surface from interior overpressures, but a higher energy threshold to crush the spherical surface due to subsurface underpressures. Proposed mechanisms for pressure differentials include tidal forces whose Fourier components build up the resonant oscillatory modes of the subsurface ocean creating periodic under and overpressure events below the crust. This mechanism provides a means to continually reform the surface of the moon over short geological time scales. This work supported in part by federal Grant NRC-HQ-84-14-G-0059.

  2. Distribution of strike-slip faults on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppa, Gregory; Greenberg, Richard; Tufts, B. Randall; Geissler, Paul; Phillips, Cynthia; Milazzo, Moses

    2000-09-01

    Study of four different regions on Europa imaged by the Galileo spacecraft during its first 15 orbits has revealed 117 strike-slip faults. Europa appears to form preferentially right-lateral faults in the southern hemisphere and left-lateral faults in the northern hemisphere. This observation is consistent with a model where diurnal tides due to orbital eccentricity drive strike-slip motion through a process of ``walking,'' in which faults open and close out of phase with alternating right-and left-lateral shear. Lineaments that record both left-and right-lateral motion (e.g., Agave Linea) may record the accommodation of compression in nearby chaotic zones. Nearly all identified strike-slip faults were associated with double ridges or bands, and few were detected along ridgeless cracks. Thus the depth of cracks without ridges does not appear to have penetrated to the low-viscosity decoupling layer, required for diurnal displacement, but cracks that have developed ridges do extend down to such a level. This result supports a model for ridge formation that requires cracks to penetrate to a decoupling layer, such as a liquid water ocean.

  3. Long Period Variations in Tidal and Librational Forcing of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bills, Bruce G.

    2004-01-01

    The gravitational field of Jupiter exerts a profound influence on the energy balance, thermal evolution, and stress regime of Europa. It widely appreciated that dissipation associated with the spheroidal tidal deformation is a major source of heat. Another possibly important source of dissipation is the toroidal deformation field associated with forced librations. Both tidal and librational deformations depend on the distance and direction Jupiter, as seen from Europa. These quantities vary with time as a result of the finite values of orbital eccentricity and spin pole obliquity, though the obliquity effects have been ignored in most previous studies. Variations in eccentricity and obliquity of the Galilean satellites occur on a very wide range of time scales, as angular momentum is exchanged among the orbital and rotational components of the coupled system. The orbital periods are only a few days in length, and the secular changes in orbital period associated with tidal and librational dissipation have characteristic time scales of 10-9 years or longer. On intermediate time scales, the satellites perturb each other, and the Sun and Saturn make additional contributions. The present values of satellite orbital inclinations and obliquities are not particularly representative their respective longer term variations. As a result, the tidal stress and dissipation regimes at present may not provide adequate explanation of the sources of surface features seen on the satellites.

  4. Impact breaching of Europa's ice: Constraints from numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, Rónadh; Bauer, Aaron W.

    2015-10-01

    Numerical simulations show that impactors can penetrate Europa's ice, creating conduits to the underlying ocean. Breaching becomes inevitable when transient cavity depth exceeds 90% of ice thickness. Results indicate that a 0.5 km comet would penetrate 5 km ice, and a 5 km comet could breach 40 km ice. Thinner ice would be breached more frequently, thicker ice less so, but even the 40 km upper estimates for ice thickness would be penetrated by comets with recurrence intervals less than 250 Ma. If actual ice thickness is 8-13 km (indicated by comparing Europan and simulated crater geometries), the ocean could be exposed by impactors in the range 0.7-1.5 km, which have recurrence intervals ≈3 to 7 Ma. Thus, it seems that Europa's ice has been penetrated often in the past and possibly in geologically recent time. The largest known impact sites, Callanish and Tyre, probably represent transition from craters to penetrating impacts. The geomorphic expression of full penetration must exist on the surface; chaos terrain is a candidate. Astrobiological materials could be transported to the ocean via these impact-created conduits.

  5. Cross-cutting Relationships of Surface Features on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image of Jupiter's moon Europa shows a very complex terrain of ridges and fractures. The absence of large craters and the low number of small craters indicates that this surface is geologically young. The relative ages of the ridges can be determined by using the principle of cross-cutting relationships; i.e. older features are cross-cut by younger features. Using this principle, planetary geologists are able to unravel the sequence of events in this seemingly chaotic terrain to unfold Europa's unique geologic history.

    The spacecraft Galileo obtained this image on February 20, 1997. The area covered in this image is approximately 11 miles (18 kilometers) by 8.5 miles (14 kilometers) across, near 15 North, 273 West. North is toward the top of the image, with the sun illuminating from the right.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  6. On the design of a science orbit about Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lara, Martin; Russell, Ryan

    2006-01-01

    A science mission about Europa requires high-inclination low-altitude orbits. However, perturbations of Jupiter on the orbiter result in instability. Previous approaches to maximize the lifetime of the orbiter use the doubly averaged problem. We work with the unaveraged equations and find unstable periodic orbits with long lifetimes. These low-altitude repeat ground track solutions exist at all inclinations, making them suitable for mapping missions. The governing dynamics include Hill's model and a Europa gravity field based on synchronous moon theory. Inclusion of additional gravity terms is trivial to the solution method, and for the case of J3, we find a marginal impact on orbit lifetime. The science orbits are found to last on the order of 1 year when the initial conditions are achieved to 11 significant digits and 4 months when only 3 significant digits are achieved. Finally, we demonstrate that the solutions are robust in a realistic ephemeris model, finding average lifetimes of 3 to 4 months for wide range of initial conditions with peak lifetimes of up to 6 months.

  7. Very High Resolution Image of Icy Cliffs on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This image, taken by the camera onboard NASA's Galileo spacecraft, is a very high resolution view of the Conamara Chaos region on Jupiter's moon Europa. It shows an area where icy plates have been broken apart and moved around laterally. The top of this image is dominated by corrugated plateaus ending in icy cliffs over a hundred meters (a few hundred feet) high. Debris piled at the base of the cliffs can be resolved down to blocks the size of a house. A fracture that runs horizontally across and just below the center of the Europa image is about the width of a freeway.

    North is to the top right of the image, and the sun illuminates the surface from the east. The image is centered at approximately 9 degrees north latitude and 274 degrees west longitude. The image covers an area approximately 1.7 kilometers by 4 kilometers (1 mile by 2.5 miles). The resolution is 9 meters (30 feet) per picture element. This image was taken on December 16, 1997 at a range of 900 kilometers (540 miles) by Galileo's solid state imaging system.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  8. Secondary craters on Europa and implications for cratered surfaces.

    PubMed

    Bierhaus, Edward B; Chapman, Clark R; Merline, William J

    2005-10-20

    For several decades, most planetary researchers have regarded the impact crater populations on solid-surfaced planets and smaller bodies as predominantly reflecting the direct ('primary') impacts of asteroids and comets. Estimates of the relative and absolute ages of geological units on these objects have been based on this assumption. Here we present an analysis of the comparatively sparse crater population on Jupiter's icy moon Europa and suggest that this assumption is incorrect for small craters. We find that 'secondaries' (craters formed by material ejected from large primary impact craters) comprise about 95 per cent of the small craters (diameters less than 1 km) on Europa. We therefore conclude that large primary impacts into a solid surface (for example, ice or rock) produce far more secondaries than previously believed, implying that the small crater populations on the Moon, Mars and other large bodies must be dominated by secondaries. Moreover, our results indicate that there have been few small comets (less than 100 m diameter) passing through the jovian system in recent times, consistent with dynamical simulations. PMID:16237437

  9. Europa ocean sampling by plume flythrough: Astrobiological expectations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, Ralph D.

    2016-03-01

    The anticipated material captured from a flythrough of Europa's putative plumes is investigated using a simple model. With parameters appropriate to observed constraints (plume height 100-200 km, column mass 1E20 H2O molecules/m2, originating in a liquid water exposure), bacterial cells of ∼10 μm could be lofted even to the plume tops, but no particles larger than 2 mm will be lofted above ∼2 km, a likely lower limit on feasible altitude. Intercepted mass densities of 1E-5 to 1E-3 kg/m2 are calculated. With a small in-situ sampler at the lowest altitudes a few hundred cells might be captured if the liquid is as abundant in biota as the richest environments on Earth, but statistically less than 1 cell for Vostok waters, a Europa analog. The imperative for a large collection area is noted. The likelihood of capturing at least a single cell, with a log-uniform prior of cell abundances, is proposed as a science value metric for different flyby altitudes.

  10. San Andreas-sized Strike-slip Fault on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This mosaic of the south polar region of Jupiter's moon Europa shows the northern 290 kilometers (180 miles) of a strike-slip fault named Astypalaea Linea. The entire fault is about 810 kilometers (500 miles) long, about the size of the California portion of the San Andreas fault, which runs from the California-Mexico border north to the San Francisco Bay.

    In a strike-slip fault, two crustal blocks move horizontally past one another, similar to two opposing lanes of traffic. Overall motion along the fault seems to have followed a continuous narrow crack along the feature's entire length, with a path resembling steps on a staircase crossing zones that have been pulled apart. The images show that about 50 kilometers (30 miles) of displacement have taken place along the fault. The fault's opposite sides can be reconstructed like a puzzle, matching the shape of the sides and older, individual cracks and ridges broken by its movements.

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    The red line marks the once active central crack of the fault. The black line outlines the fault zone, including material accumulated in the regions which have been pulled apart.

    Bends in the fault have allowed the surface to be pulled apart. This process created openings through which warmer, softer ice from below Europa's brittle ice shell surface, or frozen water from a possible subsurface ocean, could reach the surface. This upwelling of material formed large areas of new ice within the boundaries of the original fault. A similar pulling-apart phenomenon can be observed in the geological trough surrounding California's Salton Sea, in Death Valley and the Dead Sea. In those cases, the pulled-apart regions can include upwelled materials, but may be filled mostly by sedimentary and eroded material from above.

    One theory is that fault motion on Europa is induced by the pull of variable daily tides generated by Jupiter's gravitational tug on Europa. Tidal tension

  11. A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF THE EUROPA ATMOSPHERE AND LIMITS ON GEOPHYSICAL ACTIVITY

    SciTech Connect

    Shemansky, D. E.; Liu, X.; Yoshii, J.; Yung, Y. L.; Hansen, C. J.; Hendrix, A. R.; Esposito, L. W.

    2014-12-20

    Deep extreme ultraviolet spectrograph exposures of the plasma sheet at the orbit of Europa, obtained in 2001 using the Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph experiment, have been analyzed to determine the state of the gas. The results are in basic agreement with earlier results, in particular with Voyager encounter measurements of electron density and temperature. Mass loading rates and lack of detectable neutrals in the plasma sheet, however, are in conflict with earlier determinations of atmospheric composition and density at Europa. A substantial fraction of the plasma species at the Europa orbit are long-lived sulfur ions originating at Io, with ∼25% derived from Europa. During the outward radial diffusion process to the Europa orbit, heat deposition forces a significant rise in plasma electron temperature and latitudinal size accompanied with conversion to higher order ions, a clear indication that mass loading from Europa is very low. Analysis of far ultraviolet spectra from exposures on Europa leads to the conclusion that earlier reported atmospheric measurements have been misinterpreted. The results in the present work are also in conflict with a report that energetic neutral particles imaged by the Cassini ion and neutral camera experiment originate at the Europa orbit. An interpretation of persistent energetic proton pitch angle distributions near the Europa orbit as an effect of a significant population of neutral gas is also in conflict with the results of the present work. The general conclusion drawn here is that Europa is geophysically far less active than inferred in previous research, with mass loading of the plasma sheet ≤4.5 × 10{sup 25} atoms s{sup –1} two orders of magnitude below earlier published calculations. Temporal variability in the region joining the Io and Europa orbits, based on the accumulated evidence, is forced by the response of the system to geophysical activity at Io. No evidence for the direct injection of H{sub 2}O

  12. Europa's magnetic signature: report from Galileo's pass on 19 December 1996.

    PubMed

    Kivelson, M G; Khurana, K K; Joy, S; Russell, C T; Southwood, D J; Walker, R J; Polanskey, C

    1997-05-23

    On 19 December 1996 as Galileo passed close to Jupiter's moon, Europa, the magnetometer measured substantial departures from the slowly varying background field of Jupiter's magnetosphere. Currents coupling Europa to Jupiter's magnetospheric plasma could produce perturbations of the observed size. However, the trend of the field perturbations is here modeled as the signature of a Europa-centered dipole moment whose maximum surface magnitude is approximately 240 nanotesla, giving a rough upper limit to the internal field. The dipole orientation is oblique to Europa's spin axis. This orientation may not be probable for a field generated by a core dynamo, but higher order multipoles may be important as they are at Uranus and Neptune. Although the data can be modeled as contributions of an internal field of Europa, they do not confirm its existence. The dipole orientation is also oblique to the imposed field of Jupiter and thus not directly produced as a response to that field. Close to Europa, plasma currents appear to produce perturbations with scale sizes that are small compared with a Europa radius. PMID:9157878

  13. Tether-mission design for multiple flybys of moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanmartin, J. R. S.; Charro, M. C.; Sanchez-Arriaga, G. S. A.; Sanchez-Torres, A. S. T.

    2015-10-01

    A tether mission to carry out multiple flybys of Jovian moon Europa is here presented. There is general agreement on elliptic-orbit flybys of Europa resulting in cost to attain given scientific goals lower than if actually orbiting the moon, tethers being naturally fit to fly-by rather than orbit moons1. The present mission is similar in this respect to the Clipper mission considered by NASA, the basic difference lying in location of periapsis, due to different emphasis on mission-challenge metrics. Clipper minimizes damaging radiation-dose by avoiding the Jupiter neighborhood and its very harsh environment; periapsis would be at Europa, apoapsis as far as moon Callisto. As in all past outer-planet missions, Clipper faces, however, critical power and propulsion needs. On the other hand, tethers can provide both propulsion and power, but must reach near the planet to find high plasma density and magnetic field values, leading to high induced tether current, and Lorentz drag and power. The bottom line is a strong radiation dose under the very intense Radiation Belts of Jupiter. Mission design focuses on limiting dose. Perijove would be near Jupiter, at about 1.2-1.3 Jovian radius, apojove about moon Ganymede, corresponding to 1:1 resonance with Europa, so as to keep dose down: setting apojove at Europa, for convenient parallel flybys, would require two perijove passes per flyby (the Ganymede apojove, resulting in high eccentricity, about 0.86, is also less requiring on tether operations). Mission is designed to attain reductions in eccentricity per perijove pass as high as Δe ≈ - 0.04. Due the low gravity-gradient, tether spinning is necessary to keep it straight, plasma contactors placed at both ends taking active turns at being cathodic. Efficiency of capture of the incoming S/C by the tether is gauged by the ratio of S/C mass to tether mass; efficiency is higher for higher tape-tether length and lower thickness and perijove. Low tether bowing due to the Lorentz

  14. The Contribution of Io-Raised Tides to Europa's Diurnally-Varying Surface Stresses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhoden, Alyssa Rose; Hurford, Terry A,; Manga, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Europa's icy surface records a rich history of geologic activity, Several features appear to be tectonic in origin and may have formed in response to Europa's daily-varying tidal stress [I]. Strike-slip faults and arcuate features called cycloids have both been linked to the patterns of stress change caused by eccentricity and obliquity [2J[3]. In fact, as Europa's obliquity has not been directly measured, observed tectonic patterns arc currently the best indicators of a theoretically supported [4] non-negligible obliquity. The diurnal tidal stress due to eccentricity is calculated by subtracting the average (or static) tidal shape of Europa generated by Jupiter's gravitational field from the instantaneous shape, which varies as Europa moves through its eccentric orbit [5]. In other words, it is the change of shape away from average that generates tidal stress. One might expect tidal contributions from the other large moons of Jupiter to be negligible given their size and the height of the tides they raise on Europa versus Jupiter's mass and the height of the tide it raises on Europa, However, what matters for tidally-induced stress is not how large the lo-raised bulge is compared to the Jupiter-raised bulge but rather the differences bet\\Veen the instantaneous and static bulges in each case. For example, when Europa is at apocenter, Jupiter raises a tide 30m lower than its static tide. At the same time, 10 raises a tide about 0.5m higher than its static tide. Hence, the change in Io's tidal distortion is about 2% of the change in the Jovian distortion when Europa is at apocenter

  15. Measurements of the spin states of Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margot, Jean-Luc; Padovan, S.; Campbell, D.; Peale, S.; Ghigo, F.

    2013-10-01

    Measuring the spin states of the Galilean satellites holds the key to fundamental interior and surface properties. First, the spin state can reveal the presence of a subsurface ocean: a decoupling between the icy shell and the interior results in a different spin signature than that of a solid body. Second, the value of the obliquity combined with the known gravitational harmonics can provide a direct measurement of the polar moment of inertia, a crucial constraint on interior models. Finally, the obliquity may explain remarkable surface features, such as the distribution and shape of cycloids on Europa, and the direction of strike-slip faults. Here we present the first direct observations of the spin axis orientations of Europa and Ganymede. We use the same Earth-based radar technique that provided measurements of Mercury's obliquity at the sub-arcminute level, observational evidence that the core is molten, and core size estimates [1,2]. The measurements make simultaneous use of the Goldstone Solar System Radar and the Green Bank Telescope located ~3200 km away. It is the correlation of radar echoes received at these two stations that yields superb leverage on the spin state of the illuminated body. Because the Galilean satellites are further away than Mercury, and because they spin faster than Mercury, the signal-to-noise ratio of the observations is reduced by a factor of ~3000. Nevertheless, the telltale correlations are clearly detected in our data. Using measurements at 13 epochs in 2011 and 4 epochs in 2012, we are able to pinpoint Europa's spin axis orientation with a precision of ~0.1 deg, and our result is inconsistent with theoretical or model-based estimates [3,4,5]. For Ganymede, we secured measurements at 3 epochs in 2011 and 2 epochs in 2012, and the larger signal-to-noise ratio results in a comparable precision for the spin axis orientation. References [1] J. L. Margot et al. Science, 316:710, 2007. [2] J. L. Margot et al. JGR (Planets), 117(E16

  16. Chaos on Europa: Transition from solid ice to slush

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, G. C.

    2011-12-01

    About a quarter of Jupiter's moon Europa is covered by patches of "chaotic" terrain where some parts of the preexisting surface have been disrupted into "plates" that are tilted and translated, and other parts have been replaced by an irregular hummocky matrix of jumbled ice blocks. Catastrophic ice-fluid interactions on the Earth offer attractive analogies to advance our understanding of the formation of chaotic terrain on Europa. The morphology of chaos terrain indicates a sharp change in mechanical properties between the undisrupted plates and the highly disrupted matrix. Where plates are locally higher than the matrix, the boundary is a steep cliff, but where the matrix is locally higher, the boundary is rounded like a viscous flow. This indicates that the plates are behaving as solid ice, while the adjacent matrix is behaving as a fluid. The horizontal translation and tilting of the solid ice plates indicates that the material beneath them must also be acting as a fluid. The transition from solid ice to slushy matrix is not always accompanied by horizontal motion; for example background ridges can be continuously traced over large areas of chaos matrix in Thrace Macula. In some areas, the boundary between plates and matrix appears to be controlled by the existence of prominent ridges, but the matrix may either go around the ridge, or be contained entirely within the outline of the ridge. Perhaps fractures associated with preexisting ridges affect the subsurface flow of liquid within the ice shell, and control the transition between solid ice and slush. In color and spectroscopic data, chaos matrix is accompanied by an unknown dark substance, which could include hydrated salts or sulfuric acid (Carlson et al. 2009). Dark material can also be found separate from the matrix, in topographically low areas immediately surrounding chaos terrain. After chaos formation, the matrix may still exhibit mechanical properties different from the surrounding ice, as evidenced

  17. Europa 'Ice Rafts' in local and color context

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This image of Jupiter's icy satellite Europa shows surface features such as domes and ridges, as well as a region of disrupted terrain including crustal plates which are thought to have broken apart and 'rafted' into new positions. The image covers an area of Europa's surface about 250 by 200 kilometer (km) and is centered at 10 degrees latitude, 271 degrees longitude. The color information allows the surface to be divided into three distinct spectral units. The bright white areas are ejecta rays from the relatively young crater Pwyll, which is located about 1000 km to the south (bottom) of this image. These patchy deposits appear to be superposed on other areas of the surface, and thus are thought to be the youngest features present. Also visible are reddish areas which correspond to locations where non-ice components are present. This coloring can be seen along the ridges, in the region of disrupted terrain in the center of the image, and near the dome-like features where the surface may have been thermally altered. Thus, areas associated with internal geologic activity appear reddish. The third distinct color unit is bright blue, and corresponds to the relatively old icy plains.

    This product combines data taken by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft during three separate flybys of Europa. Low resolution color data (violet, green, and 1 micron) acquired in September 1996 were combined with medium resolution images from December 1996, to produce synthetic color images. These were then combined with a high resolution mosaic of images acquired in February 1997.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http

  18. Salts on Europa's surface detected by Galileo's near infrared mapping spectrometer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCord, T.B.; Hansen, G.B.; Fanale, F.P.; Carlson, R.W.; Matson, D.L.; Johnson, T.V.; Smythe, W.D.; Crowley, J.K.; Martin, P.D.; Ocampo, A.; Hibbitts, C.A.; Granahan, J.C.

    1998-01-01

    Reflectance spectra in the 1- to 2.5-micrometer wavelength region of the surface of Europa obtained by Galileo's Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer exhibit distorted water absorption bands that indicate the presence of hydrated minerals. The laboratory spectra of hydrated salt minerals such as magnesium sulfates and sodium carbonates and mixtures of these minerals provide a close match to the Europa spectra. The distorted bands are only observed in the optically darker areas of Europa, including the lineaments, and may represent evaporite deposits formed by water, rich in dissolved salts, reaching the surface from a water-rich layer underlying an ice crust.

  19. Ion Irradiation of Sulfuric Acid: Implications for its Stability on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loeffler, M. J.; Hudson, R. L.; Moore, M. H.

    2010-01-01

    The Galileo near-infrared mapping spectrometer (NIMS) detected regions on Europa's surface containing distorted H2O bands. This distortion likely indicates that there are other molecules mixed with the water ice. Based on spectral comparison, some of the leading possibilities are sulfuric acid, salts. or possibly H3O(+). Previous laboratory studies have shown that sulfuric acid can be created by irradiation of H2OSO2 mixtures, and both molecules are present on Europa. In this project, we were interested in investigating the radiation stability of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and determining its lifetime on the surface of Europa.

  20. The Search for a Habitable Europa: Radar, Water and an Active Ice Shell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Schmidt, B. E.; Young, D. A.; Schroeder, D. M.; Greenbaum, J. S.

    2011-10-01

    Future Europa exploration will seek to characterize the distribution of shallow subsurface water as well as to understand the formation of surface features through dynamic ice-shell processes. Radar sounding will be a critical tool for detecting these features, and should be of primary interest to the astrobiology community for understanding how and where life might arise on Europa. To develop successful instrumentation and data interpretation techniques for exploring Europa, we must leverage analogous terrestrial environments and processes. Airborne ice penetrating radar is now a mature tool in terrestrial studies of Earth's ice sheets, and orbital examples have been successful at the Moon and Mars.

  1. Seismic Investigations of Europa and Other Ocean Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vance, Steve; Tsai, Victor; Kedar, Sharon; Bills, Bruce; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Jackson, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    Seismic investigations offer the most comprehensive view into the deep interiors of planetary bodies. Developing missions (InSight, Europa Lander, Lunar Geophysical Network) identify seismology as a critical measurement to constrain interior structure and thermal state. In oceanic icy worlds, pinpointing the radial depths of compositional interfaces using seismology in a broad frequency range can address uncertainty in interior structures inferred from gravity and magnetometry studies, such as those planned for NASA's Europa and ESA's JUICE missions. Seismology also offers information about fluid motions within or beneath ice, which complement magnetic studies; and can record the dynamics of ice layers, which would reveal mechanisms and spatiotemporal occurrence of crack formation and propagation. Investigating these with future missions will require detailed modeling of seismic sources and signatures in order to develop the most suitable instrumentation. We evaluate seismic sources and their propagation in Europa, with extension to other oceanic icy worlds, building on prior studies (Kovach and Chyba 2001, Lee et al. 2003, Cammarano et al. 2006, Panning et al. 2006, Leighton et al. 2008). We also consider additional sources: gravitationally forced librations, which will create volume-filling turbulent flow (le Bars et al. 2015), a possible seismic source similar to that seen from turbulent flow in terrestrial rivers (Tsai et al., 2012; Gimbert et al., 2014; Chao et al., 2015); downflow of dense brines from chaos regions on Europa into its underlying ocean (Sotin et al. 2002), possibly resembling riverine flows and flows through glacial channels (Tsai and Rice 2012); ocean acoustic signals that couple with the overlying ice to produce seismic waves, by analogy with Earth's ocean-generated seismic hum (Kedar 2011, Ardhuin 2015). Ardhuin, F., Gualtieri, L., and Stutzmann, E. (2015). GRL., 42. Cammarano, F., Lekic, V., Manga, M., Panning, M., and Romanowicz, B. (2006

  2. The Radial Dependence of Tidal Deformation in Europa's Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, M.; Bills, B. G.; Mitchell, J.

    2013-12-01

    We present results of an elastic-gravitational stress-strain model, used to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of tidal stress, both at the surface and within the ice shell of Europa. By computing the tidal displacements in an elastic ice shell floating on a liquid water ocean and using a range of current and past projected orbital and rotational parameters, we examine the magnitudes and orientations of the tidal stress tensors on a grid of locations throughout Europa's ice shell and time. Preliminary results indicate elastic Love numbers for Europa, with a 20km ice shell, of (h2=1.20, l2=0.32, k2=0.24). These numbers agree well with surface results from previously published deformation models. Probing the interior of the ice shell, we find that the presence of a sub-surface fluid layer significantly increases both radial and tangential components of displacement within the shell, compared to a completely solid system. Furthermore, within the shell both components of displacement peak at the shell base and decrease towards the surface. Correspondingly, normal stress decreases with radius. We have also found that, as expected, shear stresses peak at the mid-plane of the shell. Importantly, it should be noted that as opposed to the outer surface, which is void of radial tractions, the interior of the shell exhibits the full stress tensor. The complex network of linear fractures on Europa's surface is a record of the satellite's history of tectonic processing. These fractures are interpreted as material failure due to a time varying tidal stress field. Most tidal fracture models focus on propagation of existing features at the surface. One goal of our study is to compare stress conditions at depth, within the shell, to those at the surface. Due to vanishing shear stress, at the top and bottom of the shell, we expect maximum deviatoric stress to occur near its mid-plane. With an appropriate failure criterion, knowledge of the true location of maximum stress will

  3. The evil twin of Agenor: tectonic convergence on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, Richard

    2004-02-01

    The dilemma of the surface-area budget on Europa is resolved by identification of sites of crustal convergence, which have balanced the continual and common creation of new surface along dilational bands and pull-aparts. Convergence bands are characterized by a distinctive, albeit subdued, morphology. The prominent, unusual lineament Agenor is one of several examples. We also find diametrically opposite Agenor a similar bright linear feature surrounded by markings that allow reconstruction, which shows it to be a convergence feature. Until recently, identification of convergence sites was difficult because these features are subtle and do not exhibit structures (like the Himalayas or plate subduction) familiar from convergence of thick solid crusts on terrestrial planets.

  4. Evidence for sulphur implantation in Europa's UV absorption band

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lane, A. L.; Nelson, R. M.; Matson, D. L.

    1981-01-01

    The UV spectral characteristics of the Galilean satellites are investigated (using data from the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) spacecraft) as a function of the orbital position, large-scale areal variability, and temporal dynamics. The discovery of an absorption feature at 280 nm in Europa's reflection spectrum is reported and observations show that the absorption is strongest on the trailing hemisphere (central longitude 270 degrees). The feature resembles SO2 and seems to result from S-O bond formation between deeply implanted sulphur atoms and the adjacent damaged water-ice-lattice. The sulphur supposedly comes from energetic (hundreds of keV) sulphur ions that are present in the Jovian magnetosphere. An appropriate equilibrium condition can be found to match the observed spectral data if sputtering erosion occurs at no greater than approximately 20 meters per one billion years.

  5. Galileo's Multiinstrument Spectral View of Europa's Surface Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fanale, Fraser P.; Granahan, James C.; McCord, Thomas B.; Hansen, Gary; Hibbitts, Charles A.; Carlson, Robert; Matson, Dennis; Ocampo, Adriana; Kamp, Lucas; Smythe, William; Leader, Frank; Mehlman, Robert; Greeley, Ronald; Sullivan, Robert; Geissler, Paul; Barth, Charles; Hendrix, Amanda; Clark, Beth; Helfenstein, Paul; Veverka, Joseph; Belton, Michael J. S.; Becker, Kris; Becker, Tammy; Galileo NIMS, SSI, UVS instrument Teams

    1999-06-01

    We have combined spectral reflectance data from the Solid State Imaging (SSI) experiment, the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), and the Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) in an attempt to determine the composition and implied genesis of non-H2O components in the optical surface of Europa. We have considered four terrains: (1) the "dark terrains" on the trailing hemisphere, (2) the "mottled terrain," (3) the linea on the leading hemisphere, and (4) the linea embedded in the dark terrain on the trailing hemisphere. The darker materials in these terrains exhibit remarkably similar spectra in both the visible and near infrared. In the visible, a downturn toward shorter wavelengths has been attributed to sulfur. The broad concentrations of dark material on the trailing hemisphere was originally thought to be indicative of exogenic sulfur implantation. While an exogenic cause is still probable, more recent observations by the UVS team at higher spatial resolution have led to their suggestions that the role of the bombardment may have primarily been to sputter away overlying ice and to reveal underlying endogenic non-H2O contaminants. If so, this might explain why the spectra in all these terrains are so similar despite the fact that the contaminants in the linea are clearly endogenic and those in the mottled terrain are almost certainly so. In the near infrared, all these terrains exhibit much more asymmetrical bands at 1.4 and 2.0 μm at shorter wavelengths than spectra from elsewhere on Europa. It has been argued that this is because the water molecules are bound in hydrated salts. However, this interpretation has been challenged and it has also been argued that pure coarse ice can exhibit such asymmetric bands under certain conditions. The nature of this controversy is briefly discussed, as are theoretical and experimental studies bearing on this problem.

  6. Geology and Origin of Europa's Mitten Feature (Murias Chaos)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Figueredo, P. H.; Chuang, F. C.; Rathbun, J.; Kirk, R. L.; Greeley, R.

    2002-01-01

    The "Mitten" (provisionally named Murias Chaos by the International Astronomical Union) is a region of elevated chaos-like terrain in the leading hemisphere of Europa. Its origin had been explained under the currently debated theories of melting through a thin lithosphere or convection within a thick one. Galileo observations reveal several characteristics that suggest that the Mitten is distinct from typical chaos terrain and point to a different formational process. Photoclinometric elevation estimates suggest that the Mitten is slightly elevated with respect to the surrounding terrain; geologic relations indicate that it must have raised significantly from the plains in its past, resembling disrupted domes on Europa's trailing hemisphere. Moreover, the Mitten material appears to have extruded onto the plains and flowed for tens of kilometers. The area subsequently subsided as a result of isostatic adjustment, viscous relaxation, and/or plains loading. Using plate flexure models, we estimated the elastic lithosphere in the area to be several kilometers thick. We propose that the Mitten originated by the ascent and extrusion of a large thermal diapir. Thermal-mechanical modeling shows that a Mitten-sized plume would remain sufficiently warm and buoyant to pierce through the crust and flow unconfined on the surface. Such a diapir probably had an initial radius between 5 and 8 km and an initial depth of 20-40 km, consistent with a thick-lithosphere model. In this scenario the Mitten appears to represent the surface expression of the rare ascent of a large diapir, in contrast to lenticulae and chaos terrain, which may form by isolated and clustered small diapirs, respectively.

  7. Galileo's Multiinstrument Spectral View of Europa's Surface Composition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fanale, F.P.; Granahan, J.C.; McCord, T.B.; Hansen, G.; Hibbitts, C.A.; Carlson, R.; Matson, D.; Ocampo, A.; Kamp, L.; Smythe, W.; Leader, F.; Mehlman, R.; Greeley, R.; Sullivan, R.; Geissler, P.; Barth, C.; Hendrix, A.; Clark, B.; Helfenstein, P.; Veverka, J.; Belton, M.J.S.; Becker, K.; Becker, T.

    1999-01-01

    We have combined spectral reflectance data from the Solid State Imaging (SSI) experiment, the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), and the Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) in an attempt to determine the composition and implied genesis of non-H2O components in the optical surface of Europa. We have considered four terrains: (1) the "dark terrains" on the trailing hemisphere, (2) the "mottled terrain," (3) the linea on the leading hemisphere, and (4) the linea embedded in the dark terrain on the trailing hemisphere. The darker materials in these terrains exhibit remarkably similar spectra in both the visible and near infrared. In the visible, a downturn toward shorter wavelengths has been attributed to sulfur. The broad concentrations of dark material on the trailing hemisphere was originally thought to be indicative of exogenic sulfur implantation. While an exogenic cause is still probable, more recent observations by the UVS team at higher spatial resolution have led to their suggestions that the role of the bombardment may have primarily been to sputter away overlying ice and to reveal underlying endogenic non-H2O contaminants. If so, this might explain why the spectra in all these terrains are so similar despite the fact that the contaminants in the linea are clearly endogenic and those in the mottled terrain are almost certainly so. In the near infrared, all these terrains exhibit much more asymmetrical bands at 1.4 and 2.0 ??m at shorter wavelengths than spectra from elsewhere on Europa. It has been argued that this is because the water molecules are bound in hydrated salts. However, this interpretation has been challenged and it has also been argued that pure coarse ice can exhibit such asymmetric bands under certain conditions. The nature of this controversy is briefly discussed, as are theoretical and experimental studies bearing on this problem. ?? 1999 Academic Press.

  8. Geology and origin of Europa's "Mitten" feature (Murias Chaos)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Figueredo, P.H.; Chuang, F.C.; Rathbun, J.; Kirk, R.L.; Greeley, R.

    2002-01-01

    The "Mitten" (provisionally named Murias Chaos by the International Astronomical Union) is a region of elevated chaos-like terrain in the leading hemisphere of Europa. Its origin had been explained under the currently debated theories of melting through a thin lithosphere or convection within a thick one. Galileo observations reveal several characteristics that suggest that the Mitten is distinct from typical chaos terrain and point to a different formational process. Photoclinometric elevation estimates suggest that the Mitten is slightly elevated with respect to the surrounding terrain; geologic relations indicate that it must have raised significantly from the plains in its past, resembling disrupted domes on Europa's trailing hemisphere. Moreover, the Mitten material appears to have extruded onto the plains and flowed for tens of kilometers. The area subsequently subsided as a result of isostatic adjustment, viscous relaxation, and/or plains loading. Using plate flexure models, we estimated the elastic lithosphere in the area to be several kilometers thick. We propose that the Mitten originated by the ascent and extrusion of a large thermal diapir. Thermal-mechanical modeling shows that a Mitten-sized plume would remain sufficiently warm and buoyant to pierce through the crust and flow unconfined on the surface. Such a diapir probably had an initial radius between 5 and 8 km and an initial depth of 20-40 km, consistent with a thick-lithosphere model. In this scenario the Mitten appears to represent the surface expression of the rare ascent of a large diapir, in contrast to lenticulae and chaos terrain, which may form by isolated and clustered small diapirs, respectively.

  9. Emplacement of Volcanic Domes on Venus and Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Glaze, Lori S.; Baloga, Steve M.

    2015-01-01

    Placing firmer constraints on the emplacement timescales of visible volcanic features is essential to obtaining a better understanding of the resurfacing history of Venus. Fig. 1 shows a Magellan radar image and topography for a putative venusian lava dome. 175 such domes have been identified, having diameters that range from 19 - 94 km, and estimated thicknesses as great as 4 km [1-2]. These domes are thought to be volcanic in origin [3], having formed by the flow of a viscous fluid (i.e., lava) onto the surface. Among the unanswered questions surrounding the formation of Venus steep-sided domes are their emplacement duration, composition, and the rheology of the lava. Rheologically speaking, maintenance of extremely thick, 1-4 km flows necessitates higher viscosity lavas, while the domes' smooth upper surfaces imply the presence of lower viscosity lavas [2-3]. Further, numerous quantitative issues, such as the nature and duration of lava supply, how long the conduit remained open and capable of supplying lava, the volumetric flow rate, and the role of rigid crust in influencing flow and final morphology all have implications for subsurface magma ascent and local surface stress conditions. The surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa exhibits many putative cryovolcanic constructs [5-7], and previous workers have suggested that domical positive relief features imaged by the Galileo spacecraft may be volcanic in origin [5,7-8] (Fig. 2). Though often smaller than Venus domes, if emplaced as a viscous fluid, formation mechanisms for europan domes may be similar to those of venusian domes [7]. Models for the emplacement of venusian lava domes (e.g. [9-10]) have been previously applied to the formation of putative cryolava domes on Europa [7].

  10. Physical electron belt model from Jupiter surface out to Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sicard, A.; Bourdarie, S.

    2003-04-01

    The three dimensional model, Salammbo-3D, has been developed to study spatial distribution of electron in the inner radiation belts of Jupiter. In a first time, this model was valid between L = 1 and L = 6, just inside Io orbit. Now, it has been extended up to L = 9.5, just inside Europa orbit. To allow this extension, a more realistic magnetic field than the tilted dipole magnetic field, used before, has been introduced. Two magnetic field models are available: the model of Connerney (1981) and the one of Khurana (1997). Both of them are composed of two parts: an internal magnetic field (derivable of a scalar potential) and a external magnetic field (due to the current sheet). Results deduced from Salammbo-3D, using these two different models, will be shown and compared. Two important results come out from this study. Firstly, the extension of our model outside Io orbit aims to show that Io do not play any role on relativistic electron dynamics i.e. it do not create losses of particles like Amalthea, Thebe and first two moons. The second important result is that external field, due to current sheet, only change radiation belts topology for L > 5. Then, to validate our 3D code from the Jovian surface up to Europa orbit, the results will be compared with two kinds of observations. A first comparison will be done with spacecraft data (Pioneer 10 and 11) and a second with radio observation (VLA). Indeed, with the help of Salammbo-3D and a synchrotron emission model, in situ 2D images of Jupiter synchrotron emission can be deduced. It is then possible to investigate on the global radiation belts shape by comparing simulations and VLA observations.

  11. Multistage evolution and variable motion history of Agenor Linea, Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyer, Lauren; Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Watkeys, Michael K.

    2014-04-01

    Europa, the second Galilean moon of Jupiter, is composed of a silicate mantle and an ice shell which overlies a supposed subsurface ocean. The surface of Europa is scarred with fractures varying in morphology, dimensions, and geometry. We focus on Agenor Linea: a ∼1500 km bright band that extends across Europa’s antijovian to trailing southern hemisphere. Agenor Linea is morphologically a band-like strike-slip fault; however, it experienced at least three evolutionary growth phases marked by three zones of varying albedo, each with a different geological history. Structures within the band material and kinematic indicators are consistent with formation through oblique left-lateral dilation, followed by normal dilation and right-lateral strike-slip movement, or combinations thereof. These motions produced a cumulative maximum right-lateral offset of 29.5 km and a maximum band width of 34 km. We interpret Agenor Linea to have formed primarily in response to the combined effects of nonsynchronous rotation stress and diurnal tidal flexing. If so, its orientation is optimal for right-lateral oblique opening in the current global stress field, consistent with its most recent kinematic behavior. A small amount of offset of relatively young tension fractures that postdate cryospheric disruption by lenticulae suggest the possibility of ongoing activity along Agenor. In contrast to a previously published model in which strike-slip duplexing was the primary process of band formation, this study shows that initial dilation of three distinct morphological zones under disparate stress orientations preceded strike-slip motion that resulted in both localized and distributed deformation features within the zones across the width of the band.

  12. Mapping the Ice Depth of Europa with Ultrahigh Energy Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero-Wolf, A.; Naudet, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    There has been recent interest in applying radio emission of ultra-high energy neutrinos interacting in the ice of Europa. The idea was first described by Gorham (2004)[1] in the context of ultra-high energy particle detection. Shoji, Kurita, and Tanaka (2011)[2] proposed a technique for measuring ice depth using the radio intensity distribution of radio impulses emitted by interactions deep in the Europan ice. Miller, Schaefer, and Sequeira (2012)[3] follow up this study with a simulation of a radio detector mission to constrain the ice depth of Europa. The radio signal results from an effect proposed by Askar'yan (1962)[4] where the particle shower induced by the neutrino interaction accumulates a charge excess traveling faster than the speed of light in the medium and produces a coherent Cherenkov pulse at radio frequencies. We evaluate the feasibility of such a mission given the current state of knowledge of ultra-high energy particle detection and radio pulse production. References [1] Gorham (2004), Planet-sized Detectors for Ultra-high Energy Neutrinos & Cosmic Rays, NASA Advanced Planning Office's Capability Roadmap Public Workshop, Nov. 30, 2004, astro-ph/0411510 [2] Shoji, Kurita, and Tanaka (2011), Constraint of Europan ice thickness by measuring electromagnetic emissions induced by neutrino interaction, Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L08202 [3] Miller, Shaefer, Sequeira, PRIDE (Passive Radio [frequency] Ice Depth Experiment): An instrument to passively measure ice depth from a Europan orbiter using neutrinos, Icarus 220 877-888 [4] Askar'yan (1962), Excess negative charge of an electron photon shower and its coherent radiation originating from it. Radio recording of showers under the ground and on the Moon, Sov. Phys. JETP, 14, 441-443.

  13. Tidal Love numbers of membrane worlds: Europa, Titan, and Co.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuthe, Mikael

    2015-09-01

    Under tidal forcing, icy satellites with subsurface oceans deform as if the surface were a membrane stretched around a fluid layer. 'Membrane worlds' is thus a fitting name for these bodies and membrane theory provides the perfect toolbox to predict tidal effects. I describe here a new membrane approach to tidal perturbations based on the general theory of viscoelastic-gravitational deformations of spherically symmetric bodies. The massive membrane approach leads to explicit formulas for viscoelastic tidal Love numbers which are exact in the limit of zero crust thickness. Formulas for load Love numbers come as a bonus. The accuracy on k2 and h2 is better than one percent if the crust thickness is less than five percents of the surface radius, which is probably the case for Europa and Titan. The new approach allows for density differences between crust and ocean and correctly includes crust compressibility. This last feature makes it more accurate than the incompressible propagator matrix method. Membrane formulas factorize shallow and deep interior contributions, the latter affecting Love numbers mainly through density stratification. I show that a screening effect explains why ocean stratification typically increases Love numbers instead of reducing them. For Titan, a thin and dense liquid layer at the bottom of a light ocean can raise k2 by more than ten percents. The membrane approach can also deal with dynamical tides in a non-rotating body. I show that a dynamical resonance significantly decreases the tilt factor and may thus lead to underestimating Europa's crust thickness. Finally, the dynamical resonance increases tidal deformations and tidal heating in the crust if the ocean thickness is of the order of a few hundred meters.

  14. Lake Vostok: An earthly analogue for the geomicrobiology on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priscu, J. C.; Christner, B. C.

    2007-12-01

    The recent discovery of more than 150 subglacial lakes beneath the Antarctic ice sheet has important implications in our search for liquid water and associated life on other icy worlds. The largest of these lakes is Lake Vostok, which has a surface area of 14000 square km and a depth of 1000 m, making it one of the largest lakes on Earth. Although we have yet to sample directly the liquid water from any of the Antarctic subglacial lakes, refrozen lakewater (accretion ice) has been sampled just above the surface of Lake Vostok. Genomic and geochemical analysis of this ice reveals that the surface lake water supports a microbial assemblage with a density approaching 1000 cells per milliliter. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 900 to 1000 base pair small subunit rRNA gene sequences obtained revealed a low diversity of clones that classify within the beta, gamma and delta subdivisions of the phylum Proteobacteria. Nearest phylogenetic neighbor analysis of these gene sequences imply that the lake contains an aerobic and anaerobic consortium of bacteria with metabolisms dedicated to iron and sulfur respiration or oxidation indicating that these metals play a role in the bioenergetics of microorganisms that occur in Lake Vostok. Sequence analysis further revealed that heterotrophic life in the lake can be sustained by chemolithotrophic production of new carbon supplemented by dissolved organic carbon released from the overlying ice sheet. Data obtained from orbiters have revealed that a deep ocean of liquid water lies under a thick chaotic ice cover on Europa where organic matter derived from comets and oxidants provided by radiation from Jupiter's magnetosphere may provide a habitat for life and a reservoir of endogenous and exogenous substances much like we observe in Lake Vostok. Future studies of Antarctic subglacial lake environments will play a crucial role in our understanding of life on Europa and other frozen worlds.

  15. Biosignature detection at an Arctic analog to Europa.

    PubMed

    Gleeson, Damhnait F; Pappalardo, R T; Anderson, M S; Grasby, S E; Mielke, R E; Wright, K E; Templeton, A S

    2012-02-01

    The compelling evidence for an ocean beneath the ice shell of Europa makes it a high priority for astrobiological investigations. Future missions to the icy surface of this moon will query the plausibly sulfur-rich materials for potential indications of the presence of life carried to the surface by mobile ice or partial melt. However, the potential for generation and preservation of biosignatures under cold, sulfur-rich conditions has not previously been investigated, as there have not been suitable environments on Earth to study. Here, we describe the characterization of a range of biosignatures within potentially analogous sulfur deposits from the surface of an Arctic glacier at Borup Fiord Pass to evaluate whether evidence for microbial activities is produced and preserved within these deposits. Optical and electron microscopy revealed microorganisms and extracellular materials. Elemental sulfur (S⁰), the dominant mineralogy within field samples, is present as rhombic and needle-shaped mineral grains and spherical mineral aggregates, commonly observed in association with extracellular polymeric substances. Orthorhombic α-sulfur represents the stable form of S⁰, whereas the monoclinic (needle-shaped) γ-sulfur form rosickyite is metastable and has previously been associated with sulfide-oxidizing microbial communities. Scanning transmission electron microscopy showed mineral deposition on cellular and extracellular materials in the form of submicron-sized, needle-shaped crystals. X-ray diffraction measurements supply supporting evidence for the presence of a minor component of rosickyite. Infrared spectroscopy revealed parts-per-million level organics in the Borup sulfur deposits and organic functional groups diagnostic of biomolecules such as proteins and fatty acids. Organic components are below the detection limit for Raman spectra, which were dominated by sulfur peaks. These combined investigations indicate that sulfur mineral deposits may contain

  16. Photochemistry-emission coupled model for Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cessateur, Gaël; Barthelemy, Mathieu; Peinke, Isabel

    2016-03-01

    In the frame of the JUICE mission, preliminary studies of the Jupiter's icy moons, such as Ganymede and Europa, are mandatory. The present paper aims at characterizing the impact of the solar UV flux and its variability on their atmospheres. The solar UV radiation is responsible for the photoionization, photodissociation, and photoexcitation processes within planetary atmospheres. A 1-D photoabsorption model has been developed for different observational geometries, on the basis of a neutral atmospheric model. Considering various production and loss mechanisms but also the transport of oxygen atoms, we estimate the red and green line emissions from photo impact-induced excitation only. These dayglow emissions can represent few percent of the global airglow emission, mainly dominated by electron-induced excitation in auroral regions. For limb viewing conditions, red line emission is bright enough to be detected from actual spectrometers, from 338 R to 408 R according to the solar activity. This is also the case for the green line with 8 R at limb viewing. Considering a different neutral atmosphere model, with an O2 column density 50% more important, leads to a 14% increase in the red line emissions for limb viewing close to the surface. This difference could be important enough to infer which neutral model is the most likely. However, uncertainties on the solar UV flux might also prevent to constrain the O2 column density when using ground-based observations in the visible only. The impact of solar flares on the red line emissions for Europa has also been investigated within a planetary space weather context.

  17. A Compositional Map of the Tyre Region of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This composite image of part of the Jupiter moon, Europa, shows the distribution of ice and minerals for the structure named Tyre. The image was created with data from Galileo's Solid State Imaging (SSI) camera and the Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS). Tyre, the circular feature, is 140 kilometers in diameter (about the size of the island of Hawaii) and is thought to be the site where an asteroid or comet impacted Europa's ice crust. The blue in this image indicates areas with higher concentrations of mineral salts. These salts are similar in composition to those found in the bottom of Death Valley, California. The yellow-orange regions are areas that have a high surface abundance of water ice. The center of this impact feature (located at 34 degrees latitude and 146.5 degrees longitude) appears to have a surface composed of coarse-grained ice. This composite image is approximately 214 kilometers wide and is the product of a SSI image of 595 meters per picture element and a NIMS 6.26 kilometer per picture element observation. The SSI image and NIMS data were obtained on April 4, 1997 at ranges of 703,776 and 688,737 kilometers respectively. This image is projected like a map where north is up and is illuminated by sunlight coming from the west.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  18. High Resolution Mosaic of Ridges, Plains, and Mountains on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This mosaic shows some of the highest resolution images obtained by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft during its eleventh orbit around Jupiter. North is to the top of the image. The sun illuminates the scene from the left, showing hundreds of ridges that cut across each other, indicating multiple episodes of ridge formation either by volcanic or tectonic activity within the ice. Also visible in the image are numerous isolated mountains or 'massifs'. The highest of these, located in the upper right corner and lower center of the mosaic, are approximately 500 meters (1,640 feet) high. Irregularly shaped areas where the ice surface appears to be lower than the surrounding plains (e.g., in the left-center and lower left corner of the mosaic) may be related to the 'chaos' areas of iceberg-like features seen in earlier SSI images of Europa.

    The mosaic, centered at 35.4 degrees north latitude and 86.8 degrees west longitude, covers an area of 108 kilometers by 90 kilometers (66 miles by 55 miles). The smallest distinguishable features in the image are about 68 meters (223 feet) across. These images were obtained on November 6, 1997, when the Galileo spacecraft was approximately 3,250 kilometers (1,983 miles) from Europa.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is a division of California Institute of Technology.

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo

  19. Why Aren't All Ridges on Europa Cycloidal?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Hurford, T. A.

    2008-09-01

    Europa's arcuate cycloidal ridges formed in response to the rotating diurnal tidal stress field. However, most ridges are not cycloidal but are linear over great distances (>100s of km). Their orientations adequately fit a global stress field induced by a few degrees of nonsynchronous rotation (NSR) superimposed on the diurnal field, but only at the point in the orbit when tensile stress is maximized. At other times, linear ridges do not fit the pattern of stresses, unlike cycloids, which grow throughout a good portion of an orbit and are therefore very curved. Why does the ever-present diurnal stress field only sometimes dominate, creating cycloids? When do linear ridges grow? Was there an "age of cycloids” that heralded a fundamental change in europan tectonics, or simply a temporal oscillation between the two crack styles? We consider the relative merits of scenarios in which linear ridges: (1) only grow when stresses are maximized in the orbit, lengthening incrementally over time; (2) develop almost instantaneously by dynamic growth during a "snapshot in time” stress field; or (3) form when some other source of global stress temporarily drowns out diurnal stresses. Scenario (3) is considered most likely. A temporally variable global stress history, perhaps related to ice shell thickness variability, may have controlled crack growth style. Linear ridges dominated whenever the NSR stress exceeded some threshold level. Early in Europa's history, a thinner ice shell may have been associated with a faster NSR rate, allowing NSR stresses to consistently overwhelm the diurnal component, suppressing the formation of cycloids. As the shell thickened, NSR stress accumulation slowed. Linear ridge growth episodes relieved NSR stress, creating periods (perhaps many 1000s of years in duration) during which diurnal stresses dominated, conducive to cycloid development. Hence, there was overlap in the timing of cycloidal and linear ridge development.

  20. Wireline deep drill for exploration of Mars, Europa, and Enceladus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zacny, K.; Paulsen, G.; Bar-Cohen, Y.; Beegle, L.; Sherrit, S.; Badescu, M.; Mellerowicz, B.; Rzepiejewska, O.; Craft, J.; Sadick, S.; Corsetti, F.; Ibarra, Y.; Bao, Xiaoqi; Lee, Hyeone Jae; Abbey, B.

    One of the most pressing current questions in space science is whether life has ever arisen anywhere else in the universe. Water is a critical prerequisite for all life-as-we-know-it, thus the possible exploration targets for extraterrestrial life are bodies that have or had copious liquid: Mars, Europa, and Enceladus. Due to the oxidizing nature of Mars' surface, as well as subsurface liquid water reservoirs present on Europa and Enceladus, the search for evidence of existing life must likely focus on subsurface locations, at depths sufficient to support liquid water or retain biologic signatures. To address these questions, an Auto-Gopher sampler has been developed that is a wireline type drill. This drill is suspended on a tether and its motors and mechanisms are built into a tube that ends with a coring bit. The tether provides the mechanical connection to a rover/lander on a surface as well as power and data communication. Upon penetrating to a target depth, the drill is retracted from the borehole, the core is deposited into a sample transfer system, and the drill is lowered back into the hole. Wireline operation sidesteps one of the major drawbacks of traditional continuous drill string systems by obviating the need for multiple drill sections, which add significantly to the mass and the complexity of the system. The Auto-gopher has been successfully tested in a laboratory environment in rock to a depth of 2 m. Field testing of the drill took place in November, 2012 at the US Gypsum quarry outside Borrego Springs, CA. The drill successfully penetrated to over 3 m depth with an average penetration rate of 1 m/hr.

  1. Rheology of Lava Flows on Europa and the Emergence of Cryovolcanic Domes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Glaze, Lori S.; Baloga, Steve M.

    2015-01-01

    There is ample evidence that Europa is currently geologically active. Crater counts suggest that the surface is no more than 90 Myr old, and cryovolcanism may have played a role in resurfacing the satellite in recent geological times. Europa's surface exhibits many putative cryovolcanic features, and previous investigations have suggested that a number of domes imaged by the Galileo spacecraft may be volcanic in origin. Consequently, several Europa domes have been modeled as viscous effusions of cryolava. However, previous models for the formation of silicic domes on the terrestrial planets contain fundamental shortcomings. Many of these shortcomings have been alleviated in our new modeling approach, which warrants a re-assessment of the possibility of cryovolcanic domes on Europa.

  2. Bioluminescence: A Potentially Convergent Signature of Life in Future Exploration of Europa's Subsurface Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores Martinez, C. L.

    2014-02-01

    This presentation deals with theoretical and evolutionary aspects pertaining to the nature and degree of biological complexity that is expectable among putative organisms on Europa. Bioluminescence is suggested as a new type of biosignature.

  3. Plumes and Tides on Europa - Implications from the 2015 HST Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoden, A.; Hurford, T., Jr.; Roth, L.; Retherford, K. D.

    2015-12-01

    Two plumes of water vapor emanating from Europa's southern leading hemisphere provide the best explanation for UV emissions detected by HST in Dec 2012 (Roth et al., 2014a). The detection occurred when Europa was near its orbital apocenter; there was no indication of plumes in two previous observations that occurred near pericenter. A southern location and cyclic activity peaking at apocenter are characteristic of Enceladus' plumes (Porco et al., 2006; Spencer et al., 2006; Hedman et al., 2013), which led to the suggestion that Europa also has long-lived, active plumes controlled by tides (Roth et al., 2014a). However, two subsequent observations did not result in a repeat detection, even when Europa was again near apocenter (Roth et al., 2014b). Because tidal stresses caused by eccentricity, the supposed control mechanism of Enceladus' plumes (Hurford et al., 2007; Nimmo et al., 2014), repeat exactly over each orbit, the lack of a repeat detection challenged the interpretation of tidally-modulated plumes on Europa. In Rhoden et al. (2015), we considered the role of Europa's tilted and precessing spin pole in modulating the eruption timing of the plumes. We found that, for a range of plausible precession rates (see Bills et al., 2009), tidal stresses could change substantially over subsequent orbits even for the same fracture orientation, location, and time in Europa's orbit. We then identified subsets of fractures that would have been in tension when the plumes were detected and in compression during the other four observations. An additional 15 HST observations of Europa have now been conducted over a wide range of true anomalies, with no plumes detected. Whether we would predict plumes at these times - due to tidal stress - depends on the precession rate we assume for Europa. We use the approach presented in Rhoden et al. (2015) to simultaneously fit all 20 HST observations to determine whether any fractures on Europa would be compatible with long-lived, tidally

  4. Kinetic modeling of Europa's neutral atmosphere and pick-up ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenishev, V.; Rubin, M.; Borovikov, D.; Jia, X.; Combi, M. R.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2013-12-01

    Europa was the highest priority outer planet exploration target in the 2007 NASA Science Plan, the 2006 Solar System Exploration Roadmap, and the 2003 planetary sciences Decadal Survey. The in-depth exploration of the plasma environment of Jupiter's moon Europa and investigation of its interaction with moon's surface and atmosphere remains a central objective of any proposed Europa Jupiter System Mission. The neutral species in Europa's atmosphere are mostly provided by ion sputtering of the water ice surface. Energetic ions and electrons from the Jovian magnetosphere produce molecular oxygen O2, the dominant species in Europa's atmosphere. Very close to the moon's surface the probability for collisional interaction between the species is close to the limit for a surface bound exosphere. The main loss mechanisms for neutrals are electron impact ionization, photoionization, as well as escape when neutral particles leave Europa's Hill sphere at roughly 8.7 Europa radii. The neutral and plasma environment of Europa are a tightly coupled system. A detailed study of this system requires coupled models of both the plasma and neutral environment. In this study we use coupled state-of-the-art computer models developed at the University of Michigan. In particular we include the BATSRUS MHD code of the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) and the Adaptive Mesh Particle Simulator (AMPS) model based on the DSMC method that both have well proven heritage in numerous space applications. In this investigation we calculate the plasma distribution in the vicinity of Europa at different locations along its orbit. The energetic ion flux derived from these calculations is used for simulation of the neutral particle sputtering that form Europa's atmosphere. The subsequent ionization of these neutral particles is the source of the pick-up ions. Populations of the neutrals and ions are calculated by tracing trajectories of the individual particles with accounting for both Europa

  5. The Europa Clipper and Orbiter Mission Concepts: Innovative Approaches for Exploring Europa’s Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senske, David A.; Prockter, L.; Pappalardo, R.; Patterson, W.; Vance, S.; Science Definition, Europa; Technical Teams

    2012-10-01

    Europa is unique among the large icy satellites because it probably has a long-lived saltwater ocean beneath an ice shell that is geodynamically active. The combination of irradiation of its surface and tidal heating of its interior could make Europa a rich source of chemical energy for life. Direct contact of the ocean with a rocky mantle and potential hydrothermal activity could provide energy and nutrients to support biological activity. NASA has enlisted a study team to consider Europa mission options feasible over the next decade, compatible with NASA’s projected planetary science budget and addressing Planetary Decadal Survey priorities. Two Europa mission concepts (Orbiter and multiple flyby_call the “Clipper”) are undergoing continued study with the goal to “Explore Europa to investigate its habitability.” The Orbiter and Clipper architectures lend themselves to specific types of scientific measurements. The Orbiter concept is tailored to geophysical science that requires being in orbit at Europa. This would include confirming the existence of and characterizing the ocean along with mapping of the global morphology and topography. This architecture provides for radiation-shielded instruments with low mass, power, and data rate. The Clipper concept focuses on remote sensing science that could be accomplished through multiple close flybys of Europa. This would include exploring the ice shell for evidence of liquid water within or beneath it along with exploring the composition of the surface and atmosphere. Morphologic and topographic mapping would also be done. This architecture can provide for radiation-shielded instruments with higher mass, power, and data rate. NASA has directed the Europa team to evaluate, within a cost constrained budget, the ability of the Orbiter concept to characterize the ice shell and surface composition, and for the Clipper concept to address investigations to characterize the ocean. The status of these updated concepts

  6. A multifluid magnetohydrodynamic simulation of the interaction between Jupiter's magnetosphere and its moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, M.; Jia, X.; Altwegg, K.; Combi, M. R.; Daldorff, L. K. S.; Gombosi, T. I.; Khurana, K. K.; Kivelson, M.; Tenishev, V.; Toth, G.; van der Holst, B.; Wurz, P.

    2015-12-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa is believed to contain a subsurface water ocean whose finite electrical conductance imposes clear induction signatures on the magnetic field in its surroundings. The evidence rests heavily on measurements performed by the magnetometer on board the Galileo spacecraft during multiple flybys of the moon. Europa's interaction with the Jovian magnetosphere has become a major target of research in planetary science, partly because of the potential of a salty ocean to harbor life outside our own planet. Thus it is of considerable interest to develop numerical simulations of the Europa-Jupiter interaction that can be compared with data in order to refine our knowledge of Europa's subsurface structure. In this presentation we show aspects of Europa's interaction with the Jovian magnetosphere extracted from a multifluid magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) code BATS-R-US recently developed at the University of Michigan. The model dynamically separates magnetospheric and pick-up ions and is capable of capturing some of the physics previously accessible only to kinetic approaches. The model utilizes an adaptive grid to maintain the high spatial resolution on the surface required to resolve the portion of Europa's neutral atmosphere with a scale height of a few tens of kilometers that is in thermal equilibrium. The model also derives the electron temperature, which is crucial to obtain the local electron impact ionization rates and hence the plasma mass loading in Europa's atmosphere. We compare our results with observations made by the plasma particles and fields instruments on the Galileo spacecraft to validate our model. We will show that multifluid MHD is able to reproduce the basic features of the plasma moments and magnetic field observations obtained during the Galileo E4 and E26 flybys at Europa.

  7. Interior Characterization of Europa using Magnetometry (ICEMAG): Probing the Europan Ocean and Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, C. A.; Jia, X.; Joy, S. P.; Khurana, K. K.; Murphy, N.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Weiss, B. P.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic induction is a powerful tool for probing the subsurface. The magnetometer on the Galileo mission to Jupiter found compelling evidence for subsurface oceans on Europa, Ganymede and Callisto; however, the single induction frequency measured did not allow characteristics of the ocean to be discerned. The Interior Characterization of Europa using MAGnetometry (ICEMAG) instrument, selected for NASA's Europa mission payload in May 2015, is designed to measure Europa's induction response at multiple frequencies with high accuracy. ICEMAG definitively assesses the ice shell thickness, and the conductivity and thickness of the subsurface ocean. This knowledge informs models of Europa's thermal evolution and allows evaluation of processes that have cycled material between the depths and the surface. Magnetic field measurements also determine the electrical currents associated with coupling of plumes to the corotating magnetospheric plasma and coupling of Europa to the Jovian ionosphere. ICEMAG utilizes UCLA fluxgate magnetic field sensors as well as JPL helium sensors in an integrated magnetic measurement system. The advent of laser-pumped helium sensors and advances in digital signal sampling enables an innovative multi-sensor magnetometer to be flown that is able to monitor spacecraft fields and maintain absolute accuracy of the measurement at a level of ~1 nT over time scales of years, without special maneuvers such as spacecraft rolls.

  8. Evidence for non-synchronous rotation of Europa. Galileo Imaging Team.

    PubMed

    Geissler, P E; Greenberg, R; Hoppa, G; Helfenstein, P; McEwen, A; Pappalardo, R; Tufts, R; Ockert-Bell, M; Sullivan, R; Greeley, R; Belton, M J; Denk, T; Clark, B; Burns, J; Veverka, J

    1998-01-22

    Non-synchronous rotation of Europa was predicted on theoretical grounds, by considering the orbitally averaged torque exerted by Jupiter on the satellite's tidal bulges. If Europa's orbit were circular, or the satellite were comprised of a frictionless fluid without tidal dissipation, this torque would average to zero. However, Europa has a small forced eccentricity e approximately 0.01 , generated by its dynamical interaction with Io and Ganymede, which should cause the equilibrium spin rate of the satellite to be slightly faster than synchronous. Recent gravity data suggest that there may be a permanent asymmetry in Europa's interior mass distribution which is large enough to offset the tidal torque; hence, if non-synchronous rotation is observed, the surface is probably decoupled from the interior by a subsurface layer of liquid or ductile ice. Non-synchronous rotation was invoked to explain Europa's global system of lineaments and an equatorial region of rifting seen in Voyager images. Here we report an analysis of the orientation and distribution of these surface features, based on initial observations made by the Galileo spacecraft. We find evidence that Europa spins faster than the synchronous rate (or did so in the past), consistent with the possibility of a global subsurface ocean. PMID:9450751

  9. Two-Species, 3D, MHD Simulation of Europa's Interaction with Jupiter's Magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Yifan; Nagy, Andrew F.; Kabin, Konstantin; Combi, Michael R.; DeZeeuw, Darren L.; Gombosi, Tamas I.; Powell, Kenneth G.

    2000-01-01

    The interaction of Europa with the Jovian a magnetosphere has been studied by using a two species in ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) numerical model. This model considers the upstream plasma in the Jovian magnetosphere and the molecular oxygen ions in the ionosphere of Europa, separately. We present results a from simulation studies, which take into account impact ionization, recombination, and the effect of a possible induced dipole magnetic field of Europa. The total mass loading of the magnetospheric flow and the ionization frequency used in the model are consistent with the estimates of Europa's ionosphere and atmosphere. The multi-species MHD equations are solved by using a finite volume, high-order, Godunov-type method on an adoptively refined unstructured grid, which allows a detailed modeling of the region near Europa's surface, while still resolving both the upstream region and the satellite's wake. We have paid special attention to the wake of Europa, in order to be able to make comparisons with the Galileo's E4 flyby observations, as well as other model calculations. The calculated escape flux of a O2+ down the tail was found to be about 5.6 x 10(exp 25) s(sup -1).

  10. Understanding Europa's Ice Shell and Subsurface Water Through Terestrial Analogs for Flyby Radar Sounding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blankenship, D. D.; Grima, C.; Young, D. A.; Schroeder, D. M.; Soderlund, K. M.; Gim, Y.; Plaut, J. J.; Patterson, G.; Moussessian, A.

    2015-12-01

    The recently approved NASA mission to Europa proposes to study this ice-covered moon of Jupiter though a series of fly-by observations of its surface and subsurface from a spacecraft in Jovian orbit. The science goal of this mission is to "explore Europa to investigate its habitability". One of the primary instruments in the selected scientific payload is a multi-frequency, multi-channel ice penetrating radar system. The "Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON)" will play a critical role in achieving the mission's habitability driven science objectives, which include characterizing the distribution of any shallow subsurface water, searching for an ice-ocean interface and evaluating a spectrum of ice-ocean-atmosphere exchange hypotheses. The development of successful measurement and data interpretation techniques for exploring Europa will need to leverage knowledge of analogous terrestrial environments and processes. Towards this end, we will discuss a range of terrestrial radioglaciological analogs for hypothesized physical, chemical, and biological processes on Europa and present airborne data collected with the University of Texas dual-frequency radar system over a variety of terrestrial targets. These targets include water filled fractures, brine rich ice, water lenses, accreted marine ice, and ice surfaces with roughness ranging from firn to crevasse fields and will provide context for understanding and optimizing the observable signature of these processes in future radar data collected at Europa.

  11. Examining Microbial Survival During Infall onto Europa: An Important Limit on the Origin of Potential European Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fries, M.; Conrad, P.; Matney, M.; Steele, A.

    2015-01-01

    Previous work shows that transfer of material from Earth to Europa is statistically possible, opening the question of whether terrestrial biota may have transferred to Europa to populate that world. Transfer of viable organisms is a function of parameters such as ejection shock, radiation exposure, and others, applied across four phases in the transfer process: ejection from the parent body, transport through interplanetary space, infall onto the target world, and biological adaptation. If terrestrial biota could survive transport to Europa, then biology on Europa may be either the product of a separate and unrelated origin or they are the descendants of transferred terrestrial organisms. If, however, transfer of viable organisms is impossible, then any biota present on Europa must be the product of a biological origin independent from terrestrial life. We will investigate the survival likelihood of material falling onto Europa.

  12. Ganymede Europa Neutral Imaging Experiment at the Jupiter's icy moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milillo, A.; Orsini, S.; Plainaki, C.; DeAngelis, E.; Argan, A.; Fierro, D.; Vertolli, N.; Danduras, I.; Selci, S.; Leoni, R.; Sheer, J.

    2012-04-01

    GENIE (Ganymede Europa Neutral Imaging Experiment) (energy range 10 eV - 10 keV) is a high-angular-resolution detector, based on the ToF technique. Its objective is to map the origin sites of the most energetic neutral particles of the icy moons' exospheres, in order to investigate the interaction between the surface and the environment. The investigation of plasma interaction with the Jupiter's moons and the processes responsible for surface space weathering is one of the coolest topics of the proposed Cosmic Vision mission JUICE since it directly relates to energy exchange within the Jupiter's system, to the moon evolution and finally to the habitability in the harsh radiative environment. Icy surfaces of the Jupiter's moons are continuously irradiated by intense ion fluxes of H+, O+ and S+ in the energy range from keV to MeV. These ions are expected to impact the moon icy surface producing relevant and observable effects such as particles release and chemical and structural modifications of the surface. In particular, the plasma impacting onto the surface causes, via ion-sputtering, radiolysis and backscattering processes, release of neutrals that constitute the exospheres. The energy spectrum of this particle population peaks in the eV range with a non-negligible tail up to hundred eVs. The knowledge of the effectiveness of these processes in this environment is important in order to understand the evolution of the moons and their interactions within the Jupiter's system. The detection of neutral atoms above few 10 eVs (LENA) is a way to univocally relate the exosphere to surface features and to monitor instantaneously the effect of plasma precipitation onto the surface. Thus, GENIE is fully complementary to INM spectrometer, devoted to infer exospheric composition and density. Coupled measurements of LENA and gas composition will improve our knowledge in surface release mechanisms. The observation of LENA at different latitudes and longitudes, resulting in a 2

  13. Development and testing of a Europa Penetrator for Astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijendran, S.; Perkinson, M.-C.; Waugh, L.; Ratcliffe, A.; Kennedy, T.; Church, P.; Fielding, J.; Taylor, N.

    2014-04-01

    Two phases of Penetrator development activities have been funded by ESA. The first phase focussed on the mission and system definition of a penetrator and delivery system for a mission to Europa and the second phase provided an update of the penetrator design for a larger suite of instruments focused on astrobiology and the demonstration of key system technologies through a programme of small scale and full scale testing. The science focus for the Europa penetrator is Astrobiology while the key science goals can be achieved within the first day of operation but a longer lifetime is required for the transmission of the science data to the orbiter. The extreme temperature environment of the Europan surface drove the design to a solution of a Penetrator with two separate bays. The front bay will be a short lifetime bay which will sample the surface and complete all analysis and data transfer within 10 hours. The rear bay is a warm bay which will house EPSC Abstracts Vol. 9, EPSC2014-642, 2014 European Planetary Science Congress 2014 c Author(s) 2014 EPSC European Planetary Science Congress the penetrator support systems required to transmit all collected data to the orbiter. The scientific instruments housed by the penetrator includeds a optical microimager, a habitability package and a mass spectrometer. A drilling and sampling mechanism is used for accessing the icy material outside the Penetrator for analysis. Small scale trails have been undertaken at the University of Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory to validate the impact modelling techniques and the robustness of critical components. A range of trials have been carried out to assess survivability of key elements of the design, including the sampling mechanism, potting compounds, accelerometers, shell, batteries and Torlon suspension springs. Full scale trials have been carried out to test the overall structural integrity of the system and the penetration profile. This programme was carried out in June 2013 at the

  14. Formation and Stability of Radiation Products in Europa's Icy Shell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, M. H.; Hudson, R. L.; Carlson, R. W.; Ferrante, R. F.

    2004-01-01

    Spectra of Europa reveal a surface dominated by water-ice along with hydrated materials and minor amounts of SO2, CO2, and H2O2. Jovian magnetospheric ions (protons, sulfur, and oxygen) and electrons produce significant chemical modifications of the surface on time scales of a few years at micrometer depths. Our laboratory studies examine the formation and stability of radiation products in H2O-rich ices relevant to Europa. Infrared (IR) spectra of ices before and after irradiation reveal the radiation destruction of molecules and the formation of products at 86 - 132 K. In addition, spectra of ices during warming track thermal evolution due to chemical changes and sublimation processes. IR-identified radiation products in 86 - 132 K irradiated H2O + SO2 ices are the bisulfate ion, HSO4(-), sulfate ion, SO4(2-) and the hydronium ion, H3O(+). Warming results in the formation of a residual spectrum similar to liquid sulfuric acid, H2SO4, for H2O:SO2 ratios of 30:1, whereas hydrated sulfuric acid, H2SO4 4 H2O, forms for ratios of 30:1. Radiation products identified for irradiated H2O + H2S ices at 86 K are H2S2 and SO2. When irradiated at 110 and 132 K, ices with H2O:H2S ratios if either 3:1 or 30:1 show the formation of H2SO4 4 H2O on warming to 175 K. We have also examined the radiation stability of H2SO4. Addition of CO2 to H2O + SO2 ices results in the formation of CO3 at 2046 cm (sup -1) (4.89 m). This is the strongest band from a carbon-containing product in the mid-IR spectral region, and it is also seen when either pure CO2 or H2O + CO2 ice is irradiated. Experiments with CH4 added to H2O + SO2 + CO2 ices addressed the question of methane's use as a marker of methanogens in an irradiated ice environment. New results on the near-IR spectrum of pure H2O2 will be included in this presentation. Interpretations of near-IR water bands, with H2O2 present, will be discussed. Irradiations of H2O2 and H2O + H2O2 mixtures, to examine the possibility of O2 and O3

  15. Geometry and spatial distribution of lenticulae on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culha, C.; Manga, M.

    2015-12-01

    Title: Geometry and spatial distribution of lenticulae on Europa Order of Authors: Cansu Culha (Stanford University); Michael Manga (University of California, Berkeley) The surface of Europa contains several types of elliptical features, collectively called lenticulae. These features may have positive relief (domes) or negative relief (pits), may disrupt the crust (chaos), or discolor the surface (spots); some lenticulae have attributes of both domes and chaos (dome/chaos). We map the location, dimensions and shapes of all these features and their interactions with other surface features. We find (1) pits and domes have similar sizes; (2) pits are clustered in certain regions of the surface whereas domes, dome/chaos, and chaos terrains are more uniformly distributed; (3) chaos are larger than the other lenticulae; (4) lineaments do not divert their paths around lenticulae. Taken together, these observations are consistent with conceptual models in which lenticulae are created by convection or intrusion of liquid water bodies within the ice shell. Additionally, the observations are consistent with the notion that each type of lenticulae is a surface expression of dynamics within the ice shell at a different stage of the lenticulae evolution. The similar size and shape of pits and domes suggests that one may evolve into the other. Because domes are more numerous and more uniformly distributed than pits, they are more likely to represent the end stage of this evolution assuming the end-stage leaves a longer-lasting surface expression. We find no examples of lineaments crossing pits but lineaments do cross some chaos, implying that pits are younger than chaos and consistent with pits being the earliest stage in the evolution of lenticulae. Models also predict that larger features are more likely to disrupt the crust, which is consistent with dome/chaos and chaos being larger than pits and domes. The absence of lineaments deflected by lenticulae implies either that the

  16. Integration of CubeSat Systems with Europa Surface Exploration Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erdoǧan, Enes; Inalhan, Gokhan; Kemal Üre, Nazım

    2016-07-01

    Recent studies show that there is a high probability that a liquid ocean exists under thick icy surface of Jupiter's Moon Europa. The findings also show that Europa has features that are similar to Earth, such as geological activities. As a result of these studies, Europa has promising environment of being habitable and currently there are many missions in both planning and execution level that target Europa. However, these missions usually involve extremely high budgets over extended periods of time. The objective of this talk is to argue that the mission costs can be reduced significantly by integrating CubeSat systems within Europa exploration missions. In particular, we introduce an integrated CubeSat-micro probe system, which can be used for measuring the size and depth of the hypothetical liquid ocean under the icy surface of Europa. The systems consist of an entry module that houses a CubeSat combined with driller measurement probes. Driller measurement probes deploy before the system hits the surface and penetrate the surface layers of Europa. Moreover, a micro laser probe could be used to examine the layers. This process enables investigation of the properties of the icy layer and the environment beneath the surface. Through examination of different scenarios and cost analysis of the components, we show that the proposed CubeSat systems has a significant potential to reduce the cost of the overall mission. Both subsystem requirements and launch prices of CubeSats are dramatically cheaper than currently used satellites. In addition, multiple CubeSats may be used to dominate wider area in space and they are expandable in face of potential failures. In this talk we discuss both the mission design and cost reduction aspects.

  17. Observations of Europa's Extended Atmosphere and Torus; Oxygen and the Discovery of Hydrogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, C. J.; Shemansky, D. E.; Hendrix, A. R.

    2003-05-01

    Cassini UVIS observed Europa in January 2001. With 0.25 mrad resolution we identify Europa as a point source of e- + O2 oxygen emission. We also recognize a spatially broader source apparently produced by electron and photon excitation of atomic oxygen. This second emission source may be indicative of a torus of atomic oxygen. Atomic hydrogen emission suggests a strong peak at Europa merged with a more complex spatially extended distribution, partially from a different source. UVIS observed Europa and its environment with 0.48 nm spectral resolution. The UVIS slit, with 64 spatial pixels, was oriented perpendicular to Jupiter's equatorial plane. The total extent of the slit was such that spatial coverage extended well beyond the orbital planes of the Galilean satellites. The total integration time in the January 6 observation was 17,000 seconds, and on January 12 integration time was 41,000 seconds. The UVIS data clearly shows the 130.4 nm and 135.6 nm emission features first detected by HST and attributed by Hall et al (1995) to a bound O2 atmosphere at Europa. These are actually atomic oxygen emission lines and using the intrinsic capability of the UVIS instrument we are able to identify both a closely bound O2 component to Europa's atmosphere and an extended atomic oxygen component. We will discuss the compatibility of our results with the torus of neutrals in Europa's orbit first reported by Mauk et al (2003) using the Cassini INCA instrument. We can identify the composition of this torus to be almost entirely hydrogen. Atomic oxygen forms a very minor component. We find the torus to be much smaller in extent than they reported, with a diameter of just 0.3 Jovian radii. Part of this work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Institute of Technology.

  18. Crack azimuths on Europa: The G1 lineament sequence revisited

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sarid, A.R.; Greenberg, R.; Hoppa, G.V.; Brown, D.M., Jr.; Geissler, P.

    2005-01-01

    The tectonic sequence in the anti-jovian area covered by regional mapping images from Galileo's orbit E15 is determined from a study of cross-cutting relationships among lineament features. The sequence is used to test earlier results from orbit G1, based on lower resolution images, which appeared to display a progressive change in azimuthal orientation over about 90?? in a clockwise sense. Such a progression is consistent with expected stress variations that would accompany plausible non-synchronous rotation. The more recent data provide a more complete record than the G1 data did. We find that to fit the sequence into a continual clockwise change of orientation would require at least 1000?? (> 5 cycles) of azimuthal rotation. If due to non-synchronous rotation of Europa, this result implies that we are seeing back further into the tectonic record than the G1 results had suggested. The three sets of orientations found by Geissler et al. now appear to have been spaced out over several cycles, not during a fraction of one cycle. While our more complete sequence of lineament formation is consistent with non-synchronous rotation, a statistical test shows that it cannot be construed as independent evidence. Other lines of evidence do support non-synchronous rotation, but azimuths of crack sequences do not show it, probably because only a couple of cracks form in a given region in any given non-synchronous rotation period. ?? 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Europa: Characterization and interpretation of global spectral surface units

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, M.L.; McCord, T.B.; Clark, R.N.; Johnson, T.V.; Matson, D.L.; Mosher, J.A.; Soderblom, L.A.

    1986-01-01

    The Voyager global multispectral mosaic of the Galilean satellite Europa (T. V. Johnson, L. A. Soderblom, J. A. Mosher, G. E. Danielson, A. F. Cook, and P. Kupferman, 1983, J. Geophys. Res. 88, 5789-5805) was analyzed to map surface units with similar optical properties (T. B. McCord, M. L. Nelson, R. N. Clark, A. Meloy, W. Harrison, T. V. Johnson, D. L. Matson, J. A. Mosher, and L. Soderblom, 1982, Bull Amer. Astron. Soc. 14, 737). Color assignments in the unit map are indicative of the spectral nature of the unit. The unit maps make it possible to infer extensions of the geologic units mapped by B. K. Lucchitta and L. A. Soderblom (1982, in Satellites of Jupiter, pp. 521-555, Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson) beyond the region covered in the high-resolution imagery. The most striking feature in the unit maps is a strong hemispheric asymmetry. It is seen most clearly in the ultraviolet/violet albedo ratio image, because the asymmetry becomes more intense as the wavelength decreases. It appears as if the surface has been darkened, most intensely in the center of the trailing hemisphere and decreasing gradually, essentially as the cosine of the angle from the antapex of motion, to a minimum in the center of the leading hemisphere. The cosine pattern suggests that the darkening is exogenic in origin and is interpreted as evidence of alteration of the surface by ion bombardment from the Jovian magnetosphere. ?? 1986.

  20. Wave Activity in Europa's Wake: Implications for Ion Pickup

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volwerk, M.; Kivelson, M. G.; Khurana, K. K.

    2001-01-01

    Intense wave power at frequencies near and below the cyclotron frequencies of heavy ions was detected in Europa's wake during the E11 and E15 flybys. The fluctuations are mainly transverse to the background magnetic field. Wave characteristics indicate that they are ion cyclotron waves driven by positively charged pickup ions. In both flybys there is evidence, derived from the wave polarization, for pickup of negatively charged chlorine ions. When the moon is near the center of the Jovian current sheet, the pickup rate inferred for the E15 flyby is larger than that for the E11 flyby, when the moon is outside the Jovian current sheet. The wave power does not provide exact pickup density values because the waves are observed in regions where their growth has not yet fully developed. At the edges of the wake region, low-frequency (< K+ gyrofrequency) magnetohydrodynamic waves are also present. We identify magnetic field signatures that are reminiscent of interchange/ballooning of mass-loaded flux tubes from the wake/pickup region expanding into ambient medium that is less dense.

  1. Infrared Detection of Evidence for Microscopic Organisms on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, J. B.; Mogul, R.

    2002-12-01

    The infrared detection of evidence for microorganisms on surfaces of icy satellites requires four conditions: (1) the emplacement of microorganisms at the surface, (2) the survival of biotic material in the hostile conditions of space, (3) that the biotic material exhibit diagnostic infrared absorption features and (4) spectra with sufficient resolution and signal-to-noise ratios. This paper will focus on each topic with respect to cryogenic data recently collected on model microorganisms. Several studies suggest that materials from a Europan interior ocean have been emplaced in disrupted regions[1-10]. If the Europan ocean at one time contained Life and its associated biomolecules, then it is possible that surface materials may still harbor some remnant of these structures. Such remnant material must be capable of surviving the low pressure, low temperature and high radiation environment. The terrestrial extremophile Deinococcus radiodurans has been found viable after exposure both to vacuum at temperatures as low as 80 K [11] and to 60 Gy/h of radiation[12]. The chemical degradation of D. radiodurans has also been shown to be dependent on plasma composition (O2 {>>} CO2)[13]. Hence, it is reasonable to assume that some degree of sterilization and degradation would be occurring at the surface of Europa. However, given the sputtering rate at Europa of approximately a few cm every few million years [14], it is possible that fresh material may be continually exposed from depths to which little radiation penetrates. Remote sensing of the surface, therefore, would not be dependent on the survival of the microorganism but on the endurance of the particular biomolecules that give rise to the spectral signature. This endurance is not unreasonable since previous studies have detected hydrated salts, which contain labile bonds to water, on Europa [3,15]. Cryogenic reflectance spectra of hydrated sulfate salts have broad (150-300 nm), asymmetric absorption features due to

  2. Tides on Membrane Worlds: Europa, Titan and Co.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuthe, M.

    2014-12-01

    Once seen as exotic, global subsurface oceans are now considered to be a likely feature of many large icy satellites, with Europa and Titan as prime candidates. Under tidal forcing, the icy crust deforms as a viscoelastic membrane decoupled from the deep interior by the ocean layer. Regarding tidal effects, these satellites thus deserve more to be called `membrane worlds' rather than `ocean worlds'. I describe here the viscoelastic membrane approach, a new powerful tool to compute all tidal effects in a laterally uniform crust with depth-dependent rheology. This approach leads to simple analytical formulas for viscoelastic tidal Love numbers, with an accuracy better than one percent for h2 and k2, and a few percents for l2. This accuracy is sufficient for most applications. Membrane formulas clearly show how Love numbers depend on the interior structure (primarily the crust rigidity, crust thickness, ocean density and mean density). This method also yields simple analytical formulas for viscoelastic tidal stresses and tidal dissipation in the crust. All in all, the viscoelastic membrane approach is a good alternative to software encoding the full theory of viscoelastic-gravitational deformations.

  3. The Europa Imaging System (EIS): High-Resolution, 3-D Insight into Europa's Geology, Ice Shell, and Potential for Current Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turtle, E. P.; McEwen, A. S.; Collins, G. C.; Fletcher, L. N.; Hansen, C. J.; Hayes, A.; Hurford, T., Jr.; Kirk, R. L.; Barr, A.; Nimmo, F.; Patterson, G.; Quick, L. C.; Soderblom, J. M.; Thomas, N.

    2015-12-01

    The Europa Imaging System will transform our understanding of Europa through global decameter-scale coverage, three-dimensional maps, and unprecedented meter-scale imaging. EIS combines narrow-angle and wide-angle cameras (NAC and WAC) designed to address high-priority Europa science and reconnaissance goals. It will: (A) Characterize the ice shell by constraining its thickness and correlating surface features with subsurface structures detected by ice penetrating radar; (B) Constrain formation processes of surface features and the potential for current activity by characterizing endogenic structures, surface units, global cross-cutting relationships, and relationships to Europa's subsurface structure, and by searching for evidence of recent activity, including potential plumes; and (C) Characterize scientifically compelling landing sites and hazards by determining the nature of the surface at scales relevant to a potential lander. The NAC provides very high-resolution, stereo reconnaissance, generating 2-km-wide swaths at 0.5-m pixel scale from 50-km altitude, and uses a gimbal to enable independent targeting. NAC observations also include: near-global (>95%) mapping of Europa at ≤50-m pixel scale (to date, only ~14% of Europa has been imaged at ≤500 m/pixel, with best pixel scale 6 m); regional and high-resolution stereo imaging at <1-m/pixel; and high-phase-angle observations for plume searches. The WAC is designed to acquire pushbroom stereo swaths along flyby ground-tracks, generating digital topographic models with 32-m spatial scale and 4-m vertical precision from 50-km altitude. These data support characterization of cross-track clutter for radar sounding. The WAC also performs pushbroom color imaging with 6 broadband filters (350-1050 nm) to map surface units and correlations with geologic features and topography. EIS will provide comprehensive data sets essential to fulfilling the goal of exploring Europa to investigate its habitability and perform

  4. The Europa Imaging System (EIS): High-Resolution, 3-D Insight into Europa's Geology, Ice Shell, and Potential for Current Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turtle, E. P.; McEwen, A. S.; Collins, G. C.; Fletcher, L. N.; Hansen, C. J.; Hayes, A.; Hurford, T., Jr.; Kirk, R. L.; Barr, A.; Nimmo, F.; Patterson, G.; Quick, L. C.; Soderblom, J. M.; Thomas, N.

    2014-12-01

    The Europa Imaging System will transform our understanding of Europa through global decameter-scale coverage, three-dimensional maps, and unprecedented meter-scale imaging. EIS combines narrow-angle and wide-angle cameras (NAC and WAC) designed to address high-priority Europa science and reconnaissance goals. It will: (A) Characterize the ice shell by constraining its thickness and correlating surface features with subsurface structures detected by ice penetrating radar; (B) Constrain formation processes of surface features and the potential for current activity by characterizing endogenic structures, surface units, global cross-cutting relationships, and relationships to Europa's subsurface structure, and by searching for evidence of recent activity, including potential plumes; and (C) Characterize scientifically compelling landing sites and hazards by determining the nature of the surface at scales relevant to a potential lander. The NAC provides very high-resolution, stereo reconnaissance, generating 2-km-wide swaths at 0.5-m pixel scale from 50-km altitude, and uses a gimbal to enable independent targeting. NAC observations also include: near-global (>95%) mapping of Europa at ≤50-m pixel scale (to date, only ~14% of Europa has been imaged at ≤500 m/pixel, with best pixel scale 6 m); regional and high-resolution stereo imaging at <1-m/pixel; and high-phase-angle observations for plume searches. The WAC is designed to acquire pushbroom stereo swaths along flyby ground-tracks, generating digital topographic models with 32-m spatial scale and 4-m vertical precision from 50-km altitude. These data support characterization of cross-track clutter for radar sounding. The WAC also performs pushbroom color imaging with 6 broadband filters (350-1050 nm) to map surface units and correlations with geologic features and topography. EIS will provide comprehensive data sets essential to fulfilling the goal of exploring Europa to investigate its habitability and perform

  5. Hydrated salt minerals on Europa's Surface from the Galileo near-infrared mapping spectrometer (NIMS) investigation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCord, T.B.; Hansen, G.B.; Matson, D.L.; Johnson, T.V.; Crowley, J.K.; Fanale, F.P.; Carlson, R.W.; Smythe, W.D.; Martin, P.D.; Hibbitts, C.A.; Granahan, J.C.; Ocampo, A.

    1999-01-01

    We reported evidence of heavily hydrated salt minerals present over large areas of Europa's surface from analysis of reflectance spectra returned by the Galileo mission near infrared mapping spectrometer (NIMS) [McCord et al., 1997a, b, 1998a, b]. Here we elaborate on this earlier evidence, present spatial distributions of these minerals, examine alternate water-ice interpretations, expand on our hydrated-salts interpretation, consider salt mineral stability on Europa, and discuss the implications. Extensive well-defined areas on Europa show distinct, asymmetric water-related absorption bands in the 1 to 2.5-??m region. Radiative transfer modeling of water ice involving different particle sizes and layers at Europa temperatures does not reproduce the distinctive Europa water bands. However, ice near its melting temperature, such as in terrestrial environments, does have some characteristics of the Europa spectrum. Alternatively, some classes of heavily hydrated minerals do exhibit such water bands. Among plausible materials, heavily hydrated salt minerals, such as magnesium and sodium sulfates, sodium carbonate and their mixtures, are preferred. All Europa spectral features are present in some salt minerals and a very good match to the Europa spectrum can be achieved by mixing several salt spectra. However, no single or mix of salt mineral spectra from the limited library available has so far been found to perfectly match the Europa spectrum in every detail. The material is concentrated at the lineaments and in chaotic terrain, which are technically disrupted areas on the trailing side. Since the spectrum of the material on Europa is nearly the same everywhere so-far studied, the salt or salt-mixture composition may be nearly uniform. This suggests similar sources and processes over at least a near-hemispheric scale. This would suggest that an extensive subsurface ocean containing dissolved salts is the source, and several possible mechanisms for deposit

  6. The time-variable spatial distribution of the O2 environment around Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plainaki, Christina; Milillo, Anna; Mura, Alessandro; Saur, Joachim; Orsini, Stefano; Massetti, Stefano

    2014-05-01

    Europa's exosphere is a mixture of different species among which sputtered H2O and H2 dominate in the highest altitudes and O2, formed mainly by radiolysis of ice and subsequent release of the produced molecules, prevails at lower altitudes. Europa's O2 exosphere has been demonstrated through both observation and simulation-based techniques to be spatially non-uniform. In the present study we investigate Europa's exospheric O2 characteristics under the external conditions that are likely in the Jupiter's magnetospheric environment, applying the Europa Global model of Exospheric Outgoing Neutrals (EGEON, Plainaki et al., 2012) for different configurations between the positions of Europa, Jupiter and the Sun. After performing a study of the structure of Europa's exosphere as function of the moon's position in orbit around Jupiter, we demonstrate for the first time that Europa's exosphere is explicitly time-variable due to the time-varying relative orientations of solar illumination and the incident plasma direction. Our main results are summarized as follows: the density of the released O2 becomes maximum when trailing hemisphere coincides with sunlit hemisphere and is equal to 3.2×1014 m-3 above the subsolar point, whereas in all other configurations the density above the subsolar point is smaller by a factor up to ~5; the EGEON results on the O2 column densities are consistent with the surplus of OI emission at the 900 west longitude (leading hemisphere) observed by HST and, therefore, solar illumination prevails over the more intense bombardment of the trailing hemisphere by energetic ions in determining the efficiency of the O2 release; although the O2 column density calculated with EGEON is consistent with the observations of the OI emission from the trailing hemisphere of Europa, the longitudinal asymmetry (at 2300-2500 west longitude) is not reproduced by the model and hence further modeling including simulations of the Jupiter's plasma conditions at those

  7. Searches for Plumes and Ongoing Geologic Activity on Europa from Galileo and Other Spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, C. B.

    2014-12-01

    The recent discovery of an apparent plume erupting from Europa's surface using data from the Hubble Space Telescope (Roth et al. 2014) has prompted renewed interest in the possibility of recent or ongoing geologic activity on Europa. Here we summarize previous searches for plumes and changes on Europa's surface, and make recommendations for future efforts. During the period of time in which the Galileo spacecraft was in orbit in the Jupiter system, we made a number of comparisons with observations taken 20 years earlier by the Voyager spacecraft to look for surface changes (Phillips et al. 2000). We found no changes which were visible on Europa's surface. These comparisons, however, were necessarily limited by the low resolution of the Voyager images, which had a maximum resolution of about 2 km/pixel. We also used Galileo spacecraft data to search for plumes of material being ejected from Europa's surface. A 30-image observation was taken in 1999 to observe the limb and the dark sky just off the limb in a search for active plumes, but no plumes were observed (Phillips et al. 2000). However, Hoppa et al (1999) suggested that this image sequence occurred under unfavorable tidal stress conditions. Plume searches were also performed in eclipse images, but again no plumes were detected. More recently, we compared global-scale images of Europa taken in 2007 by the New Horizons spacecraft during its Jupiter flyby en route to Pluto (Bramson et al. 2011). After a careful search that included the iterative coregistration and ratioing techniques developed by Phillips et al. (2000), again, no changes were found on Europa's surface. If the recent Roth et al. (2014) suggestions of an active plume on Europa prove to be correct, we infer that one of two possibilities must be the case. Either 1) the plume is a recent event and was not active before the 2007 New Horizons flyby; or 2) the plume is intermittent and low-density, consisting primarily of gas and not dust, and therefore

  8. Current Status of the EJSM Jupiter Europa Orbiter Flagship Mission Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, K.; Pappalardo, R.; Greeley, R.; Hendrix, A.; Boldt, J.; van Houten, T.; Jun, I.; Lock, R.; Ludwinski, J.; Rasmussen, R.; Tan-Wang, G.

    2008-12-01

    NASA and ESA have embarked on a joint study of a mission to Europa and the Jupiter system with orbiters developed by NASA, ESA, and possibly JAXA. An international Joint Jupiter Science Definition Team (JJSDT) is defining the science content for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission study run by NASA and for the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) mission study run by ESA. Engineering teams for both missions are working closely with the JJSDT to define mission concepts that optimize science, cost, and risk. The NASA-led JEO mission addresses a scientifically rich subset of the complete EJSM science goals and is designed to stand alone or in conjunction with the ESA-led JGO. This paper focuses on the NASA-led JEO mission and will describe the concept in the context of a standalone mission. An orbital mission to Europa is driven by the desire to investigate an astrobiological archetype for icy satellite habitability, with a putative warm, salty, water ocean with plausible energy sources. Additionally, JEO will explore the Jupiter system to better understand how Europa's possible habitability is related to the formation scenario of the other Jovian satellites. The JEO mission will perform 2.5-3 years of Jupiter system science, including encounters with Io, Ganymede and Callisto, before insertion into orbit around Europa for a comprehensive set of science campaigns lasting for up to one year. This paper will highlight the JEO mission design and implementation concept. The work reported was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  9. Improved detection of tides at Europa with radiometric and optical tracking during flybys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Ryan S.; Bills, Bruce; Buffington, Brent B.; Folkner, William M.; Konopliv, Alexander S.; Martin-Mur, Tomas J.; Mastrodemos, Nickolaos; McElrath, Timothy P.; Riedel, Joseph E.; Watkins, Michael M.

    2015-07-01

    Due to its eccentric orbit about Jupiter, Europa experiences periodic tidal deformation, which causes changes in its gravitational field and induces both radial and transverse displacements of the surface. The amplitude and phase of these tidal changes are diagnostic of internal structure, and can be measured with sufficient radiometric and optical tracking of a spacecraft during a series of flyby encounters with Europa. This paper presents results of the simulated accuracy for recovery of the tides of Europa through measuring the second-degree tidal Love numbers k2, h2, and l2. A reference trajectory, which consists of a total of 45 close flybys, was considered and a detailed covariance analysis was performed. The study was based on Earth-based Doppler tracking during ± 2 h of each periapsis passage and surface imaging data taken below 500 km altitude. The result shows that the formal uncertainty of the second-degree tidal Love numbers can be estimated to be σk2 = 0.01 , σh2 = 0.02 , and σl2 = 0.01 , which is sufficient to constrain the global ice thickness to about 10 km under reasonable assumptions. Moreover, the forced librations of Europa can be measured to 0.3″ accuracy, which can further constrain Europa's interior structure.

  10. On Europa's Magnetospheric Interaction: A MHD Simulation of the E4 Flyby

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kabin, K.; Combi, M. R.; Gombosi, T. I.; Nagy, A. F.; DeZeeuw, D. L.; Powell, K. G.

    1999-01-01

    The global three-dimensional interaction of Europa with the Jovian magnetosphere is modeled by using a complete set of ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations. The model accounts for exospheric mass loading, ion-neutral charge exchange, recombination, and a possible intrinsic dipole magnetic field of Europa. The single-fluid MHD equations are solved by using a modem, finite volume, higher-order, Godunov-type method on an adoptively refined unstructured grid, which allows detailed modeling of the region near Europa while still resolving both the upstream region and the satellite's wake. The magnetic field and plasma density measured during Galileo's EGA flyby of December 19, 1996, are reproduced reasonably well in the simulation. We find the agreement between the data and our model particularly convincing if we assume that the plasma velocity during the EGA flyby deviated from the nominal corotation direction by approximately 20 deg. Evidence from the Galileo energetic particle detector also supports this assumption. In this case, we can fit the data using a dipole with orientation close to that of an induced dipole arising from the interaction of a hypothetical conducting subsurface layer on Europa with the periodically changing magnetic field of Jupiter. However, the magnitude of the dipole in our model is somewhat smaller (70%) than that suggested by Khurana et al. The total mass loading and ion-neutral charge exchange rates are consistent with the estimates of Europa's atmosphere and ionosphere.

  11. Model of spatial distribution of relativistic electron fluxes in vicinity of Jupiter's moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podzolko, Mikhail; Veselovsky, Igor; Getselev, Igor; Gubar, Yury

    This research was made as a part of a project of future space mission to the system of Jupiter, being developed by Russian Federal Space Agency. Currently several mission strategies are being considered, including placing the spacecraft into the low-altitude orbit around Jupiter’s moon Europa and possibly landing on its surface. In the region of Europa’s orbit the spacecraft will be affected by very strong radiation from the Jupiter’s radiation belts. The absorbed dose during 2 months under shielding compared to that for “Galileo” spacecraft will amount to almost 1 megarad. The major contribution to the dose will originate from relativistic electrons. However, near Europa part of the charged particle flux will be shaded by the moon. This reduction of the fluxes is nonuniform, depends on the particle energy and pitch-angle and differs for the surface and the low-altitude orbit. It is caused by a number of factors: complexity of particle trajectories relative to Europa, the flux anisotropy, variations of Europa’s position relative to Jupiter’s magnetic equator plane, magnetic and electric field disturbance in vicinity of Europa, the tenuous atmosphere of the moon. In the current study modeling of relativistic electron flux spatial distribution near Europa and on its surface and computation of the radiation doses have been made, taking into account several of mentioned above factors.

  12. Trade space evaluation of multi-mission architectures for the exploration of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alibay, F.; Strange, N. J.

    Recent cuts to NASA's planetary exploration budget have precipitated a debate in the community on whether large flagship missions to planetary bodies in the outer solar system or sequences of smaller missions as part of a long-term exploration program would be more beneficial. The work presented explores the trade between these two approaches as applied to the exploration of Europa and concentrates on identifying combinations of flyby, orbiter and/or lander missions that achieve high value at a lower cost than the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) flagship mission concept. The effects of the value attributed to the four main science objectives for Europa, which can be broadly classified as investigating the ocean, ice-shell, composition and geology, are demonstrated. The current approach proposed to complete the ocean exploration objective is shown to have conflicting requirements with the other three objectives. For missions that fully address all the science objectives, such as JEO, the ocean goal is therefore found to be the main cost driver. Instrument combinations for low-cost flyby missions are also presented, and simple lander designs able to achieve a wide range of objectives at a low additional cost are identified. Finally, the current designs for the Europa Habitability Mission (EHM) are compared to others in the trade space, based on the prioritization given to the science goals for the exploration of Europa. The current EHM flyby mission (Clipper) is found to be highly promising in terms of providing very high potential science value at a low cost.

  13. Sulfate content of Europa's ocean and shell: evolutionary considerations and some geological and astrobiological implications.

    PubMed

    McKinnon, William B; Zolensky, Michael E

    2003-01-01

    Recent models for the origin of Jupiter indicate that the Galilean satellites were mostly derived from largely unprocessed solar nebula solids and planetesimals. In the jovian subnebula the solids that built Europa were first heated and then cooled, but the major effect was most likely partial or total devolatilization, and less likely to have been wholesale thermochemical reprocessing of rock + metal compositions (e.g., oxidation of Fe and hydration of silicates). Ocean formation and substantial alteration of interior rock by accreted water and ice would occur during and after accretion, but none of the formation models predicts or implies accretion of sulfates. Europa's primordial ocean was most likely sulfidic. After accretion and later radiogenic and tidal heating, the primordial ocean would have interacted hydrothermally with subjacent rock. It has been hypothesized that sulfides could be converted to sulfates if sufficient hydrogen was lost to space, but pressure effects and the impermeability of serpentinite imply that extraction of sulfate from thoroughly altered Europa-rock would have been inefficient (if indeed Mg sulfates formed at all). Permissive physical limits on the extent of alteration limit the sulfate concentration of Europa's evolved ocean to 10% by weight MgSO(4) or equivalent. Later oxidation of the deep interior of Europa may have also occurred because of water released by the breakdown of hydrated silicates, ultimately yielding S magma and/or SO(2) gas. Geological and astrobiological implications are considered. PMID:14987488

  14. A New Map of the Tyre Impact Region of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, H. M.; Prockter, L. M.

    2013-12-01

    Images of the Tyre feature obtained by the Galileo spacecraft's Solid State Imager (SSI) at ~170 m/pixel show concentric graben and multiple secondary craters surrounding a central rough-textured circular region, indicating an impact origin. Only crosscut by two double ridges and a large fracture, the crater is young relative to the surrounding terrain. The crater and its surroundings were mapped by Kadel et al. (2000), who also interpreted the geological history of the region. We have remapped the Tyre area for the specific purpose of creating a product that can be used for detailed comparison with 6 km/pixel Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) data. The combined SSI and NIMS product will be used to determine variations in composition among different units using linear mixture modeling employing cryogenic laboratory reference spectra, a technique that has been successfully implemented elsewhere on Europa by e.g., Shirley et al. (2010). The major difference between our mapping results and those of Kadel et al. is that we subdivide some of the units, in order to better compare them with NIMS pixels in the next (future) phase of the study. We use an orthographic projection centered at 34 N, 146 W, and construct a geologic map that extends from 25 N to 42 N and 153 W to 133 W. We identify a number of units, subunits and structural features on the basis of relative albedo and morphology. The units are grouped into six categories: Crater materials, chaos, ridges, bands, pre-impact background terrains, and indeterminate features. Many of these units are consistent with those found in the Kadel et al. study, but we find a number of bands and chaos-related materials in the background ridged plains, that have not been mapped elsewhere. These are of a sufficient size to be relevant to our future compositional analysis. We find three types of chaos (compared to two from the previous study), which are primarily concentrated in the south of the study region. Type

  15. Model Based Systems Engineering on the Europa Mission Concept Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayer, Todd J.; Chung, Seung; Cole, Bjorn; Cooke, Brian; Dekens, Frank; Delp, Chris; Gontijo, I.; Lewis, Kari; Moshir, Mehrdad; Rasmussen, Robert; Wagner, Dave

    2012-01-01

    At the start of 2011, the proposed Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission was staffing up in expectation of becoming an official project later in the year for a launch in 2020. A unique aspect of the pre-project work was a strong emphasis and investment on the foundations of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE). As so often happens in this business, plans changed: NASA's budget and science priorities were released and together fundamentally changed the course of JEO. As a result, it returned to being a study task whose objective is to propose more affordable ways to accomplish the science. As part of this transition, the question arose as to whether it could continue to afford the investment in MBSE. In short, the MBSE infusion has survived and is providing clear value to the study effort. By leveraging the existing infrastructure and a modest additional investment, striking advances in the capture and analysis of designs using MBSE were achieved. In the process, the need to remain relevant in the new environment has brought about a wave of innovation and progress. The effort has reaffirmed the importance of architecting. It has successfully harnessed the synergistic relationship of architecting to system modeling. We have found that MBSE can provide greater agility than traditional methods. We have also found that a diverse 'ecosystem' of modeling tools and languages (SysML, Mathematica, even Excel) is not only viable, but an important enabler of agility and adaptability. This paper will describe the successful application of MBSE in the dynamic environment of early mission formulation, the significant results produced and lessons learned in the process.

  16. Chaotic Terrain on Europa in Very High Resolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This view of the Conamara Chaos region on Jupiter's moon Europa taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft shows an area where the icy surface has been broken into many separate plates that have moved laterally and rotated. These plates are surrounded by a topographically lower matrix. This matrix material may have been emplaced as water, slush, or warm flowing ice, which rose up from below the surface. One of the plates is seen as a flat, lineated area in the upper portion of the image. Below this plate, a tall twin-peaked mountain of ice rises from the matrix to a height of more than 250 meters (800 feet). The matrix in this area appears to consist of a jumble of many different sized chunks of ice. Though the matrix may have consisted of a loose jumble of ice blocks while it was forming, the large fracture running vertically along the left side of the image shows that the matrix later became a hardened crust, and is frozen today. The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City would be just large enough to span this fracture.

    North is to the top right of the picture, and the sun illuminates the surface from the east. This image, centered at approximately 8 degrees north latitude and 274 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 4 kilometers by 7 kilometers (2.5 miles by 4 miles). The resolution is 9 meters (30 feet) per picture element. This image was taken on December 16, 1997 at a range of 900 kilometers (540 miles) by Galileo's solid state imaging system.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  17. Modeling of Stress Triggered Faulting at Agenor Linea, Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nahm, A. L.; Cameron, M. E.; Smith-Konter, B. R.; Pappalardo, R. T.

    2012-04-01

    To better understand the role of tidal stress sources and implications for faulting on Europa, we investigate the relationship between shear and normal stresses at Agenor Linea (AL), a ~1500 km long, E-W trending, 20-30 km wide zone of geologically young deformation located in the southern hemisphere of Europa which forks into two branches at its eastern end. The orientation of AL is consistent with tensile stresses resulting from long-term decoupled ice shell rotation (non-synchronous rotation [NSR]) as well as dextral shear stresses due to diurnal flexure of the ice shell. Its brightness and lack of cross-cutting features make AL a candidate for recent or current activity. Several observations indicate that right-lateral strike-slip faulting has occurred, such as left-stepping en echelon fractures in the northern portion of AL and the presence of an imbricate fan or horsetail complex at AL's western end. To calculate tidal stresses on Europa, we utilize SatStress, a numerical code that calculates tidal stresses at any point on the surface of a satellite for both diurnal and NSR stresses. We adopt SatStress model parameters appropriate to a spherically symmetric ice shell of thickness 20 km, underlain by a global subsurface ocean: shear modulus G = 3.5 GPa, Poisson ratio ν = 0.33, gravity g= 1.32 m/s2, ice density ρ = 920 kg/m3, satellite radius R= 1.56 x 103 km, satellite mass M= 4.8 x 1022 kg, semimajor axis a= 6.71 x 105 km, and eccentricity e= 0.0094. In this study we assume a coefficient of friction μ = 0.6 and consider a range of vertical fault depths zto 6 km. To assess shear failure at AL, we adopt a model based on the Coulomb failure criterion. This model balances stresses that promote and resist the motion of a fault, simultaneously accounting for both normal and shear tidal and NSR stresses, the coefficient of friction of ice, and additional stress at depth due to the overburden pressure. In this model, tidal shear stresses drive strike-slip motions

  18. Spectral Properties of Hydrated Salts at Low Temperature: Implications for Europa Mission Spectrometer Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dalton, J. Brad

    2003-01-01

    Knowledge of the surface composition of Europa is critical for modeling of surface and interior processes and especially for evaluation of astrobiological potential. While much information has been derived from the Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) investigation, some breakthroughs have created more questions than answers. Any future Europa mission will attempt to capitalize on lessons learned from NIMS and try to answer these questions. At present, the surface composition appears to be a mixture of water ice, hydrated salts, sulfur compounds, radiolysis products (such as hydrogen peroxide and possibly simple organics like formaldehyde) and some as yet unidentified component. The small spatial scale of heterogeneity in Europa's surface geology poses additional challenges for orbiting spectrometers due to spectral mixing effects.

  19. Multi-Body Capture to Low-altitude Circular Orbits at Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grebow, Daniel J.; Petropoulos, Anastassios E.; Finlayson, Paul A.

    2011-01-01

    For capture to a 200-km circular orbit around Europa, millions of different points along the orbit are simulated in the Jupiter-Europa Restricted 3-Body Problem. The transfers exist as members of families of trajectories, where certain families consistently outperform the others. The trajectories are not sensitive to changes in inclination for the final circular orbit. The top performing trajectories appear to follow the invariant manifolds of L2 Lyapunov orbits for capture into a retrograde orbit, and in some cases saving up to 40% of the from the patched 2-body problem. Transfers are attached to the current nominal mission for NASA's Jupiter-Europa Orbiter, where the total cost is roughly 100 m/s less than the baseline mission.

  20. Europa's far ultraviolet oxygen aurora from a comprehensive set of HST observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roth, Lorenz; Saur, Joachim; Retherford, Kurt D.; Strobel, Darrell F.; Feldman, Paul D.; McGrath, Melissa A.; Spencer, John R.; Blöcker, Aljona; Ivchenko, Nickolay

    2016-03-01

    We analyze a large set of far ultraviolet oxygen aurora images of Europa's atmosphere taken by Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (HST/STIS) in 1999 and on 19 occasions between 2012 and 2015. We find that both brightness and aurora morphology undergo systematic variations correlated to the periodically changing plasma environment. The time variable morphology seems to be strongly affected by Europa's interaction with the magnetospheric plasma. The brightest emissions are often found in the polar region where the ambient Jovian magnetic field line is normal to Europa's disk. Near the equator, where bright spots are found at Io, Europa's aurora is faint suggesting a general difference in how the plasma interaction shapes the aurora at Io and Europa. The dusk side is consistently brighter than the dawnside with only few exceptions, which cannot be readily explained by obvious plasma physical or known atmospheric effects. Brightness ratios of the near-surface OI] 1356 Što OI 1304 Šemissions between 1.5 and 2.8 with a mean ratio of 2.0 are measured, confirming that Europa's bound atmosphere is dominated by O2. The 1356/1304 ratio decreases with increasing altitude in agreement with a more extended atomic O corona, but O2 prevails at least up to altitudes of ˜900 km. Differing 1356/1304 line ratios on the plasma upstream and downstream hemispheres are explained by a differing O mixing ratio in the near-surface O2 atmosphere of ˜5% (upstream) and ≲1% (downstream), respectively. During several eclipse observations, the aurora does not reveal any signs of systematic changes compared to the sunlit images suggesting no or only weak influence of sunlight on the aurora and an optically thin atmosphere.

  1. Exploring Europa with a Surface Lander Powered by a Small Radioisotope Power System (RPS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abelson, Robert D.; Shirley, James H.

    2005-02-01

    Europa is a high-priority target for future exploration because of the possibility that it may possess a subsurface liquid ocean that could sustain life. Exploring the surface of this Galilean moon, however, represents a formidable technical challenge due to the great distances involved, the high ambient radiation, and the extremely low surface temperatures. A design concept is presented for a Europa Lander Mission (ELM) powered by a small radioisotope power system (RPS) that could fly aboard the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). The ELM would perform in-situ science measurements for a minimum of 30 Earth days, equivalent to approximately 8.5 Europa days. The primary science goals for the Europa lander would include astrobiology and geophysics experiments and determination of surface composition. Science measurements would include visual imagery, microseismometry, Raman spectroscopy, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), and measurements of surface temperature and radiation levels. The ELM spacecraft would be transported to Europa via the JIMO spacecraft as an auxiliary payload with an extended duration cruise phase (up to 13 years). After arriving at Europa, ELM would separate from JIMO and land on the moon's surface to conduct the nominal science mission. In addition to transportation, the JIMO mothership would be used to relay all lander data back to Earth, thus reducing the size and power requirement of the lander communications system. Conventional power sources were evaluated and found to be impractical for this mission due to the extended duration, low level of solar insolation (~3.7% of Earth's), the low surface temperatures (as low as 85K), and the 1.75 days of eclipse every Europa day. In contrast, a small-RPS would enable the ELM mission by powering the lander and keeping all key instrumentation and subsystems warm during the cruise and landed phases of the mission. The conceptual small-RPS is based on the existing General Purpose Heat

  2. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa, Ganymede, and the Jovian System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sittler, E. C., Jr.; Cooper, J. F.; Hartle, R. E.; Paterson, W. R.; Christian, E. R.; Lipatov, A. S.; Mahaffy, P R.; Paschalidis, N.; Sarantos, M.; Coplan, M. A.; Cassidy, T. A.; Wurz, P.

    2011-01-01

    NASA and ESA are now planning a reduced version of the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), potentially including a radically descoped Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) but still with magnetometer and plasma instruments. Similar field and plasma instrumentation would also reside on ESA's Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO), which conceivably could carry out multiple flybys of Europa before entering orbit at Ganymede. We are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) designed to measure both major and minor ion species within the high radiation environment of Jupiter's magnetosphere and the icy Galilean moons. The IMS covers the energy range from 10 eV to 30 keY, wide field-of-view (FOV) capability and 10-60 sec time resolution for major ions. This instrument has two main goals: 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter's magnetosphere and 2) infer the global surface composition to trace elemental and significant isotopic levels; these goals are also applicable for in-situ measurements at Ganymede and Callisto, and remotely everywhere via the iogenic plasma for 10. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second goal gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, e.g. mainly from 10 to the other moons, and further allows detection of oceanic materials emergent to the moon surfaces from subsurface layers putatively including salt water oceans. Outgassed exospheric materials are probed by the IMS by measuring pickup ions accelerated up to spacecraft altitudes of approximately 100-200 km in electric fields extending through the local magnetospheric environment and moon exosphere to the surface. Our 3D hybrid kinetic model of the moon-magnetosphere interaction is used to construct a global model of electric and magnetic fields for tracing of pickup ion trajectories back to the sources at approximate surface resolution of 100 km. We

  3. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa, Ganymede, and the Jovian Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sittler, E.; Cooper, J.; Hartle, R.; Paterson ,W.; Christian, E.; Mahaffy, P.; Paschalidis, N.; Lipatov, A.; Sarantos, M.; Coplan, M.; Cassidy, T.; Wurz, P.

    2011-01-01

    NASA and ESA are now planning a reduced version of the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), potentially including a radically descoped Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) but still with magnetometer and plasma instruments. Similar field and plasma instrumentation would also reside on ESA's Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO), which conceivably could carry out multiple flybys of Europa before entering orbit at Ganymede. We are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) designed to measure both major and minor ion species within the high radiation environment of Jupiter s magnetosphere and the icy Galilean moons. The IMS covers the energy range from 10 eV to 30 keV, wide field-ofview (FOV) capability and 10-60 sec time resolution for major ions. This instrument has two main goals: 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter s magnetosphere and 2) infer the global surface composition to trace elemental and significant isotopic levels; these goals are also applicable for in-situ measurements at Ganymede and Callisto, and remotely everywhere via the iogenic plasma for Io. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second goal gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, e.g. mainly from Io to the other moons, and further allows detection of oceanic materials emergent to the moon surfaces from subsurface layers putatively including salt water oceans. Outgassed exospheric materials are probed by the IMS by measuring pickup ions accelerated up to spacecraft altitudes of approximately 100-200 km in electric fields extending through the local magnetospheric environment and moon exosphere to the surface. Our 3D hybrid kinetic model of the moon-magnetosphere interaction is used to construct a global model of electric and magnetic fields for tracing of pickup ion trajectories back to the sources at approximate surface resolution of 100 km. We

  4. Patterns of Fracture and Tidal Stresses Due to Nonsynchronous Rotation: Implications for Fracturing on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parmentier, E. M.; Helfenstein, P.

    1985-01-01

    Global lineaments on Europa were interpreted as fractures in an icy crust. A variety of lineament types were identified, which appear to form a systematic pattern on the surface. For a synchronously rotating body, the patterns of fractures observed could be produced by a combination of stresses due to orbital recession, orbital eccentricity, and internal contraction. However, it was recently suggested that the forced eccentricity of Europa's orbit may result in nonsynchronous rotation. The hypothesis that fractures in a thin icy crust may have formed in response to stresses resulting from nonsynchronous rotation is studied.

  5. Finite-Element Modeling of Solid State Convection within Europa's Ice Shell: Implications for Astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barr, A. C.; Pappalardo, R.

    2001-12-01

    Solid state convection within Europa's ice shell has important implications for astrobiology because it drives relatively swift, large scale vertical motion over geologically short time scales. On Europa, convection may occur within the lower portion of the floating ice shell. The strong dependence of the viscosity of ice on temperature leads to the formation of a stagnant lid at Europa's surface where convective motion ceases. Beneath the stagnant lid, convective motions facilitate cycling of nutrients through the ice shell. In upwelling areas, relatively nutrient-poor, but possibly microbe-containing and biochemically-modified ice is pushed toward the surface. Downwellings push near-surface ice modified by surface radiation down to the ocean. Dissipation of tidal heat within the ice shell is dependent on the viscosity of the ice: warm, low-viscosity ice will dissipate more energy than cold, brittle ice. This positive feedback between tidal heating and viscosity can result in isolated pockets of melting within Europa's ice shell [Wang & Stevenson, 2000]. These pockets of melt could potentially harbor isolated microbial communities for a finite amount of time. We are in the process of modifying a 3 dimensional finite-element code originally constructed to model Earth's mantle (Citcom) [Zhong, 1998] to apply to icy systems. This model will take into account tidal heating within the ice shell, and the presence of salts and partial melt within the ice. Results of our preliminary 2 dimensional modeling confirm that the convecting sub-layer of Europa's ice shell is recycled in 105 years, and confirm that isolated pockets of melt can be generated within Europa's ice shell by tidal heating. Our model can be used to calculate the mass of ice deposited beneath the stagnant lid as a function of position on Europa. These mass flux estimates coupled with models of the formation of surface features which involve breaching the stagnant lid will help identify the locations on

  6. Acidification of Europa's subsurface ocean as a consequence of oxidant delivery.

    PubMed

    Pasek, Matthew A; Greenberg, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Oxidants are formed at the surface of Europa and may be delivered to the subsurface ocean, possibly in great quantities. Whether these substances would be available for biological metabolism is uncertain, because they may react with sulfides and other compounds to generate sulfuric and other acids. If this process has been active on Europa for much of its age, then not only would it rob the ocean of life-supporting oxidants but the subsurface ocean could have a pH of ~2.6, which is so acidic as to present an environmental challenge for life, unless organisms consume or sequester the oxidants fast enough to ameliorate the acidification. PMID:22283235

  7. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa and the Other Galilean Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sittler, Edward; Cooper, John; Hartle, Richard; Lipatov, Alexander; Mahaffy, Paul; Paterson, William; Pachalidis, Nick; Coplan, Mike; Cassidy, Tim

    2010-01-01

    NASA and ESA are planning the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) to the Jupiter system with specific emphasis to Europa and Ganymede, respectively. The Japanese Space Agency is also planning an orbiter mission to explore Jupiter's magnetosphere and the Galilean satellites. For NASA's Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) we are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) with two main goals which can also be applied to the other Galilean moons, 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter's magnetosphere and 2) infer the 4 pi surface composition to trace elemental and significant isotopic levels. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, and between the moon surfaces and subsurface layers putatively including oceans. The measurement of the interactions for all the Galilean moons can be used to trace the in situ ion measurements of pickup ions back to either Europa's or Ganymede's surface from the respectively orbiting spacecraft. The IMS instrument, being developed under NASA's Astrobiology Instrument Development Program, would maximally achieve plasma measurement requirements for JEO and EJSM while moving forward our knowledge of Jupiter system composition and source processes to far higher levels than previously envisaged. The composition of the global surfaces of Europa and Ganymede can be inferred from the measurement of ejected neutrals and pick-up ions using at minimum an in situ payload including MAG and IMS also fully capable of meeting Level 1 mission requirements for ocean detection and survey. Elemental and isotopic analysis of potentially extruded oceanic materials at the moon surfaces would further support the ocean objectives. These measurements should be made from a polar orbiting spacecraft about Europa or Ganymede at height 100 km. The ejecta produced by

  8. To determine ice layer thickness of Europa by high energy neutrino

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoji, D.; Kurita, K.; Tanaka, H. K.

    2010-12-01

    Europa, the second closest Galilean satellite is one of the targets which are suspected to have an internal ocean. Detection and characterization of the internal ocean is one of the main subjects for Europa orbiter exploration. Although the gravitational data has shown the thickness of the surface H2O layer of 80-170km[1], it can not determine the phase of H2O. The variations in the magnetic field associated with the induced current in the internal ocean can determine the thickness of the layer of ice if satellite's orbits satisfy the required conditions. Observations of tidal amplitude forced by Jupiter can also resolve the thickness of the surface lithosphere[2]. At moment because of the lack of observational constraints there exist two contrasting models:thick ice layer model and thin model. Here we propose new method to detect the ocean directly based on the radiation by high energy neutrino interacted with matter. Schaefer et al[3] have proposed a similar method to determine ice layer thickness. We will focus on the detection of internal ocean for Europa and present the method is suitable for actual situations of Europa exploration by numerical simulations. Neutrino is famous for its traveling at long distance without any interaction with matter. When high energy neutrinos traverse in Europa hadronic showers are produced by the weak interaction with the nucleons that makes the body of Europa. These hadronic showers induces excess electrons. Because of these excess electrons, Cherenkov photons are emitted. When this radiation occurs in the ice layer, radiations whose wave length is over 10cm should be coherent because the scale of the shower becomes small (a few cm) in the ice, which is called as Askaryan effect[3]. Thus, the intensity of the radiation whose frequency is a few GHz should be enhanced. Since ice has a much longer attenuation length than water, the radiations which occur in the surface ice layer could be detected by the antenna outside Europa but

  9. Habitability in High Radiation Environments: The Case for Gaia at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, J. F.

    2004-12-01

    In the paper of Cooper et al. (2001) we concluded, in relation to our work on magnetospheric irradiation of Europa and the other icy galilean moons of Jupiter, that 'icy satellites with significant heat, irradiation, and subsurface water resources may provide common abodes for life throughout the universe'. This expanded the original proposal of Chyba (2000) and his later works that radiolytic production of oxidants and simple hydrocarbons on Europa's icy surface could support evolution and survival of life within a Europan subsurface ocean. In the general case of icy planets and moons the radiation environment does not have to interact directly with the surface but could also provide energy for life through radiation-induced chemistry in thick atmospheres chemically coupled to icy surfaces with hydrocarbon reservoirs as on Titan. The Gaia model for Earth implies that the entire planet operates with atmospheric, geologic, and geochemical processes conducive to life. Essential requirements for Gaia are an oxidizing atmospheric environment at planetary surfaces, where oxidants like molecular oxygen are produced by radiation processes (mediated by photosynthetic chemistry on Earth but more directly produced by radiolysis on Europa), reservoirs of liquid water and hydrocarbons on or below the surface, other reduced materials in the interior, and geologic processes which drive chemical exchange between the chemically oxidized surface and reduced interior environments. At Europa a thin oxygen atmosphere is observed and arises from magnetospheric interaction, and there is much evidence for active resurfacing likely related to solid-state convection and diapiric processes within a thick crust of soft ice overlying a liquid ocean. These processes on Europa are analogous to that of the tectonic conveyer belt that continually recycles carbon, oxygen, and other essential materials for life between the atmosphere, surface, and interior on Earth. The ice crust at Europa could be

  10. Stress Field Above an Ice Cauldron on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, S.; Montesi, L.

    2014-12-01

    Chaos and Macula are geological features on Europa where the pre-existing surface material has been broken into discrete blocks surrounded by matrix materials and stand above the surrounding terrain with a dome like topography. Schmidt et al. (2011) recently proposed that Maculae and Chaos are analogue to terrestrial ice cauldron. A melt body would form in the ice shelf above an ascending warm ice diapir, with briny water erupting along the resulting cracks, and doming a result of crystallization. We study here the deformation and stress fields generated by plume ascent, ice melting, and subsequent crystallization to test whether the ice cauldron analogy can explain the morphology of cracks and the topographic signature of maculae. We consider an axisymmetric finite element model of an ice shell built with ABAQUS. Ice is regarded as an non-associated elastic-plastic solid with Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion. We determine the stress field and in the ice shell and discuss the resulting topography and ice failure mode. Uplift is initiated by reducing the weight of a predefined diapir at the base of the crust. Melting is implemented by increasing in density and reducing the shear strength of a predefined underground lens. The material inside the lens remains solid but its modified material properties are more fluid-like. The stress fields generated in our models give a first indication of the failure mode and direction of cracks in the ice. To explain the observation of impure ice in the matrix of maculae, tensile cracks must propagate from the melt lens to the surface and allow extraction of brine from the subsurface water body. However, compressive stresses dominate in our models, even under the combined effect of diapiric uplift and melting, so that shear failure is common but tensile cracks propagating from the melt lens unlikely. Expansion of the ice when the lens crystallizes has little effect beyond negating stresses generated by melting. However, plastic strain

  11. Geometry and spatial distribution of lenticulae on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culha, Cansu; Manga, Michael

    2016-06-01

    The surface of Europa contains several types of roughly elliptical features, collectively called lenticulae. Lenticulae may have positive relief (domes) or negative relief (pits), may disrupt the crust (chaos), or discolor the surface (spots); some lenticulae have attributes of both domes and chaos (dome/chaos). We map the location, dimensions and shapes of all lenticulae and their interactions with other lenticulae and lineaments. We find that (1) pits and domes have similar sizes; (2) chaos are larger than the other lenticulae; (3) pits are clustered within the trailing antijovian quadrant and the leading subjovian quadrant whereas domes, dome/chaos, and chaos terrains are more uniformly distributed; (4) the areal density for all lenticulae is not uniform; (5) lenticulae do not divert the path of younger lineaments such as ridges. Taken together, these observations are consistent with conceptual models in which lenticulae are created by intrusion of liquid water bodies, or convection within, the ice shell. Additionally, the observations are consistent with the notion that each type of lenticula is a surface expression of dynamics within the ice shell at a different stage of lenticulae evolution. The similar size and shape of pits and domes suggests that one may evolve into the other. Because domes are more numerous and more uniformly distributed than pits, they are more likely to represent the end stage of this evolution, assuming the end-stage leaves a longer-lasting surface expression. Models also predict that larger features are more likely to disrupt the crust, which is consistent with dome/chaos and chaos being larger than pits and domes. We find no examples of lineaments offsetting pits but lineaments do cross some chaos. Pits also have a preferred northwest-southeast elongation, whereas domes, dome/chaos, and chaos do not have a preferred orientation. If lenticulae orientation is influenced by crustal stress, then pits may have formed during a shorter time

  12. Determination of Ice Crust Thickness from Flanking Cracks Along Ridges on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Billings, S. E.; Kattenhorn, S. A.

    2002-01-01

    We use equations describing the deflection of an elastic plate below a line load to estimate ice crust thickness below ridges on Europa. Using a range of elastic parameters, ice thickness is calculated to fall in the range 0.2 2.6 km. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  13. Project BELIEVE. Final Report. (A National Workplace Literacy Project with Bakery Europa and Straub Clinic & Hospital).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zane, Lawrence F. H.

    Bakery Europa and the Straub Clinic in Hawaii participated in Project BELIEVE, a 3-year (1995-98) workplace literacy project conducted in partnership with the University of Hawaii's College of Education. Instruction focused on the literacy, communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in the baking and health care…

  14. True polar wander on Europa from global-scale small-circle depressions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, Paul; Matsuyama, Isamu; Nimmo, Francis

    2008-05-01

    The tectonic patterns and stress history of Europa are exceedingly complex and many large-scale features remain unexplained. True polar wander, involving reorientation of Europa's floating outer ice shell about the tidal axis with Jupiter, has been proposed as a possible explanation for some of the features. This mechanism is possible if the icy shell is latitudinally variable in thickness and decoupled from the rocky interior. It would impose high stress levels on the shell, leading to predictable fracture patterns. No satisfactory match to global-scale features has hitherto been found for polar wander stress patterns. Here we describe broad arcuate troughs and depressions on Europa that do not fit other proposed stress mechanisms in their current position. Using imaging from three spacecraft, we have mapped two global-scale organized concentric antipodal sets of arcuate troughs up to hundreds of kilometres long and 300m to ~1.5km deep. An excellent match to these features is found with stresses caused by an episode of ~80° true polar wander. These depressions also appear to be geographically related to other large-scale bright and dark lineaments, suggesting that many of Europa's tectonic patterns may also be related to true polar wander.

  15. Geological evidence for solid-state convection in Europa's ice shell

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pappalardo, R.T.; Head, J.W.; Greeley, R.; Sullivan, R.J.; Pilcher, C.; Schubert, G.; Moore, W.B.; Carr, M.H.; Moore, Johnnie N.; Belton, M.J.S.; Goldsby, D.L.

    1998-01-01

    The ice-rich surface of the jovian satellite Europa is sparsely cratered, suggesting that this moon might be geologically active today. Moreover, models of the satellite's interior indicate that tidal interactions with Jupiter might produce enough heat to maintain a subsurface liquid water layer. But the mechanisms of interior heat loss and resurfacing are currently unclear, as is the question of whether Europa has (or had at one time) a liquid water ocean. Here we report on the morphology and geological interpretation of distinct surface features-pits, domes and spots-discovered in high-resolution images of Europa obtained by the Galileo spacecraft. The features are interpreted as the surface manifestation of diapirs, relatively warm localized ice masses that have risen buoyantly through the subsurface. We find that the formation of the features can be explained by thermally induced solid-state convection within an ice shell, possibly overlying a liquid water layer. Our results are consistent with the possibility that Europa has a liquid water ocean beneath a surface layer of ice, but further tests and observations are needed to demonstrate this conclusively.

  16. Hubble Space Telescope observations of Europa in and out of eclipse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparks, W.B.; McGrath, M.; Hand, K.; Ford, H.C.; Geissler, P.; Hough, J.H.; Turner, E.L.; Chyba, C.F.; Carlson, R.; Turnbull, M.

    2010-01-01

    Europa is a prime target for astrobiology and has been prioritized as the next target for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration flagship mission. It is important, therefore, that we advance our understanding of Europa, its ocean and physical environment as much as possible. Here, we describe observations of Europa obtained during its orbital eclipse by Jupiter using the Hubble Space Telescope. We obtained Advanced Camera for Surveys Solar Blind Channel far ultraviolet low-resolution spectra that show oxygen line emission both in and out of eclipse. We also used the Wide-Field and Planetary Camera-2 and searched for broad-band optical emission from fluorescence of the surface material, arising from the very high level of incident energetic particle radiation on ices and potentially organic substances. The high-energy particle radiation at the surface of Europa is extremely intense and is responsible for the production of a tenuous oxygen atmosphere and associated FUV line emission. Approximately 50% of the oxygen emission lasts at least a few hours into the eclipse. We discuss the detection limits of the optical emission, which allow us to estimate the fraction of incident energy reradiated at optical wavelengths, through electron-excited emission, Cherenkov radiation in the ice and fluorescent processes. ?? 2010 Cambridge University Press.

  17. Space Radiation Effects and Reliability Consideration for the Proposed Jupiter Europa Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, Allan

    2011-01-01

    The proposed Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission to explore the Jovian moon Europa poses a number of challenges. The spacecraft must operate for about seven years during the transit time to the vicinity of Jupiter, and then endure unusually high radiation levels during exploration and orbiting phases. The ability to withstand usually high total dose levels is critical for the mission, along with meeting the high reliability standards for flagship NASA missions. Reliability of new microelectronic components must be sufficiently understood to meet overall mission requirements.The proposed Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission to explore the Jovian moon Europa poses a number of challenges. The spacecraft must operate for about seven years during the transit time to the vicinity of Jupiter, and then endure unusually high radiation levels during exploration and orbiting phases. The ability to withstand usually high total dose levels is critical for the mission, along with meeting the high reliability standards for flagship NASA missions. Reliability of new microelectronic components must be sufficiently understood to meet overall mission requirements.

  18. Induced magnetic fields as evidence for subsurface oceans in Europa and Callisto.

    PubMed

    Khurana, K K; Kivelson, M G; Stevenson, D J; Schubert, G; Russell, C T; Walker, R J; Polanskey, C

    1998-10-22

    The Galileo spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter since 7 December 1995, and encounters one of the four galilean satellites-Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto-on each orbit. Initial results from the spacecraft's magnetometer have indicated that neither Europa nor Callisto have an appreciable internal magnetic field, in contrast to Ganymede and possibly Io. Here we report perturbations of the external magnetic fields (associated with Jupiter's inner magnetosphere) in the vicinity of both Europa and Callisto. We interpret these perturbations as arising from induced magnetic fields, generated by the moons in response to the periodically varying plasma environment. Electromagnetic induction requires eddy currents to flow within the moons, and our calculations show that the most probable explanation is that there are layers of significant electrical conductivity just beneath the surfaces of both moons. We argue that these conducting layers may best be explained by the presence of salty liquid-water oceans, for which there is already indirect geological evidence in the case of Europa. PMID:9796812

  19. MALDI TOF MS: An Exobiology Surface-Science Approach for Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerakines, Perry A.; Wdowiak, Thomas J.

    2002-01-01

    If Europa is to be of primary exobiological interest, namely as a habitat for extant life, it is obvious that: (i) a hydrosphere must prevail beneath the cryosphere for a long time, (ii) internal energy sources must be present in a sufficient state of activity, and (iii) a reasonable technical means must be available for assessing if indeed life does exist in the hypothesized hydrosphere. This discussion focuses on technological issues, because the compounding evidence about Europa indicates that the first two are highly likely to be true. We present a consideration of time-of-flight mass spectroscopy (TOF MS) conducted in-situ on the cryosphere surface of Europa during a landed robotic mission. We assert that this is a reasonable technical means not only for exploring the composition of the cryosphere itself, but also for locating any biomolecular indicators of extant life brought to the surface through cryosphere activity. We also describe a MALDI (MAtrix Laser Desorption and Ionization) TOF MS system that we are constructing as a proof-of-concept prototype for conducting TOF MS measurements on Europa.

  20. Following up on the Discovery of Water Vapor at Europa's South Pole with HST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roth, L.; Retherford, K. D.; Saur, J.; Strobel, D. F.; Feldman, P. D.; McGrath, M. A.; Nimmo, F.; Spencer, J. R.; Grava, C.; Bloecker, A.

    2014-12-01

    We will present new Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of Europa's UV aurora obtained within two campaigns in 2014 to follow up on the water vapor plume detection. HST aurora images taken in 2012 have revealed coincident signals from atomic hydrogen and oxygen pointing to the existence of transient water vapor plumes near the south pole. The water vapor was detected only during one HST visit in December 2012 when Europa was near apocenter position and was speculated to be correlated with changing tidal stresses along Europa's orbit. In a first follow-up campaign new aurora images were taken by HST early in 2014 with Europa near apocenter, but the initial detection was not confirmed. More HST aurora images will be obtained in the course of a larger Hubble observing campaign starting in November 2014. We will review all HST aurora imaging observations to date and discuss potential sources for varying plume activity and changing detectability by HST. In particular, we will examine various explanations for the non-detections in the early 2014 observations near apocenter.

  1. Geological evidence for solid-state convection in Europa's ice shell.

    PubMed

    Pappalardo, R T; Head, J W; Greeley, R; Sullivan, R J; Pilcher, C; Schubert, G; Moore, W B; Carr, M H; Moore, J M; Belton, M J; Goldsby, D L

    1998-01-22

    The ice-rich surface of the jovian satellite Europa is sparsely cratered, suggesting that this moon might be geologically active today. Moreover, models of the satellite's interior indicate that tidal interactions with Jupiter might produce enough heat to maintain a subsurface liquid water layer. But the mechanisms of interior heat loss and resurfacing are currently unclear, as is the question of whether Europa has (or had at one time) a liquid water ocean. Here we report on the morphology and geological interpretation of distinct surface features-pits, domes and spots-discovered in high-resolution images of Europa obtained by the Galileo spacecraft. The features are interpreted as the surface manifestation of diapirs, relatively warm localized ice masses that have risen buoyantly through the subsurface. We find that the formation of the features can be explained by thermally induced solid-state convection within an ice shell, possibly overlying a liquid water layer. Our results are consistent with the possibility that Europa has a liquid water ocean beneath a surface layer of ice, but further tests and observations are needed to demonstrate this conclusively. PMID:9450750

  2. High Resolution Integral Field Spectroscopy of Europa's Sodium Clouds: Evidence for a Component with Origins in Iogenic Plasma.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, C.; Johnson, R. E.; Mendillo, M.; Baumgardner, J. L.; Moore, L.; O'Donoghue, J.; Leblanc, F.

    2015-12-01

    With the object of constraining Iogenic contributions and identifying drivers for variability, we report new observations of neutral sodium in Europa's exosphere. An R~20000 integral field spectrograph at McDonald Observatory is used to generate Doppler maps of sodium cloud structures with a resolution of 2.8 km/s/pixel. In the five nights of observations since 2011, measurements on UT 6.15-6.31 May 2015 uniquely feature fast (10s of km/s) neutral sodium clouds extending nearly 100 Europa radii, more distant than in any previous findings. During these measurements, the satellite geometry was favorable for the transfer of Na from Io to Europa, located at 1:55 to 4:00 and 3:38 to 4:39 Jovian local time, respectively. Eastward emission (away from Jupiter) extends 10-20 Europa radii retaining the moon's rest velocity, while westward emission blue-shifts with distance, and a broad range of velocities are measured, reaching at least 70 km/s at 80 Europa radii. These cloud features are distinct from Io's "banana" and "stream" features, the distant Jupiter-orbiting nebula, and from terrestrial OH and Na contaminant emissions. Io's production was quiescent during this observation, following an extremely active phase in February 2015. These results are consistent with previous findings that Europa's Na exosphere has peak emission between midnight and dawn Jovian local time and support the idea that sodium escape from Io can significantly enhance the emission intensity measured at Europa.

  3. Utilizing Science and Technology to Enhance a Future Planetary Mission: Applications to Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunte, Melissa K.

    A thorough understanding of Europa's geology through the synergy of science and technology, by combining geologic mapping with autonomous onboard processing methods, enhances the science potential of future outer solar system missions. Mapping outlines the current state of knowledge of Europa's surface and near sub-surface, indicates the prevalence of distinctive geologic features, and enables a uniform perspective of formation mechanisms responsible for generating those features. I have produced a global geologic map of Europa at 1:15 million scale and appraised formation scenarios with respect to conditions necessary to produce observed morphologies and variability of those conditions over Europa's visible geologic history. Mapping identifies areas of interest relevant for autonomous study; it serves as an index for change detection and classification and aids pre-encounter targeting. Therefore, determining the detectability of geophysical activity is essential. Activity is evident by the presence of volcanic plumes or outgassing, disrupted surface morphologies, or changes in morphology, color, temperature, or composition; these characteristics reflect important constraints on the interior dynamics and evolutions of planetary bodies. By adapting machine learning and data mining techniques to signatures of plumes, morphology, and spectra, I have successfully demonstrated autonomous rule-based response and detection, identification, and classification of known events and features on outer planetary bodies using the following methods: 1. Edge-detection, which identifies the planetary horizon and highlights features extending beyond the limb; 2. Spectral matching using a superpixel endmember detection algorithm that identifies mean spectral signatures; and 3. Scale invariant feature transforms combined with supervised classification, which examines brightness gradients throughout an image, highlights extreme gradient regions, and classifies those regions based on a

  4. Oceans in the Outer Solar System: Future Exploration of Europa, Titan, and Enceladus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, T.; Clark, K.; Cutts, J.; Lunine, J.; Pappalardo, R.; Reh, K.

    Observational and theoretical evidence points to water-rich oceans or seas within several of the icy satellites of the outer planets, notably Europa and Enceladus, and hydrocarbon reservoirs within Titan. Here we report on concepts for future studies of these fascinating targets of high astrobiological relevance. Europa Exploration: Post-Galileo exploration of Europa presents several major technical challenges. We argue that four recent investments in technology and research allow a flagship mission class Europa exploration that relies on demonstrated technologies and achieves the high level science objectives. 1. Mass and Trip Time: Utilizing indirect Earth gravity assist, trajectories allows ˜2000 - 3000 kg dry mass, permitting ˜150 - 200 kg of science payload. 2. Radiation Tolerant Electronics: A significant program of radiation hard technology development has been done by NASA. The necessary radiation-tolerant elements are now ready for flight. 3. Science Mission: The science mission would last approximately two years, with a Jupiter system science phase of ˜1.5 yr and a 90 day nominal orbital mission at Europa, with significant probability of functioning much longer. 4. Planetary Protection: The ultimate fate of an orbiter will be impact with Europa. Planetary protection requirements will be met by radiation sterilization during the primary mission for most external and unshielded internal surfaces, combined with pre-launch sterilization of shielded components. We conclude that a flagship class Europa mission can now be developed relying on existing technologies, having significant scientific capability. Titan and Enceladus Exploration: Remarkable discoveries by the Cassini/Huygens related to hydrocarbons at Titan and water vapor geysering at Enceladus demand follow-up of these astrobiologically relevant worlds by future missions. An aerial platform capable of observing the surface of Titan from beneath the obscuring cloud cover and descending repeatedly to

  5. Kinetic Modeling of the Neutral Gas, Ions, and Charged Dust in Europa's Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenishev, V.; Borovikov, D.; Rubin, M.; Jia, X.; Combi, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    The interaction of the Jovian magnetosphere with Europa has been a subject of active research during the last few decades both through in-situ and remote sensing observations as well as theoretical considerations. Linking the magnetosphere and the moon's surface and interior, Europa's exosphere has become one of the primary objects of study in the field. Understanding the physical processes occurring in the exosphere and its chemical composition is required for the understanding of the interaction between Europa and Jupiter. Europa's surface-bound exosphere originates mostly from ion sputtering of the water ice surface. Minor neutral species and ions of exospheric origin are produced via photolytic and electron impact reactions. The interaction of the Jovian magnetosphere and Europa affects the exospheric population of both neutrals and ions via source and loss processes. Moreover, the Lorentz force causes the newly created exospheric ions to move preferably aligned with the magnetic field lines. Contrary to the ions, heavier and slow-moving charged dust grains are mostly affected by gravity and the electric field component of the Lorentz force. As a result, escaping dust forms a narrow tail aligned in the direction of the convection electric field. Here we present results of a kinetic model of the neutral species (H2O, OH, O2, O, and H), ions (O+, O2+, H+, H2+, H2O+, and OH+), and neutral and charged dust in Europa's exosphere. In our model H2O and O2 are produced via sputtering and other exospheric neutral and ions species are produced via photolytic and electron impact reactions. For the charged dust we compute the equilibrium grain charge by balancing the electron and ion collecting currents according to the local plasma flow conditions at the grain's location. For the tracking of the ions, charged dust, and the calculation of the grains' charge we use plasma density and velocity, and the magnetic field derived from our multi-fluid MHD model of Europa

  6. Very High Resolution Image of Icy Cliffs on Europa and Similar Scales on Earth (Providence, RI)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The top image is a very high resolution view of the Conamara Chaos region on Jupiter's moon Europa, showing an area where icy plates have been broken apart and moved around laterally. The top of this image is dominated by corrugated plateaus ending in icy cliffs over a hundred meters (a few hundred feet) high. Debris piled at the base of the cliffs. The bottom image is an aerial photograph of downtown Providence, Rhode Island at the same scale. The bright white circular feature in the top center of the Providence image is an indoor hockey rink, and one can find many craters in the Europa image about the same size. Blocks of debris which have fallen from the cliffs on the Europa image are about the same size as houses seen in the Providence image, and the largest blocks are almost as large as the Rhode Island state capitol building (large white building in upper left of Providence image). A fracture that runs horizontally across the center of the Europa image is about the same width as the freeway which runs along the bottom of the Providence image.

    North is to the top right of the Europa image, and the sun illuminates the surface from the east. The Europa image is centered at approximately 9 degrees north latitude and 274 degrees west longitude. The images each cover an area approximately 1.7 kilometers by 4 kilometers (1 mile by 2.5 miles). The resolution is 9 meters (30 feet) per picture element. The Europa image was taken on December 16, 1997 at a range of 900 kilometers (540 miles) by the solid state imaging system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

    This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.

  7. The Manannan Impact Crater on Europa: Determination of Surface Compositions of Key Stratigraphic Units

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, J. B.; Prockter, L. M.; Shirley, J. H.; Phillips, C. B.; Kamp, L.

    2011-12-01

    Mannanan is a 22-km-diameter impact crater located at 3 N, 240 W on Europa's orbital trailing side. Detailed high resolution geologic mapping by Moore et al. (2001) revealed the likely presence of extensive deposits of impact melt materials largely filling the crater floor, together with surrounding continuous ejecta deposits that may have been excavated from Europa's interior. Terrains surrounding Mannanàn include some of Europa's visibly darkest surfaces, with extensive areas of chaos, traversed by the prominent structure of Belus Linea. The Mannannàn impact crater and its surrounding areas were imaged during the C3 orbital encounter of the Galileo Mission by the orbiter's Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS). This NIMS observation (C3ENLINEA01A) has not been subjected to a detailed investigation until now, possibly due to the presence of moderate levels of radiation noise. A "despiked" version of this observation has been produced using methods described in Shirley et al. (2010). In addition, new geologic mapping precisely registered to the NIMS coverage of Manannàn and its surroundings allows the extraction of high-quality near-infrared spectra that are specific to individual geologic units and morphological features. We will present linear mixture modeling solutions for the compositions of several of Manannàn's key stratigraphic units, including the crater floor deposits and the adjacent chaos and linea materials. We will interpret these results in the context of ongoing investigations of the interplay of exogenic and endogenic influences on the surface composition of Europa. This work was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory-California Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University-Applied Physics Laboratory, and the SETI Institute under a contract with NASA. Support by NASA's Outer Planets Research program is gratefully acknowledged. Moore, J. M. and 25 others 2001. Impact Features on Europa: Results of the Galileo Europa Mission (GEM

  8. Subduction on Europa: Evidence for plate tectonics on an icy world (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenhorn, S. A.; Prockter, L. M.

    2013-12-01

    Europa is the primary target in NASA's future outer solar system exploration strategy. A tidally heated global ocean beneath its ice shell is important for astrobiological considerations; however, habitability requires a source of chemical nutrients. Europa's radiolytically processed surface is a potential source, but a means of delivery of compounds to the ocean is required. Past studies of Europa's surface have been unable to explain an abundance of extensional features (e.g., dilational bands) yet scant evidence of contraction. Moreover, the crater-based surface age (40-90 Myr) indicates one of the solar system's youngest surfaces, implying Europa's surface (3.09 x 107 km2) may have been recycled in this time frame (i.e., 0.3-0.8 km2 per year). We address this enigma by presenting evidence for subduction, and hence plate tectonics, on Europa. We reconstruct geologic features in a 106,000 km2 candidate region to show that the current surface configuration involved numerous translations and rotations of rigid plates. The reconstruction reveals ~100 km of missing surface that seemingly vanished along a 20-km-wide, band-like zone with unusual color characteristics. Mismatching geological features across this zone suggest an ~80-km-wide region may have subducted along a ≥300-km-long plate boundary. The subduction zone is arcuate, has no topographic expression at image resolutions, and is partially bounded by transform faults. The overriding plate has numerous strike-slip faults consistent with strain partitioning related to oblique convergence. The surface of the overriding plate is also pervasively dotted with isolated patches of disrupted terrain, which we interpret as erupted cryolava, implying a significant subsurface thermal perturbation related to the potential subduction. If a subduction model for Europa is accurate, buoyancy constraints and a lack of contractional topography imply that the subducting slab does not enter the ocean directly. We thus interpret

  9. Investigating Stress Seources and Fault Parameters Along Major Strike-Slip Lineae on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, M. E.; Smith-Konter, B. R.; Pappalardo, R. T.

    2014-12-01

    The surface of Europa is crosscut by a dense network of structures, many of these representing a complex history of strike-slip tectonic activity, presumably arising from a combination of global and local stress sources. Several dominant (~1000 km) structures span geographically diverse locations of Europa, offering a unique opportunity to study strike-slip activity at the hemispheric scale. These structures also exhibit kilometer-scale geometric bends that can promote or discourage shear failure. To better understand the role of tidal stress sources and implications for strike-slip faulting on Europa, we investigate the relationship between shear and normal stresses at four major fault zones: Agenor Linea, Rhadamanthys Linea, Conamara Chaos (Agave and Asterius Lineae), and Astypalaea Linea. Assuming tidal diurnal and non-synchronous rotation (NSR) stresses as the primary mechanisms for strike-slip tectonism, here we investigate the mechanics of Coulomb shear failure on Europa. We consider a range of friction coefficients (µf = 0.2 - 0.6) and fault depths (0 - 6 km) to evaluate how the predicted failure varies as a function of depth and its dependency on ice friction, geographic location, and fault geometry. Our results indicate that the conditions for failure at depth are not met for any of the lineae if subject to diurnal stresses only. Alternatively, models that include both diurnal and NSR stresses readily generate stress magnitudes that could permit shear failure. Shear failure is easily activated and extends to depths ranging from 3 - 6 km on all four linea systems when a low coefficient of friction (µf = 0.2) is assumed, but is generally limited to depths < 3 km when a high coefficient of friction (µf = 0.6) is applied. Based on these results, we infer that the conditions for shear failure are potentially met along at least these four studied lineae, and possibly others, on Europa when NSR is adopted as a driving stress mechanism and the coefficient of

  10. What does Cassini ENA observations tell us about gas around Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Pontus; Mauk, Barry; Westlake, Joseph; Smith, Todd; Mitchell, Donald

    2015-04-01

    From about December 2000 to January 2001 the Ion and Neutral Camera (INCA) imaged Jupiter in Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) from a distance of about 137-250 Jovian planetary radii (RJ) over an energy range from about 10 to 300 keV. A forward model is employed to derive column densities and assumes a neutral gas-plasma model and an energetic ion distribution based on Galileo in-situ measurements. We demonstrate that Jupiter observations by INCA are consistent with a column density peaking around Europa's orbit in the range from 2x1012 cm-2 to 7x1012 cm-2, assuming H2, and are consistent with the upper limits reported from the Cassini/UVIS observations. Most of the INCA observations are consistent with a roughly azimuthally symmetric gas distribution, but some appear consistent with an asymmetric gas distribution centred on Europa, which would directly imply that Europa is the source of the gas. Although our neutral gas model assumes a Europa source, we explore other explanations of the INCA observations including: (1) ENAs are produced by charge exchange between energetic ions and neutral hydrogen originating from charge-exchanged protons in the Io plasma torus. However, estimated densities by Cheng (1986) are about one order of magnitude too low to explain the INCA observations; (2) ENAs are produced by charge exchange between energetic ions and plasma ions such as O+ and S+ originating from Io. However, that would require O+ plasma densities higher than expected to compensate for the low charge-exchange cross section between protons and O+; (3) We re-examine the INCA Point-Spread Function (PSF) to determine if the ENA emissions in the vicinity of Europa's orbit could be explained by internal scattering of ENAs originating from Jupiter's high-latitude upper atmosphere. However, the PSF was well constrained by using Jupiter from distances where it could be considered a point source.

  11. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa and the Other Galilean Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sittler, Edward; Cooper, John; Hartle, Richard; Lipatov, Alexander; Mahaffy, Paul; Paterson, William; Pachalidis, Nick; Coplan, Mike; Cassidy, Tim

    2010-05-01

    NASA and ESA are planning the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) to the Jupiter system with specific emphasis to Europa and Ganymede, respectively. The Japanese Space Agency is also planning an orbiter mission to explore Jupiter's magnetosphere and the Galilean satellites. For NASA's Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) we are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) with two main goals which can also be applied to the other Galilean moons, 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter's magnetosphere and 2) infer the 4? surface composition to trace elemental [1] and significant isotopic levels. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, and between the moon surfaces and subsurface layers putatively including oceans. The measurement of the interactions for all the Galilean moons can be used to trace the in situ ion measurements of pickup ions back to either Europa's or Ganymede's surface from the respectively orbiting spacecraft. The IMS instrument, being developed under NASA's Astrobiology Instrument Development Program, would maximally achieve plasma measurement requirements for JEO and EJSM while moving forward our knowledge of Jupiter system composition and source processes to far higher levels than previously envisaged. The composition of the global surfaces of Europa and Ganymede can be inferred from the measurement of ejected neutrals and pick-up ions using at minimum an in situ payload including MAG and IMS also fully capable of meeting Level 1 mission requirements for ocean detection and survey. Elemental and isotopic analysis of potentially extruded oceanic materials at the moon surfaces would further support the ocean objectives. These measurements should be made from a polar orbiting spacecraft about Europa or Ganymede at height ~ 100 km. The ejecta produced by

  12. Shape of lenticulae on Europa and their interaction with lineaments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culha, Cansu; Manga, Michael

    2015-04-01

    The surface of Europa contains many elliptical features that have been grouped into three classes: (a) positive relief (domes), (b) negative relief (pits), or (c) complex terrain (small chaos). Collectively, these three classes of features are often called "lenticulae". The internal processes that form lenticulae are unknown. However, given that the diameters of all these features are similar, it is parsimonious to ascribe each class of feature to a different stage in the evolution of some process occurring within the ice shell. Proposed models for these features including diapirs (Sotin et al., 2002; Rathbun et al., 1998); melting above diapirs (Schmidt et al., 2011); and sills of water (Michaut and Manga, 2014). The objective of the present study is to first characterize the shape of lecticulae, and then look at the interaction of lenticulae with lineaments, in order to test lenticulae formation mechanisms. Lenticulae and lineaments are mapped and annotated on ArcGIS. We mapped a total of 57 pits and 86 domes. Both pits and domes have similar aspect ratios and orientations. The elliptical similarities of domes and pits suggest that domes and pits are surface expressions of different stages of a common process within the ice shell. The cross cutting relationships between lineaments reveal relative age. Lineaments either lie over or under the lenticulae. All of the lineament segments that appear within pits also appear topographically lower than the rest of the surface. Domes lie over and under lineaments, but unlike pits there are lineaments that lie over domes that do not vary in topography. This suggests that the lineaments that lie above lenticulae and match the lenticulae's topography are older than the lenticulae. Domes have more crossing lineaments. Therefore, on average, they appear to be older than pits. Lineaments also appear on the sides of lenticulae. There are two different ways in which adjacent lineaments appear: 1. they disrupt the shape of the

  13. Science of the Joint ESA-NASA Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc, Michel; Greeley, Ron

    2010-05-01

    The Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), an international joint mission under study by NASA and ESA, has the overarching theme to investigate the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants. Jupiter's diverse Galilean satellites—three of which are believed to harbor internal oceans—are the key to understanding the habitability of icy worlds. To this end, the reference mission architecture consists of the NASA-led Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) and the ESA-led Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). JEO and JGO will execute a coordinated exploration of the Jupiter System before settling into orbit around Europa and Ganymede, respectively. JEO and JGO carry sets of complementary instruments, to monitor dynamic phenomena (such as Io's volcanoes and Jupiter's atmosphere), map the Jovian magnetosphere and its interactions with the Galilean satellites, and characterize water oceans beneath the ice shells of Europa and Ganymede. Encompassed within the overall mission theme are two science goals, (1) Determine whether the Jupiter System harbors habitable worlds and (2) Characterize the processes within the Jupiter System. The science objectives addressed by the first goal are to: i) characterize and determine the extent of subsurface oceans and their relations to the deeper interior, ii) characterize the ice shells and any subsurface water, including the heterogeneity of the ice, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; iii) characterize the deep internal structure, differentiation history, and (for Ganymede) the intrinsic magnetic field; iv) compare the exospheres, plasma environments, and magnetospheric interactions; v) determine global surface composition and chemistry, especially as related to habitability; vi) understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and identify and characterize candidate sites for future in situ exploration. The science objectives for addressed by the second goal are to: i) understand the

  14. An Examination of Issues Related to a Europa Subsurface Component for the JIMO Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carsey, F. D.; Hecht, M. H.; Wilcox, B. H.; Behar, A. E.; Holland, P. M.

    2003-01-01

    The Galileo Europa data set served to revolutionize our view of Europa. In particular the strong evidence of a large, cold, salty Ocean beneath 5-30 km of ice has profoundly altered the significance of Europa in our thinking, especially of context of habitability in the solar system. While much remains to be learned from spacecraft observations of several sorts, there are significant questions answerable only by in-situ techniques; these relate to the formation of Europa, the nature of its ocean, and the prospects for life in its ocean, sediments, and ice. We feel that wide-ranging discussion of an in-situ subsurface mission to Europa, as part of JIMO, should proceed. The science objective of the mission is to characterize the icy shell of Europa to resolve its provenance, estimate the composition of brine of the Europa ocean, and search for evidence of Earth-like life. Probably anyone would agree that an in-situ mission to Europa would be of great value, but he or she would also immediately take the position that such a mission is utterly impractical. We take the position here of defining the least complex mission that can nonetheless justify its cost and to argue that such a mission is realistic enough that it should be seriously considered. Our mission thinking has been: 1) Soft landing. A soft lander is required on a site sufficiently flat to offer a stable platform; no further site selectivity is required. 2) Subsurface exploration. The Europa subsurface must be examined. Surficial processes on Europa arguably have exposed the upper 200 m of shell to chemical effects from the Jovian radiation belts as well as cometary infall, etc; to examine native ice we must descend below that point to, for discussion, 300 m. At that depth we argue that the ice is characteristic of ice at depth and possibly is effectively sea ice. 3) Science data. A few simple measurements at various depths and at 300 m constitute a scientifically successful mission. Measurements would

  15. An Examination of Issues Related to a Europa Subsurface Component for the JIMO Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carsey, F. D.; Hecht, M. H.; Wilcox, B. H.; Behar, A. E.; Holland, P. M.

    2003-01-01

    The Galileo Europa data set served to revolutionize our view of Europa. In particular the strong evidence of a large, cold, salty Ocean beneath 5-30 km of ice has profoundly altered the significance of Europa in our thinking, especially of context of habitability in the solar system. While much remains to be learned from spacecraft observations of several sorts, there are significant questions answerable only by in-situ techniques; these relate to the formation of Europa, the nature of its ocean, and the prospects for life in its ocean, sediments, and ice. We feel that wide-ranging discussion of an in-situ subsurface mission to Europa, as part of JIMO, should proceed. The science objective of the mission is to characterize the icy shell of Europa to resolve its provenance, estimate the composition of brine of the Europa ocean, and search for evidence of Earth-like life. Probably anyone would agree that an in-situ mission to Europa would be of great value, but he or she would also immediately take the position that such a mission is utterly impractical. We take the position here of defining the least complex mission that can nonetheless justify its cost and to argue that such a mission is realistic enough that it should be seriously considered. Our mission thinking has been: 1) Soft landing. A soft lander is required on a site sufficiently flat to offer a stable platform; no further site selectivity is required. 2) Subsurface exploration. The Europa subsurface must be examined. Surficial processes on Europa arguably have exposed the upper 200 m of shell to chemical effects from the Jovian radiation belts as well as cometary infall, etc; to examine native ice we must descend below that point to, for discussion, 300 m. At that depth we argue that the ice is characteristic of ice at depth and possibly is effectively sea ice. 3) Science data. A few simple measurements at various depths and at 300 m constitute a scientifically successful mission. Measurements would

  16. Habitability: where lo look for life? Habitability Index Earth analogs to study Mars and Europa`s habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, F.; Amils, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2010-12-01

    The first astrobiological mission specially designed to detect life on Mars, the Viking missions, thought life unlikely, considering the amount of UV radiation bathing the surface of the planet, the resulting oxidative conditions, and the lack of adequate atmospheric protection. The necessity of the Europa surface exploration comes from the idea of a water ocean existence in its interior. Life needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only sine qua nom elements is the water, taking into account our experience on Earth extreme ecosystems The discovery of extremophiles on Earth widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the universe, and as a consequence on Mars. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity) offers a completely different view: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates, and the existence of iron minerals like jarosite, goethite and hematite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models related with this type of mineralogy to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of microorganisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. The high concentrations of ferric iron and sulfates, products of the metabolism of pyrite, generate a collection of minerals, mainly gypsum, jarosite, goethite and hematites, all of which have been detected in different regions of Mars (Fernández-Remolar et al., 2004). But, where to look for life in other planetary bodies? Planet`s or Icy Moon`s surface are adverse for life. Some particular protective environments or elements should house the organic molecules and the first bacterial life forms (Gómez F. et al., 2007). Terrestrial analogues work could help us to

  17. Photographer : JPL Range : 241,000km (150,600 mi.). This black and white image of Europa, smallest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Photographer : JPL Range : 241,000km (150,600 mi.). This black and white image of Europa, smallest of Jupiter's four Galilean satellites, was acquired by Voyager 2. Europa, the brightest of the Galiliean satellites, has a density slightly less than Io, suggesting it has a substantial quantity of water. Scientists previously speculated that the water must have cooled from the interior and formed a mantle of ice perhaps 100 km thick. The complex patterns on its surface suggest that the icy surface was fractured, and that the cracks filled with dark material from below. Very few impact craters are visible on the surface, suggesting that active processes on the surface are still modifying Europa. The tectonic pattern seen on its surface differs drastically from the fault systems seen on Ganymede where pieces of the crust have moved relative to each other. On Europa, the crust evidently fractures but the pieces remain in roughly their original position.

  18. The crustal tectonics and history of Europa: A structural, morphological, and comparative analysis. M.S. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, P. M.

    1984-01-01

    An evaluation of surface features and structures on the Galilean moon Europa is made using the available high resolution Voyager imagery, low resolution support imaging, and what understanding of ice structure and mechanical behavior science has that is applicable to the problem. A general discussion of the history of Europa studies and the fundamental global morphology is undertaken. The visible lineament and terrain patterns are described, and possible origins discussed. Observations of faulting and block rotation previously described are amplified. A comparison of Europa's structures to terrestrial sea ice and lava lake crust features is also included. Finally, an attempt is made at synthesizing a unified model for the evolution of Europa's crust is presented which is compared with models developed by others.

  19. Benefits to the Europa Clipper Mission Provided by the Space Launch System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creech, Stephen D.; Patel, Keyur

    2013-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) proposed Europa Clipper mission would provide an unprecedented look at the icy Jovian moon, and investigate its environment to determine the possibility that it hosts life. Focused on exploring the water, chemistry, and energy conditions on the moon, the spacecraft would examine Europa's ocean, ice shell, composition and geology by performing 32 low-altitude flybys of Europa from Jupiter orbit over 2.3 years, allowing detailed investigations of globally distributed regions of Europa. In hopes of expediting the scientific program, mission planners at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are working with the Space Launch System (SLS) program, managed at Marshall Space Flight Center. Designed to be the most powerful launch vehicle ever flown, SLS is making progress toward delivering a new capability for exploration beyond Earth orbit. The SLS rocket will offer an initial low-Earth-orbit lift capability of 70 metric tons (t) beginning with a first launch in 2017 and will then evolve into a 130 t Block 2 version. While the primary focus of the development of the initial version of SLS is on enabling human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit using the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the rocket offers unique benefits to robotic planetary exploration missions, thanks to the high characteristic energy it provides. This paper will provide an overview of both the proposed Europa Clipper mission and the Space Launch System vehicle, and explore options provided to the Europa Clipper mission for a launch within a decade by a 70 t version of SLS with a commercially available 5-meter payload fairing, through comparison with a baseline of current Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) capabilities. Compared to that baseline, a mission to the Jovian system could reduce transit times to less than half, or increase mass to more than double, among other benefits. In addition to these primary benefits, the paper will

  20. Large Impact Features on Europa: Results of the Galileo Nominal Mission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, Johnnie N.; Asphaug, E.; Sullivan, R.J.; Klemaszewski, J.E.; Bender, K.C.; Greeley, R.; Geissler, P.E.; McEwen, A.S.; Turtle, E.P.; Phillips, C.B.; Tufts, B.R.; Head, J. W., III; Pappalardo, R.T.; Jones, K.B.; Chapman, C.R.; Belton, M.J.S.; Kirk, R.L.; Morrison, D.

    1998-01-01

    The Galileo Orbiter examined several impact features on Europa at considerably better resolution than was possible from Voyager. The new data allow us to describe the morphology and infer the geology of the largest impact features on Europa, which are probes into the crust. We observe two basic types of large impact features: (1) "classic" impact craters that grossly resemble well-preserved lunar craters of similar size but are more topographically subdued (e.g., Pwyll) and (2) very flat circular features that lack the basic topographic structures of impact craters such as raised rims, a central depression, or central peaks, and which largely owe their identification as impact features to the field of secondary craters radially sprayed about them (e.g., Callanish). Our interpretation is that the classic craters (all <30 km diameter) formed entirely within a solid target at least 5 to 10 km thick that exhibited brittle behavior on time scales of the impact events. Some of the classic craters have a more subdued topography than fresh craters of similar size on other icy bodies such as Ganymede and Callisto, probably due to the enhanced viscous relaxation produced by a steeper thermal gradient on Europa. Pedestal ejecta facies on Europa (and Ganymede) may be produced by the relief-flattening movement of plastically deforming but otherwise solid ice that was warm at the time of emplacement. Callanish and Tyre do not appear to be larger and even more viscously relaxed versions of the classic craters; rather they display totally different morphologies such as distinctive textures and a series of large concentric structural rings cutting impact-feature-related materials. Impact simulations suggest that the distinctive morphologies would not be produced by impact into a solid ice target, but may be explained by impact into an ice layer ~10 to 15 km thick overlying a low-viscosity material such as water. The very wide (near antipodal) separation of Callanish and Tyre imply

  1. The Resolved Asteroid Program - Size, shape, and pole of (52) Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merline, W. J.; Drummond, J. D.; Carry, B.; Conrad, A.; Tamblyn, P. M.; Dumas, C.; Kaasalainen, M.; Erikson, A.; Mottola, S.; Ďurech, J.; Rousseau, G.; Behrend, R.; Casalnuovo, G. B.; Chinaglia, B.; Christou, J. C.; Chapman, C. R.; Neyman, C.

    2013-07-01

    With the adaptive optics (AO) system on the 10 m Keck-II telescope, we acquired a high quality set of 84 images at 14 epochs of asteroid (52) Europa on 2005 January 20, when it was near opposition. The epochs covered its 5.63 h rotation period and, by following its changing shape and orientation on the plane of sky, we obtained its triaxial ellipsoid dimensions and spin pole location. An independent determination from images at three epochs obtained in 2007 is in good agreement with these results. By combining these two data sets, along with a single epoch data set obtained in 2003, we have derived a global fit for (52) Europa of diameters a × b × c = (379 × 330 × 249) ± (16 × 8 × 10) km, yielding a volume-equivalent spherical-diameter of √abc3 =315±7km, and a prograde rotational pole within 7° of [RA; Dec] = [257°; +12°] in an Equatorial J2000 reference frame (Ecliptic: 255°; +35°). Using the average of all mass determinations available for (52) Europa, we derive a density of 1.5 ± 0.4 g cm-3, typical of C-type asteroids. Comparing our images with the shape model of Michalowski et al. (2004, Astron. Astrophys. 416, 353), derived from optical lightcurves, illustrates excellent agreement, although several edge features visible in the images are not rendered by the model. We therefore derived a complete 3-D description of (52) Europa's shape using the KOALA algorithm by combining our 18 AO imaging epochs with 4 stellar occultations and 49 lightcurves. We use this 3-D shape model to assess these departures from ellipsoidal shape. Flat facets (possible giant craters) appear to be less distinct on (52) Europa than on other C-types that have been imaged in detail, (253) Mathilde and (511) Davida. We show that fewer giant craters, or smaller largest-sized craters, is consistent with its expected impact history. Overall, asteroid (52) Europa is still well modeled as a smooth triaxial ellipsoid with dimensions constrained by observations obtained over

  2. Large Impact Features on Europa: Results of the Galileo Nominal Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; Asphaug, Erik; Sullivan, Robert J.; Klemaszewski, James E.; Bender, Kelly C.; Greeley, Ronald; Geissler, Paul E.; McEwen, Alfred S.; Turtle, Elizabeth P.; Phillips, Cynthia B.

    1998-01-01

    The Galileo Orbiter examined several impact features on Europa at considerably better resolution than was possible from Voyager. The new data allow us to describe the morphology and infer the geology of the largest impact features on Europa, which are probes into the crust. We observe two basic types of large impact features: (1) "classic" impact craters that grossly resemble well-preserved lunar craters of similar size but are more topographically subdued (e.g., Pwyll) and (2) very flat circular features that lack the basic topographic structures of impact craters such as raised rims, a central depression, or central peaks, and which largely owe their identification as impact features to the field of secondary craters radially sprayed about them (e.g., Callanish). Our interpretation is that the classic craters (all <30 km diameter) formed entirely within a solid target at least 5 to 10 km thick that exhibited brittle behavior on time scales of the impact events. Some of the classic craters have a more subdued topography than fresh craters of similar size on other icy bodies such as Ganymede and Callisto, probably due to the enhanced viscous relaxation produced by a steeper thermal gradient on Europa. Pedestal ejecta facies on Europa (and Ganymede) may be produced by the relief-flattening movement of plastically deforming but otherwise solid ice that was warm at the time of emplacement. Callanish and Tyre do not appear to be larger and even more viscously relaxed versions of the classic craters; rather they display totally different morphologies such as distinctive textures and a series of large concentric structural rings cutting impact-feature-related materials. Impact simulations suggest that the distinctive morphologies would not be produced by impact into a solid ice target, but may be explained by impact into an ice layer approximately 10 to 15 km thick overlying a low-viscosity material such as water. The very wide (near antipodal) separation of Callanish

  3. BOOK REVIEW: Geheimnisvolles Universum - Europas Astronomen entschleiern das Weltall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duerbeck, H. W.; Lorenzen, D. H.

    2002-12-01

    The 25th birthday of ESO, in 1987, was celebrated by the publication of an illustrated popular book, "Exploring the Southern Sky" (Springer-Verlag 1987), which also saw editions in Danish, English, French, German, and Spanish. Written and illustrated by the ESO staff members Svend Laustsen, Claus Madsen and Richard M. West, its many pictures were mainly taken with the ESO 3.6m and Schmidt telescopes. The structure of the book - perhaps at that time somewhat unusual - started with things far away (Universe and galaxies), zoomed in to the Milky Way, and finally reached the Solar System (with a concluding chapter dealing with the La Silla observatory). Now, with the 4 units of the Very Large Telescope in full operation, and on the occasion of ESO's 40th birthday, another jubilee book has appeared: "Geheimnisvolles Universum: Europas Astronomen entschleiern das Weltall", written by the science journalist Dirk H. Lorenzen, of Hamburg, Germany, and prefaced by Catherine Cesarsky, Director General of ESO. Presumably, this book will also soon become available in more languages spoken in ESO member countries. Thus it may be worthwhile to review the first edition, although some readers may like to wait for more easily accessible editions. Before going into details, let me first mention that I find this a very impressing book, great to look at and refreshing to read. With ESO seen through the eyes of a visitor, things gain a perspective that is quite different from that of the previous book, and at least as attractive. It comes as no surprise that the book starts with a visit of ESO's showcase, the Paranal Observatory, and the writer not only notes down his own impressions, but also cites statements of some of the many people that keep Paranal going - technicians and staff astronomers. This mixture of texts provides a good impression of the operations at a large observatory for the general reader. The two more 'astronomical' parts that follow deal with star and planet

  4. Surfaces of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto: an investigation using Voyager IRIS thermal infrared spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, J.R.

    1987-01-01

    In 1979, the IRIS infrared spectrometers on the two Voyager spacecraft obtained over 1000 disk-resolved thermal emission spectra of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, Jupiter's three large icy satellites. This dissertation describes the first detailed analysis of this data set. Ganymede and Callisto subsolar temperatures are 10 and 5/sup 0/K, respectively, below equilibrium values. Equatorial nighttime temperatures are between 100 and 75/sup 0/K, Callisto and Europa being colder than Ganymede. The diurnal temperature profiles can be matched by 2-layer surfaces that are also consistent with the eclipse cooling observed from earth, though previous eclipse models underestimated thermal inertias by about 50%. Substrate thermal inertias in the 2-layer models are a factor of several lower than for solid ice. These are cold spots on Ganymede and Callisto that are not high-albedo regions, which may indicate large thermal inertia anomalies.

  5. Subsurface Oceans on Europa and Callisto: Constraints from Galileo Magnetometer Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmer, Christophe; Khurana, Krishan K.; Kivelson, Margaret G.

    2000-01-01

    Galileo measured the magnetic field perturbations of Europa and Callisto, which are consistent with dipole fields created by temporal variations of the surrounding jovian magnetospheric field. These fields almost match those expected for perfectly conducting moons. Using a simple shell model, we analyze the implications of these observations for the electrical structure for the interiors of the moons. It is discovered that Europa and Callisto must possess areas where the conductivity exceeds 0.06 and 0.02 S/m at a depth of no more than 200 and 300 km below the surface, respectively. This conductivity is not attainable in ice or silicates, unless large temperature gradients can be maintained below the ice or the ice layer is at least partially molten. A cloud of pick-up ions or an ionosphere are probably insufficiently conductive. Global Earth-like oceans under the surface of both moons could explain the observations if they are at least a few kilometers thick.

  6. Prospects of passive radio detection of a subsurface ocean on Europa with a lander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero-Wolf, Andrew; Schroeder, Dustin M.; Ries, Paul; Bills, Bruce G.; Naudet, Charles; Scott, Bryan R.; Treuhaft, Robert; Vance, Steve

    2016-09-01

    We estimate the sensitivity of a lander-based instrument for the passive radio detection of a subsurface ocean beneath the ice shell of Europa, expected to be between 3 km and 30 km thick, using Jupiter's decametric radiation. A passive technique was previously studied for an orbiter. Using passive detection in a lander platform provides a point measurement with significant improvements due to largely reduced losses from surface roughness effects, longer integration times, and diminished dispersion due to ionospheric effects allowing operation at lower frequencies and a wider band. A passive sounder on-board a lander provides a low resource instrument sensitive to subsurface ocean at Europa up to depths of 6.9 km for high loss ice (16 dB/km two-way attenuation rate) and 69 km for pure ice (1.6 dB/km).

  7. Large Binocular Telescope Observations of Europa Occulting Io's Volcanoes at 4.8 μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skrutskie, Michael F.; Conrad, Albert; Resnick, Aaron; Leisenring, Jarron; Hinz, Phil; de Pater, Imke; de Kleer, Katherine; Spencer, John; Skemer, Andrew; Woodward, Charles E.; Davies, Ashley Gerard; Defrére, Denis

    2015-11-01

    On 8 March 2015 Europa passed nearly centrally in front of Io. The Large Binocular Telescope observed this event in dual-aperture AO-corrected Fizeau interferometric imaging mode using the mid-infrared imager LMIRcam operating behind the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) at a broadband wavelength of 4.8 μm (M-band). Occultation light curves generated from frames recorded every 123 milliseconds show that both Loki and Pele/Pillan were well resolved. Europa's center shifted by 2 kilometers relative to Io from frame-to-frame. The derived light curve for Loki is consistent with the double-lobed structure reported by Conrad et al. (2015) using direct interferometric imaging with LBTI.

  8. Investigation of the atmospheres of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto with PEP/JUICE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorburger, A.; Wurz, P.; Tulej, M.; Thomas, N.; Barabash, S.; Wieser, M.; Lammer, H.

    2013-09-01

    The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) is a planned ESA mission to the Jovian system. The mission's goal is to investigate in detail Jupiter and its system, with focus on the three Galilean moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The Neutral Ion Mass Spectrometer (NIM), one of the sensors making up the Particle Environment Package (PEP), will contribute to this goal by conducting the first-ever direct sampling of the exospheres of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Since the composition of these exospheres is largely unknown we calculated the expected density profiles. Our results show that NIM's sensitivity, mass resolution and mass range will be sufficient for NIM to detect most of the known and expected species in the icy moons' atmospheres.

  9. Gas Hydrate Stability at Low Temperatures and High Pressures with Applications to Mars and Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marion, G. M.; Kargel, J. S.; Catling, D. C.

    2004-01-01

    Gas hydrates are implicated in the geochemical evolution of both Mars and Europa [1- 3]. Most models developed for gas hydrate chemistry are based on the statistical thermodynamic model of van der Waals and Platteeuw [4] with subsequent modifications [5-8]. None of these models are, however, state-of-the-art with respect to gas hydrate/electrolyte interactions, which is particularly important for planetary applications where solution chemistry may be very different from terrestrial seawater. The objectives of this work were to add gas (carbon dioxide and methane) hydrate chemistries into an electrolyte model parameterized for low temperatures and high pressures (the FREZCHEM model) and use the model to examine controls on gas hydrate chemistries for Mars and Europa.

  10. Prebiotic Synthesis of Adenine and Amino Acids Under Europa-like Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levy, Matthew; Miller, Stanley L.; Brinton, Karen; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    2003-01-01

    In order to simulate prebiotic synthetic processes on Europa and other ice-covered planets and satellites. we have investigated the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds from dilute solutions of NH4CN frozen for 25 year at -20 and -78 C. In addition the aqueous products of spark discharge reactions from a reducing atmosphere were frozen for 5 years at -20%. We find that both adenine and guanine, as well as a simple set of amino acids dominated by glycine, are produced in substantial yields under these conditions. These results indicate that some of the key components necessary for the origin of life may have been available on Europa throughout its history and suggest that the circumstellar zone where life might arise may be m der than previously thought.

  11. Prebiotic synthesis of adenine and amino acids under Europa-like conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levy, M.; Miller, S. L.; Brinton, K.; Bada, J. L.

    2000-01-01

    In order to simulate prebiotic synthetic processes on Europa and other ice-covered planets and satellites, we have investigated the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds from dilute solutions of NH4CN frozen for 25 years at -20 and -78 degrees C. In addition, the aqueous products of spark discharge reactions from a reducing atmosphere were frozen for 5 years at -20 degrees C. We find that both adenine and guanine, as well as a simple set of amino acids dominated by glycine, are produced in substantial yields under these conditions. These results indicate that some of the key components necessary for the origin of life may have been available on Europa throughout its history and suggest that the circumstellar zone where life might arise may be wider than previously thought.

  12. Surface Geology of Europa: A Window to Subsurface Composition and Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, J. Brad; Shirley, James H.; Prockter, Louise M.

    2010-05-01

    Observations from the Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) provide a wealth of spectral information on the surface composition of Europa. Recent advances in the analysis of spacecraft observations, combined with newly available reference spectra of expected chemical compounds [Dalton et al., 2005], now permit investigation of composition for individual geologic units. Some of these units appear to represent low-viscosity cryovolcanic flows, presenting substantial evidence for subsurface origin. Subsequent processing by radiolysis and photolysis (chemistry driven by high-energy particle and ultraviolet radiation) has altered the composition of these deposits since their emplacement. It has been postulated that hydrated sulfate salts from the interior may have been converted to sulfuric acid hydrate by this exogenic processing [Carlson et al., 1999; McCord et al., 2002]. It has also been postulated that much of the observed sulfuric acid hydrate may be derived entirely from water ice and implanted sulfur ions from Jupiter's magnetosphere [Carlson et al., 2005]. Destruction of large molecules by the same radiation [Loeffler et al., 2010] however suggests that there may be an equilibrium between creation and destruction that varies based on sulfur content and radiation flux. Derivation of compositions for multiple exposures of individual surface units reveals a gradient in sulfuric acid abundance that increases from the leading hemisphere to the trailing hemisphere, which receives a higher radiogenic dose. Certain geologically young cryovolcanic flow surface units exhibit comparatively higher proportions of hydrated salts (with correspondingly lower abundance of sulfuric acid hydrate) than is found for older surface units of the same type, or for surface units of different geologic origin. Taken together these lines of evidence suggest that in at least some of these units, we are observing an intermediate stage of the conversion of endogenically

  13. Cassini ENA Observations of an Asymmetric Europa Torus with Indications of Magnetospheric Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Pontus; Westlake, Joseph; Mauk, Barry; Mitchell, Donald

    2014-05-01

    From about December 2000 to January 2001 the Ion Neutral Camera (INCA) on board the Cassini spacecraft imaged Jupiter in Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) that are created when singly charged ions charge exchange with neutral gas atoms or molecules. The INCA observations were obtained from a distance of about 137-250 Jovian planetary radii (RJ) over an energy range from about 10 to 300 keV. These observations have been demonstrated to be consistent with a neutral gas torus encircling Jupiter at Europa's orbit (Mauk et al., 2004). Here, we present a new, detailed analysis of the ENA images implying an asymmetric Europa neutral gas torus with indications of magnetospheric dynamics. The analysis uses images with a minimum integration time and background. A forward model using a parametric energetic ion model and a neutral gas model simulates ENA images through the instrument response function of INCA in order to determine the spatial distribution of the neutral gas.

  14. Cassini ENA Observations of an Asymmetric Europa Torus with Indications of Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, P. C.; Westlake, J. H.; Mitchell, D. G.; Mauk, B.; Smith, H. T.

    2014-12-01

    From about December 2000 to January 2001 the Ion Neutral Camera (INCA) on board the Cassini spacecraft imaged Jupiter in Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) that are created when singly charged ions charge exchange with neutral gas atoms or molecules. The INCA observations were obtained from a distance of about 137-250 Jovian planetary radii (RJ) over an energy range from about 10 to 300 keV. These observations have been demonstrated to be consistent with a neutral gas torus encircling Jupiter at Europa's orbit (Mauk et al., 2004). Here, we present a new, detailed analysis of the ENA images implying an asymmetric Europa neutral gas torus with indications of magnetospheric dynamics. The analysis uses images with a minimum integration time and background. A forward model using a parametric energetic ion model and a neutral gas model simulates ENA images through the instrument response function of INCA in order to determine the spatial distribution of the neutral gas.

  15. Early Formulation Model-centric Engineering on NASA's Europa Mission Concept Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayer, Todd; Chung, Seung; Cole, Bjorn; Cooke, Brian; Dekens, Frank; Delp, Chris; Gontijo, Ivair; Lewis, Kari; Moshir, Mehrdad; Rasmussen, Robert; Wagner, David

    2012-01-01

    The proposed Jupiter Europa Orbiter and Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter missions were formulated using current state-of-the-art MBSE facilities: - JPL's TeamX, Rapid Mission Architecting - ESA's Concurrent Design Facility - APL's ACE Concurrent Engineering Facility. When JEO became an official "pre-project" in Sep 2010, we had already developed a strong partnership with JPL's Integrated Model Centric Engineering (IMCE) initiative; decided to apply Architecting and SysML-based MBSE from the beginning, begun laying these foundations to support work in Phase A. Release of Planetary Science Decadal Survey and FY12 President's Budget in March 2011 changed the landscape. JEO reverted to being a pre-phase A study. A conscious choice was made to continue application of MBSE on the Europa Study, refocused for early formulation. This presentation describes the approach, results, and lessons.

  16. Galileo PPR observations of Europa: Hotspot detection limits and surface thermal properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathbun, Julie A.; Rodriguez, Nathaniel J.; Spencer, John R.

    2010-12-01

    The Galileo photopolarimeter-radiometer (PPR) made over 100 observations of Europa's surface temperature. We have used these data to constrain a diurnal thermal model and, thus, map the thermal inertia and bolometric albedo over 20% of the surface. We find an increased thermal inertia at mid-latitudes that is widespread in longitude and does not appear to correlate with geology, albedo, or other observables. Our derived thermophysical properties can be used to predict volatile stability across the surface over the course of a day and in planning of infrared instruments on future missions. Furthermore, while observations in the thermal infrared can and have been used to find endogenic activity, no such activity was detected at Europa. We have calculated the detection limits of these PPR observations and find that 100 km 2 hotspots with temperatures of 116-1200 K could exist undetected on the surface, depending on the location.

  17. High-Resolution Topography and its Implications for the Formation of Europa's Ridged Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, E. J.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Yin, A.; Patthoff, D. A.; Schenk, P.

    2015-12-01

    The Galileo Solid State Imager (SSI) recorded nine very high-resolution frames—eight at 12 m/pixel and one at 6 m/pixel—during the E12 flyby of Europa in Dec. 1997. To understand the implications for the small-scale structure and evolution of Europa, we mosaicked these frames (observations 12ESMOTTLE01 and 02, incidence ≈18°, emission ≈77°) into their regional context (part of observation 11ESREGMAP01, 220 m/pixel, incidence ≈74°, emission ≈23°). The topography data, which was created from the image mosaic overlaps, is sparse and segmented over the high-resolution images but connected by the underlying regional resolution topography. The high-resolution topography (24 m/pixel) is among the best for the current Europan dataset. From this dataset we ascertain the root mean square, or RMS, slope for some of the most common Europan surface features in a new region. We also employ a Fourier Transform method previously used on Ganymede and on other areas of Europa (Patel et al., 1999 JGR), to derive common wavelengths for the subunits of the ubiquitous ridged plains terrain. These results have important implications for differentiating between possible formation mechanisms—extensional tilt blocks (Pappalardo et al., 1995 JGR) or folds (Leonard et al., 2015 LPSC Abstract)—and for potential future missions. We continue this method for another high-resolution region taken in the E12 orbit, WEDGES01 and 02, with the specific goal of investigating how the variations in ridged plains morphologies relate across the surface of Europa.

  18. Exogenic controls on sulfuric acid hydrate production at the surface of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, J. B.; Cassidy, T.; Paranicas, C.; Shirley, J. H.; Prockter, L. M.; Kamp, L. W.

    2013-03-01

    External agents have heavily weathered the visible surface of Europa. Internal and external drivers competing to produce the surface we see include, but are not limited to: aqueous alteration of materials within the icy shell, initial emplacement of endogenic material by geologic activity, implantation of exogenic ions and neutrals from Jupiter's magnetosphere, alteration of surface chemistry by radiolysis and photolysis, impact gardening of upper surface layers, and redeposition of sputtered volatiles. Separating the influences of these processes is critical to understanding the surface and subsurface compositions at Europa. Recent investigations have applied cryogenic reflectance spectroscopy to Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) observations to derive abundances of surface materials including water ice, hydrated sulfuric acid, and hydrated sulfate salts. Here we compare derived sulfuric acid hydrate (H2SO4·nH2O) abundance with weathering patterns and intensities associated with charged particles from Jupiter's magnetosphere. We present models of electron energy, ion energy, and sulfur ion number flux as well as the total combined electron and ion energy flux at the surface to estimate the influence of these processes on surface concentrations, as a function of location. We found that correlations exist linking both electron energy flux (r∼0.75) and sulfur ion flux (r=0.93) with the observed abundance of sulfuric acid hydrate on Europa. Sulfuric acid hydrate production on Europa appears to be limited in some regions by a reduced availability of sulfur ions, and in others by insufficient levels of electron energy. The energy delivered by sulfur and other ions has a much less significant role. Surface deposits in regions of limited exogenic processing are likely to bear closest resemblance to oceanic composition. These results will assist future efforts to separate the relative influence of endogenic and exogenic sources in establishing the

  19. Spectral behavior of hydrated sulfate salts: implications for Europa mission spectrometer design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dalton, James Bradley 3rd

    2003-01-01

    Remote sensing of the surface of Europa with near-infrared instruments has suggested the presence of hydrated materials, including sulfate salts. Attention has been focused on these salts for the information they might yield regarding the evolution of a putative interior ocean, and the evaluation of its astrobiological potential. These materials exhibit distinct infrared absorption features due to bound water. The interactions of this water with the host molecules lead to fine structure that can be used to discriminate among these materials on the basis of their spectral behavior. This fine structure is even more pronounced at the low temperatures prevalent on icy satellites. Examination of hydrated sulfate salt spectra measured under cryogenic temperature conditions provides realistic constraints for future remote-sensing missions to Europa. In particular, it suggests that a spectrometer system capable of 2-5 nm spectral resolution or better, with a spatial resolution approaching 100 m, would be able to differentiate among proposed hydrated surface materials, if present, and constrain their distributions across the surface. Such information would provide valuable insights into the evolutionary history of Europa.

  20. SUDA: A Dust Mass Spectrometer for Compositional Surface Mapping for a Mission to Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kempf, S.; Altobelli, N.; Briois, C.; Grün, E.; Horanyi, M.; Postberg, F.; Schmidt, J.; Srama, R.; Sternovsky, Z.; Tobie, G.; Zolotov, M.

    2014-04-01

    We developed a dust mass spectrometer to measure the composition of ballistic dust particles populating the thin exospheres that were detected around each of the Galilean moons. Since these grains are direct samples from the moons' icy surfaces, unique composition data will be obtained that will help to define and constrain the geological activities on and below the moons? surface. The proposed instrument will make a vital contribution to NASA's planned Europa Clipper mission and provide key answers to its main scientific questions about the surface composition, habitability, the icy crust, and exchange processes with the deeper interior of the Jovian icy moon Europa. The SUrface Dust Aanalyser (SUDA) is a time-offlight, reflectron-type impact mass spectrometer, optimised for a high mass resolution which only weakly depends on the impact location. The small size (268×250×171 mm3), low mass (< 4 kg) and large sensitive area (220 cm2) makes the instrument well suited for the challenging demands of the Europa Clipper mission. A full-size prototype SUDA instrument was built in order to demonstrate its performance through calibration experiments at the dust accelerator at NASA's IMPACT institute at Boulder, CO with a variety of cosmochemically relevant dust analogues. The effective mass resolution of m/∆m of 200-250 is achieved for mass range of interest m = 1-250.

  1. Transfer of mass from Io to Europa and beyond due to cometary impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarellos, José Luis; Zahnle, Kevin J.; Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.; Hamill, Patrick

    2008-04-01

    We simulate the production and orbital evolution of escaping ejecta due to cometary impacts on Io. The model includes the four Galilean satellites, Amalthea, Thebe, Jupiter's gravitational moments, Saturn and the Sun. Five scenarios are examined: an impact at the apex, the sub-jovian point, the anti-jovian point, the antapex, and at the south pole of Io. We estimate that on average a cometary impact injects thrice its mass (in the form of Io surface material) into jovicentric orbit. The majority of the escaping debris comes back to Io, but a sizeable fraction (between 5.0 and 8.7%) manages to reach Europa, and a smaller fraction Ganymede (between 1.5 and 4.6%). Smaller fractions reached Amalthea Thebe, Callisto, and Jupiter itself. For million year time scales, the mass transfer to Europa is estimated as 1.8-3.1×10 g/Myr. The median time for transfer of ejecta from Io to Europa is ˜56 years.

  2. Can a future mission detect a habitable ecosystem on Europa, or Ganymede?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chela Flores, Julian

    2010-05-01

    The considerable evidence for the presence of a liquid ocean over a silicate core makes Europa a candidate for the emergence of a second evolutionary pathway of autochthonous life. The most urgent question in astrobiology is the origin of habitable ecosystems—a question in geochemistry—rather than the alternative search for the origin of life itself—a question in chemical evolution (Chela-Flores, 2010). Since certain bodies may share a similar geophysical past with the Earth, a question suggests itself: Can available instrumentation be the ‘pioneer' in the discovery of habitable ecosystems in geophysical environments similar to the early Earth, where oceans were in contact with a silicate core? A central aspect of this dilemma is the element sulphur (S). A reliable window on the nature of the early terrestrial habitable ecosystems is the Pilbara Craton (Australia), a rich fossiliferous archive of the early steps of evolution, having preserved details of ancient hydrothermal vents. It contains a 3.47 Ga barite deposit with microfossils of a complex set of sulphate-reducing bacteria (Shen and Buick, 2004). The large spread in the delta 34S values provides the earliest reliable biomarker from the early Earth. Europa may represent the only other case in the Solar System in which liquid water has been in contact with a silicate core over geologic time in perfect analogy with the early Earth (Bland et al., 2009). The following hypothesis is forced upon us: The presence of hydrothermal activity at the interface of the silicate core and the Europan ocean can provide a variety of biogenic chemicals that play a role in sustaining microbial life at the ocean floor. This is the source of microbial life elsewhere in the ocean and of biomarkers on its icy surface. This hypothesis is subject to a feasible experimental test: Europa's non-ice surficial elements were found to be widespread, patchy and, most likely, endogenous. We argue that penetrators should be inserted in

  3. Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets: Programmatic Preparations for Europa Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rummel, J. D.

    2007-12-01

    A new era of planetary exploration - and the investigation of whether life exists or has existed beyond Earth - requires the development of biologically relevant instruments capable of extensive, autonomous operations on and below planetary surfaces. In collaboration with other agencies, NASA's Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) Program sponsors investigations focused on exploring the Earth's extreme environments through use of terrestrial field campaigns to develop a sound technical and scientific basis upon which to conduct a search for life or life-related molecules on other planets. The ASTEP Program is a science-driven exploration program exercising new science and operational/technological capabilities to enable this next generation of planetary exploration. One focus of ASTEP has been preparing for future missions to Europa, where the challenges of mass, power, volume are acute in accomplishing remote exploration, ice penetration, and following the lure of potential ocean-bottom features (~100km down!) such as hydrothermal venting. This poster will discuss the advantages of extreme-environment expeditions in preparing for the exploration of other worlds, and review current and future ASTEP-funded activities that contribute to Europa exploration. In addition, future mission concepts for Earth-based Europa exploration that might be proposed to a future ASTEP opportunity will be envisioned.

  4. Possible Detection of Volcanic Activity on Europa: Analysis of An Optical Transient Event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de La Fuente Marcos, R.; Nissar, A.

    2002-06-01

    Europa's low crater density suggests that geological activity has continued to the present epoch, leading to the possibility that current resurfacing events might be detectable. CCD observations were carried out with a ST-6 camera at the 0.5 m Mons Cassegrain telescope (Izaña Observatory, Tenerife,Canary Islands, Spain) during the night between 2 3 October 1999. Our images show a transient bright feature on the Galilean satellite. These images are analyzed here with the purpose of understanding the nature of the transient phenomena as it could be the result of explosive venting on the surface of the Jovian satellite. By comparison, we use NASA Infrared Telescope Facility images of two Io hot spots taken on12 October 1990. Although we mainly restrict our discussion on apossible eruptive nature of the observed spots, we also consider other alternative mechanisms able to produce bright events. In particular, an interaction between charged material being ejected from Europa and the Jovian magnetosphere cannot be entirely ruled out. If confirmed, this result would lend support for the existence of active resurfacing in Europa.

  5. Biogenesis and Early Life on Earth and Europa: Favored by an Alkaline Ocean?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kempe, Stephan; Kazmierczak, Jozef

    2002-03-01

    Recent discoveries about Europa - the probable existence of a sizeable ocean below its ice crust; the detection of hydrated sodium carbonates, among other salts; and the calculation of a net loss of sodium from the subsurface - suggest the existence of an alkaline ocean. Alkaline oceans (nicknamed "soda oceans" in analogy to terrestrial soda lakes) have been hypothesized also for early Earth and Mars on the basis of mass balance considerations involving total amounts of acids available for weathering and the composition of the early crust. Such an environment could be favorable to biogenesis since it may have provided for very low Ca2+ concentrations mandatory for the biochemical function of proteins. A rapid loss of CO2 from Europa's atmosphere may have led to freezing oceans. Alkaline brine bubbles embedded in ice in freezing and impact-thawing oceans could have provided a suitable environment for protocell formation and the large number of trials needed for biogenesis. Understanding these processes could be central to assessing the probability of life on Europa.

  6. Utilization of the Deep Space Atomic Clock for Europa Gravitational Tide Recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seubert, Jill; Ely, Todd

    2015-01-01

    Estimation of Europa's gravitational tide can provide strong evidence of the existence of a subsurface liquid ocean. Due to limited close approach tracking data, a Europa flyby mission suffers strong coupling between the gravity solution quality and tracking data quantity and quality. This work explores utilizing Low Gain Antennas with the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) to provide abundant high accuracy uplink-only radiometric tracking data. DSAC's performance, expected to exhibit an Allan Deviation of less than 3e-15 at one day, provides long-term stability and accuracy on par with the Deep Space Network ground clocks, enabling one-way radiometric tracking data with accuracy equivalent to that of its two-way counterpart. The feasibility of uplink-only Doppler tracking via the coupling of LGAs and DSAC and the expected Doppler data quality are presented. Violations of the Kalman filter's linearization assumptions when state perturbations are included in the flyby analysis results in poor determination of the Europa gravitational tide parameters. B-plane targeting constraints are statistically determined, and a solution to the linearization issues via pre-flyby approach orbit determination is proposed and demonstrated.

  7. Jovian Plasma Torus Interaction with Europa: 3D Hybrid Kinetic Simulation. First results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lipatov, A. S.; Cooper, J. F.; Paterson, W. R.; Sittler, E. C.; Hartle, R. E.; Simpson, D. G.

    2010-01-01

    The hybrid kinetic model supports comprehensive simulation of the interaction between different spatial and energetic elements of the Europa-moon-magnetosphere system with respect to variable upstream magnetic field and flux or density distributions of plasma and energetic ions, electrons, and neutral atoms. This capability is critical for improving the interpretation of the existing Europa flyby measurements from the Galileo orbiter mission, and for planning flyby and orbital measurements, (including the surface and atmospheric compositions) for future missions. The simulations are based on recent models of the atmosphere of Europa (Cassidy etal.,2007;Shematovichetal.,2005). In contrast to previous approaches with MHD simulations, the hybrid model allows us to fully take into account the finite gyro radius effect and electron pressure, and to correctly estimate the ion velocity distribution and the fluxes along the magnetic field (assuming an initial Maxwellian velocity distribution for upstream background ions).Non-thermal distributions of upstream plasma will be addressed in future work. Photoionization,electron-impact ionization, charge exchange and collisions between the ions and neutrals are also included in our model. We consider two models for background plasma:(a) with O(++) ions; (b) with O(++) and S(++) ions. The majority of O2 atmosphere is thermal with an extended cold population (Cassidyetal.,2007). A few first simulations already include an induced magnetic dipole; however, several important effects of induced magnetic fields arising from oceanic shell conductivity will be addressed in later work.

  8. The interactions of Europa and Callisto with the magnetosphere of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khurana, K.; Kivelson, M.; Volwerk, M.

    GalileoSs observations of magnetic field in the vicinity of Europa and Callisto have shown that both of these moons do not possess appreciable internal magnetic fields. However, the two moons strongly modify the plasma and magnetic field in their environments by directly interacting with the magnetosphere of Jupiter. The plasma interactions cause the absorption of Jovian plasma by the moons, pick-up of newly formed ions from the exospheres of the moons, plasma diversion by electrodynamic (Alfvén wing) interaction and the formation of wakes in the downstream region. In addition to the electrodynamic interactions, the moons also display electromagnetic induction responses to the rotating field of Jupiter presumably from the conducting presence of global salty liquid oceans inside the moons. Galileo has successfully encountered Europa 10 times and Callisto 7 times during its mission. We have built quantitative models of the interactions of the moons with JupiterSs magnetosphere. In these models we include the effects of plasma pick-up, Alfvén wings and electromagnetic induction. We will present results of these quantitative models and place upper limits on the internal magnetic fields of the moons. We will show that for both of the moons, the plasma interaction is strongest when the moons are located in JupiterSs current sheet. Plasma mass loading rates between 2 and 50 Kg/s are required to explain the observed magnetic signatures near Europa. The mass-loading rate is negligible near Callisto.

  9. The Inchworm Deep Drilling System for Kilometer Scale Subsurface Exploration of Europa (IDDS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafeek, S.; Gorevan, S. P.; Bartlett, P. W.; Kong, K. Y.

    2001-01-01

    The Inchworm Deep Drilling System (IDDS) is a compact subsurface transport system capable of accessing regions of astrobiological interest deep below the surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa. The IDDS answers Focus Investigation Area 1 as an innovative concept for implementing subsurface exploration of Europa. The concept is being developed at Honeybee Robotics to reach depths on the order of one kilometer with no tether or umbilical of any kind. The device's unique, inchworm-burrowing method appears capable of achieving this near-term depth goal and it is foreseeable that the IDDS will be capable of autonomously drilling to tens of kilometers below the surface. Logical applications of the concept also include accessing the proposed subsurface oceans on Ganymede and Callisto, subsurface water ice on Mars, and Lake Vostok on Earth. The conference presentation will communicate the IDDS concept and how it can enable the search for prebiotic and biotic chemical processes on Europa by bringing proper instrumentation to the subsurface ocean for in-situ investigation and/or returning samples to the surface. Currently, a proposal for breadboarding the IDDS is pending for the Research Opportunities for Space Science's Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development NRA. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. NEMO: A mission to search for and return to Earth possible life forms on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, Jesse; Powell, James; Maise, George; Paniagua, John

    2005-07-01

    The Nuclear Europa Mobile Ocean (NEMO) mission would land on the surface of Europa, and deploy a small, lightweight melt probe powered by a compact nuclear reactor to melt down through the multi-kilometer ice sheet. After reaching the sub-surface ocean, a small nuclear Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) would deploy to explore the sub-ice ocean. After exploration and sample collection, the AUV would return to the probe and melt back to the lander. The lander would have replenished its H2 propellant by electrolysis of H2O ice, and then hop to a new site on Europa to repeat the probe/AUV process. After completing the mission, the NEMO spacecraft would return to Earth with its collected samples. The NEMO melt probe and AUV utilize enriched U-235 fuel and conventional water reactor technology. The lander utilizes a compact nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) engine based on the 710tungsten/UO2 cermet fuel and high-temperature H2 propellant. The compact nuclear reactors in both the NEMO melt probe and AUV drive a steam power cycle, generating over 10 kW(e) for use in each. Each nuclear reactor's operating lifetime is several years. With its high-mobility and long-duration mission, NEMO provides an ideal platform for life detection experiments.

  11. Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons

    PubMed Central

    Kitadai, Norio

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The outer Solar System may provide a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life. Remote sensing data from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that the jovian icy moons—Europa, Ganymede, and possibly Callisto—may harbor liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts. Although compositional information required for the discussion of habitability is limited because of significantly restricted observation data, organic molecules are ubiquitous in the Universe. Recently, in situ spacecraft measurements and experiments suggest that amino acids can be formed abiotically on interstellar ices and comets. These amino acids could be continuously delivered by meteorite or comet impacts to icy moons. Here, we show that polymerization of organic monomers, in particular amino acids and nucleotides, could proceed spontaneously in the cold environment of icy moons, in particular the jovian icy moon Europa as a typical example, based on thermodynamic calculations, though kinetics of formation are not addressed. Observed surface temperature on Europa is 120 and 80 K in the equatorial region and polar region, respectively. At such low temperatures, Gibbs energies of polymerization become negative, and the estimated thermal structure of the icy crust should contain a shallow region (i.e., at a depth of only a few kilometers) favorable for polymerization. Investigation of the possibility of organic monomer polymerization on icy moons could provide good constraints on the origin and early evolution of extraterrestrial life. Key Words: Planetary science—Europa—Planetary habitability and biosignatures—Extraterrestrial life—Extraterrestrial organic compounds. Astrobiology 15, 430–441. PMID:26060981

  12. Considerations for a Radar System to Detect an Ocean Underneath the Icy Shell of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, Thorsten; Gogineni, Prasad; Green, James; Cooper, John; Fung, Shing; Taylor, William; Benson, Robert; Reinisch, Bodo; Song, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The detection of an ocean underneath Europa is one of the primary objectives of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission. An orbiting surface penetrating radar has the potential of providing that measurement thus yielding information regarding the possibility of life support on Europa. Radars in the MHz range have successfully monitored the kilometer-deep ice shelves of Greenland and Antarctica, including the detection of Lake Vostok (and others) below an ice sheet thickness of about 4 km. The performance of a radar system orbiting Europa will be subject to several potential complications and unknowns. Besides ionospheric dispersion and the actual depth of the ocean, which is estimated between 2 and 30 km, major unknowns affecting radar performance are the temperature profile, the amount of salt and other impurities within the ice crust as well as the surface roughness. These impurities can in part be produced at the highly irradiated surface by magnetospheric interactions and transported downward into the ice crust by geologic processes. The ionospheric interference must also be modeled from effects of these interactions on production of the thin neutral atmosphere and subsequent ionization of the neutrals. We investigated these uncertainties through radar simulations using different surface and ice characteristics over a frequency range from 10 to 50 MHz. The talk will present results from these simulations discussing potential limitations.

  13. Near-infrared detection of potential evidence for microscopic organisms on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dalton, J. Brad; Mogul, Rakesh; Kagawa, Hiromi K.; Chan, Suzanne L.; Jamieson, Corey S.

    2003-01-01

    The possibility of an ocean within the icy shell of Jupiter's moon Europa has established that world as a primary candidate in the search for extraterrestrial life within our Solar System. This paper evaluates the potential to detect evidence for microbial life by comparing laboratory studies of terrestrial microorganisms with measurements from the Galileo Near Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (NIMS). If the interior of Europa at one time harbored life, some evidence may remain in the surface materials. Examination of laboratory spectra of terrestrial extremophiles measured at cryogenic temperatures reveals distorted, asymmetric nearinfrared absorption features due to water of hydration. The band centers, widths, and shapes of these features closely match those observed in the Europa spectra. These features are strongest in reddish-brown, disrupted terrains such as linea and chaos regions. Narrow spectral features due to amide bonds in the microbe proteins provide a means of constraining the abundances of such materials using the NIMS data. The NIMS data of disrupted terrains exhibit distorted, asymmetric near-infrared absorption features consistent with the presence of water ice, sulfuric acid octahydrate, hydrated salts, and possibly as much as 0.2 mg cm(-3) of carbonaceous material that could be of biological origin. However, inherent noise in the observations and limitations of spectral sampling must be taken into account when discussing these findings.

  14. Shell Tectonics: A Mechanical Model for Strike-slip Displacement on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhoden, Alyssa Rose; Wurman, Gilead; Huff, Eric M.; Manga, Michael; Hurford, Terry A.

    2012-01-01

    We introduce a new mechanical model for producing tidally-driven strike-slip displacement along preexisting faults on Europa, which we call shell tectonics. This model differs from previous models of strike-slip on icy satellites by incorporating a Coulomb failure criterion, approximating a viscoelastic rheology, determining the slip direction based on the gradient of the tidal shear stress rather than its sign, and quantitatively determining the net offset over many orbits. This model allows us to predict the direction of net displacement along faults and determine relative accumulation rate of displacement. To test the shell tectonics model, we generate global predictions of slip direction and compare them with the observed global pattern of strike-slip displacement on Europa in which left-lateral faults dominate far north of the equator, right-lateral faults dominate in the far south, and near-equatorial regions display a mixture of both types of faults. The shell tectonics model reproduces this global pattern. Incorporating a small obliquity into calculations of tidal stresses, which are used as inputs to the shell tectonics model, can also explain regional differences in strike-slip fault populations. We also discuss implications for fault azimuths, fault depth, and Europa's tectonic history.

  15. The effects of laterally varying icy shell structure on the tidal response of Ganymede and Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    A, G.; Wahr, J.; Zhong, S.

    2014-03-01

    We use a finite-element model to solve for the response of Ganymede and Europa to tidal forcing from Jupiter, using various icy shell models with laterally variable (3-D) structure. In all cases, the shell is assumed to be underlain by a liquid-water ocean. Icy shells with laterally varying thickness are derived from a thermal conduction model. Three-dimensional shear modulus profiles for the shell are built either from a conduction model or, for Europa, by assuming a hemispherical difference in composition. Icy shell structures with a nonglobal ocean are built for Ganymede. Using these shell structures to calculate the tidal response of Ganymede and Europa, we conclude the following: (1) the presence of lateral variations in thickness or in shear modulus would not degrade future attempts to use tidal observations to decide on the existence or absence of a liquid ocean and to determine the mean icy shell thickness. (2) Given accurate enough observations, the presence of lateral variations in thickness or in shear modulus could be determined by searching for nondegree-2 components in the tidal response. (3) In the absence of significant viscous convective flow in the shell, the effects of a laterally varying shear modulus on the tidal response would be smaller than those of a laterally varying shell thickness. (4) If the shell is partially grounded, tidal observations of either gravity or uplift would be able to roughly differentiate regions where the ice is grounded from those where it is floating.

  16. Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Jun; Kitadai, Norio

    2015-06-01

    The outer Solar System may provide a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life. Remote sensing data from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that the jovian icy moons--Europa, Ganymede, and possibly Callisto--may harbor liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts. Although compositional information required for the discussion of habitability is limited because of significantly restricted observation data, organic molecules are ubiquitous in the Universe. Recently, in situ spacecraft measurements and experiments suggest that amino acids can be formed abiotically on interstellar ices and comets. These amino acids could be continuously delivered by meteorite or comet impacts to icy moons. Here, we show that polymerization of organic monomers, in particular amino acids and nucleotides, could proceed spontaneously in the cold environment of icy moons, in particular the jovian icy moon Europa as a typical example, based on thermodynamic calculations, though kinetics of formation are not addressed. Observed surface temperature on Europa is 120 and 80 K in the equatorial region and polar region, respectively. At such low temperatures, Gibbs energies of polymerization become negative, and the estimated thermal structure of the icy crust should contain a shallow region (i.e., at a depth of only a few kilometers) favorable for polymerization. Investigation of the possibility of organic monomer polymerization on icy moons could provide good constraints on the origin and early evolution of extraterrestrial life. PMID:26060981

  17. Near-infrared detection of potential evidence for microscopic organisms on Europa.

    PubMed

    Dalton, J Brad; Mogul, Rakesh; Kagawa, Hiromi K; Chan, Suzanne L; Jamieson, Corey S

    2003-01-01

    The possibility of an ocean within the icy shell of Jupiter's moon Europa has established that world as a primary candidate in the search for extraterrestrial life within our Solar System. This paper evaluates the potential to detect evidence for microbial life by comparing laboratory studies of terrestrial microorganisms with measurements from the Galileo Near Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (NIMS). If the interior of Europa at one time harbored life, some evidence may remain in the surface materials. Examination of laboratory spectra of terrestrial extremophiles measured at cryogenic temperatures reveals distorted, asymmetric nearinfrared absorption features due to water of hydration. The band centers, widths, and shapes of these features closely match those observed in the Europa spectra. These features are strongest in reddish-brown, disrupted terrains such as linea and chaos regions. Narrow spectral features due to amide bonds in the microbe proteins provide a means of constraining the abundances of such materials using the NIMS data. The NIMS data of disrupted terrains exhibit distorted, asymmetric near-infrared absorption features consistent with the presence of water ice, sulfuric acid octahydrate, hydrated salts, and possibly as much as 0.2 mg cm(-3) of carbonaceous material that could be of biological origin. However, inherent noise in the observations and limitations of spectral sampling must be taken into account when discussing these findings. PMID:14678661

  18. Can the biogenicity of Europa's surfical sulfur be tested simultaneously with penetrators and ion traps?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chela-Flores, J.; Bhattacherjee, A. B.; Dudeja, S.; Kumar, N.; Seckbach, J.

    2009-04-01

    We suggest a biogenic interpretation of the sulfur patches on the Europan icy surface. This hypothesis is testable by LAPLACE, or a later mission, in which the instrumentation on board are penetrators, or ion traps, with component selection including miniaturized mass spectrometry. The argument in favor of such instrumentation and component selection is as follows: Extreme environments with microbes can act as models for extraterrestrial life (Seckbach et al., 2008). Suggestions have ranged from Venusian environments (Sagan, 1967, Seckbach and Libby, 1970) to Mars (Grilli Caiola and Billi, 2007). Active photosynthetic microbial communities are found on Antarctica, both in and on ice, in fresh water, in saline lakes and streams and within rocks. In the dry valley lakes of Antarctica close to the McMurdo Base, microbial mats are known to selectively remove a huge quantity of sulfur (Parker et al., 1982). Lake Vostok in Antarctica possesses a perennially thick (3 to 4 km) ice-cover that precludes photosynthesis, thus making this subglacial environment a good model system for determining how a potential Europan biota might emerge, evolve and distribute itself. Jupiter's moon Europa may harbor a subsurface water ocean, which lies beneath an ice layer that might be too thick to allow photosynthesis, just as in Lake Vostok. However, disequilibrium chemistry driven by charged particles from Jupiter's magnetosphere could produce sufficient organic and oxidant molecules for an Europan biosphere (Chyba, 2000). We restrict our attention to microbial mats that could still be thriving in spite of the extreme conditions of radiation on Europa. We are especially concerned with sulfur patches discovered by the Galileo mission. In the near future there are technologies available to settle the question of habitability on Europa, such as penetrators that are currently being developed for preliminary trials nearer to the Earth—the Moon-Lite mission (Smith et al., 2008). If analogies

  19. The Importance of Chaos and Lenticulae on Europa for the JIMO Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spaun, Nicole A.

    2003-01-01

    The Galileo Solid State Imaging (SSI) experiment provided high-resolution images of Europa's surface allowing identification of surface features barely distinguishable at Voyager's resolution. SSI revealed the visible pitting on Europa's surface to be due to large disrupted features, chaos, and smaller sub-circular patches, lenticulae. Chaos features contain a hummocky matrix material and commonly contain dislocated blocks of ridged plains. Lenticulae are morphologically interrelated and can be divided into three classes: domes, spots, and micro-chaos. Domes are broad, upwarped features that generally do not disrupt the texture of the ridged plains. Spots are areas of low albedo that are generally smooth in texture compared to other units. Micro-chaos are disrupted features with a hummocky matrix material, resembling that observed within chaos regions. Chaos and lenticulae are ubiquitous in the SSI regional map observations, which average approximately 200 meters per pixel (m/pxl) in resolution, and appear in several of the ultra-high resolution, i.e., better than 50 m/pxl, images of Europa as well. SSI also provided a number of multi-spectral observations of chaos and lenticulae. Using this dataset we have undertaken a thorough study of the morphology, size, spacing, stratigraphy, and color of chaos and lenticulae to determine their properties and evaluate models of their formation. Geological mapping indicates that chaos and micro-chaos have a similar internal morphology of in-situ degradation suggesting that a similar process was operating during their formation. The size distribution denotes a dominant size of 4-8 km in diameter for features containing hummocky material (i.e., chaos and micro-chaos). Results indicate a dominant spacing of 15 - 36 km apart. Chaos and lenticulae are generally among the youngest features stratigraphically observed on the surface, suggesting a recent change in resurfacing style. Also, the reddish non-icy materials on Europa

  20. The composition and oxidation state of a subsurface ocean on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zolotov, Mikhail

    The composition of an ice-covered water ocean on the Jovian moon Europa can be evaluated from spectral observations and models for water-rock interaction. The use of spectral data is limited by the irradiation-driven oxidation and contamination of surface materials by S, Na, K, and Cl delivered from Io. The Na/K ratio observed in the atmosphere of Europa indicates a contribution from frozen oceanic water (Johnson, 2000). The accumulation of alkali metals and Cl in oceanic water is anticipated from the composition of seawater on Earth, from water-rock interaction models, from the composition of aqueous extracts from CI/CM type carbonaceous chondrites, and from the composition of solid plume emissions on Enceladus (Postberg et al., 2009; 2011). The detection of CO2 in endogenic surface areas (Hansen and McCord, 2008) implies the presence of C species in the ocean. Although organic and inorganic (bicarbonate, carbonate) species could be present, a dominance of inorganic C solutes is expected in both sulfate-rich and moderately reduced (Enceladus-type, Postberg et al., 2009) oceans. A sulfate-bearing ocean on Europa agrees with a high abundance of S species in endogenic surface features (McCord et al., 1999) and with a presence of Mg salts at the surface (Brown and Hand, 2013). Sulfur and Mg species may not be abundant in a reduced sulfate-depleted ocean that interacts with mafic/ultramafic rocks. Sulfate-bearing oceanic water is consistent with sulfate-rich leaches from CI/CM chondrites, which could be among the building blocks of Europa. Oceanic sulfates could have originated from oxidation of Fe sulfides by O2 and H2O2 formed through radiolysis of water ice. The oxidation could have occurred on CI/CM type planetesimals followed by leaching of sulfates from accreted chondrites. Accretion of irradiated ices could have led to sulfate formation in the interior of Europa. Both scenarios imply formation on an ocean rich in Na, Cl, Mg, sulfate, and diverse C species.

  1. Jovian's plasma torus interaction with Europa: 3D hybrid kinetic simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipatov, A. S.; Cooper, J. F.; Paterson, W. R.

    2009-12-01

    The hybrid kinetic model approach supports comprehensive simulation of the interaction between different spatial and energetic elements of the Europa moon-magnetosphere system with respect to variable upstream magnetic field and flux or density distributions of plasma and energetic ions, electrons, and neutral atoms. This capability is critical to improved interpretation of the existing measurements for surface and atmospheric composition from previous missions and to planning of future missions. The simulations are based on recent models of the atmosphere of Europa [1,2]. The hybrid model allows us to take into account the finite gyroradius effect and to estimate correctly the ions velocity distribution and the fluxes along the magnetic field in opposite the MHD simulation with the Maxwellian velocity distribution for background and pickup ions. The hybrid model also allows us to investigate the effects of the electron pressure on plasma wake structure that was already done for Jovian torus Io interaction [3]. Photoionization, electron-impact ionization and charge exchange are included in our model. The temperature of the background electrons and pickup electrons was also included into the generalized Ohm's law. We also take into account the collisions between the ions and neutrals. The background plasma contains only the ions with SO++ (Model A) [4] and O++ and S++ (Model B) [5]. The pickup ions were created from the atmosphere. The majority of O2 atmosphere is thermal with an extended non-thermal population [1]. The moon is modeled in this initial work as a weakly conducting body. Important effects of induced magnetic fields arising from oceanic shell conductivity will be addressed in later work. In this report we discuss the first results of the hybrid kinetic simulation of Europa's environment, namely, the global plasma structures, e.g., the formation of the magnetic barrier, Alfvén wing, pickup ion tail etc., and the computed map for the ion flux on the

  2. Can the biogenicity of Europa's surfical sulfur be tested simultaneously with penetrators and ion traps?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chela-Flores, J.; Bhattacherjee, A. B.; Dudeja, S.; Kumar, N.; Seckbach, J.

    2009-04-01

    We suggest a biogenic interpretation of the sulfur patches on the Europan icy surface. This hypothesis is testable by LAPLACE, or a later mission, in which the instrumentation on board are penetrators, or ion traps, with component selection including miniaturized mass spectrometry. The argument in favor of such instrumentation and component selection is as follows: Extreme environments with microbes can act as models for extraterrestrial life (Seckbach et al., 2008). Suggestions have ranged from Venusian environments (Sagan, 1967, Seckbach and Libby, 1970) to Mars (Grilli Caiola and Billi, 2007). Active photosynthetic microbial communities are found on Antarctica, both in and on ice, in fresh water, in saline lakes and streams and within rocks. In the dry valley lakes of Antarctica close to the McMurdo Base, microbial mats are known to selectively remove a huge quantity of sulfur (Parker et al., 1982). Lake Vostok in Antarctica possesses a perennially thick (3 to 4 km) ice-cover that precludes photosynthesis, thus making this subglacial environment a good model system for determining how a potential Europan biota might emerge, evolve and distribute itself. Jupiter's moon Europa may harbor a subsurface water ocean, which lies beneath an ice layer that might be too thick to allow photosynthesis, just as in Lake Vostok. However, disequilibrium chemistry driven by charged particles from Jupiter's magnetosphere could produce sufficient organic and oxidant molecules for an Europan biosphere (Chyba, 2000). We restrict our attention to microbial mats that could still be thriving in spite of the extreme conditions of radiation on Europa. We are especially concerned with sulfur patches discovered by the Galileo mission. In the near future there are technologies available to settle the question of habitability on Europa, such as penetrators that are currently being developed for preliminary trials nearer to the Earth—the Moon-Lite mission (Smith et al., 2008). If analogies

  3. Application of Geologic Mapping Techniques and Autonomous Feature Detection to Future Exploration of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunte, M. K.; Tanaka, K. L.; Doggett, T.; Figueredo, P. H.; Lin, Y.; Greeley, R.; Saripalli, S.; Bell, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    Europa's extremely young surface age, evidence for extensive resurfacing, and indications of a sub-surface ocean elevate its astrobiological potential for habitable environments and make it a compelling focus for study. Knowledge of the global distribution and timing of Europan geologic units is a key step in understanding the history of the satellite and for identifying areas relevant for exploration. I have produced a 1:15M scale global geologic map of Europa which represents a proportionate distribution of four unit types and associated features: plains, linea, chaos, and crater materials. Mapping techniques differ somewhat from other planetary maps but do provide a method to establish stratigraphic markers and to illustrate the surface history through four periods of formation as a function of framework lineament cross-cutting relationships. Correlations of observed features on Europa with Earth analogs enforce a multi-process theory for formation rather than the typical reliance on the principle of parsimony. Lenticulae and microchaos are genetically similar and most likely form by diapirism. Platy and blocky chaos units, endmembers of archetypical chaos, are best explained by brine mobilization. Ridges account for the majority of lineaments and may form by a number of methods indicative of local conditions; most form by either tidal pumping or shear heating. The variety of morphologies exhibited by bands indicates that multiple formation mechanisms apply once fracturing of the brittle surface over a ductile subsurface is initiated. Mapping results support the interpretation that Europa's shell has thickened over time resulting in changes in the style and intensity of deformation. Mapping serves as an index for change detection and classification, aids in pre-encounter targeting, and supports the selection of potential landing sites. Highest priority target areas are those which indicate geophysical activity by the presence of volcanic plumes, outgassing, or

  4. KECK II OBSERVATIONS OF HEMISPHERICAL DIFFERENCES IN H{sub 2}O{sub 2} ON EUROPA

    SciTech Connect

    Hand, K. P.; Brown, M. E.

    2013-04-01

    We present results from Keck II observations of Europa over four consecutive nights using the near-infrared spectrograph. Spectra were collected in the 3.14-4.0 {mu}m range, enabling detection and monitoring of the 3.5 {mu}m feature due to hydrogen peroxide. Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer results first revealed hydrogen peroxide on Europa in the anti-Jovian region of the leading hemisphere at a percent by number abundance of 0.13% {+-} 0.07% relative to water. We find comparable results for the two nights over which we observed the leading hemisphere. Significantly, we observed a small amount of hydrogen peroxide ({approx}0.04%) during observations of Europa's anti-Jovian and sub-Jovian hemispheres. Almost no hydrogen peroxide was detected during observations of just the trailing hemisphere. We conclude that the Galileo observations likely represent the maximum hydrogen peroxide concentration, the exception potentially being the cold water ice regions of the poles, which are not readily observable from the ground. Our mapping of the peroxide abundance across Europa requires revisions to previous estimates for Europa's global surface abundance of oxidants and leads to a reduction in the total oxidant delivery expected for the subsurface ocean if an exchange of surface material with the ocean occurs.

  5. Stereo Topography of Surface Features on Europa and Comparisons with Formation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, C. B.; El Henson, E.; Nimmo, F.

    2013-12-01

    Stereo topography, in combination with geophysical modeling, can be used to study the subsurface structure and thermal history of icy satellites. We are using stereo images of Jupiter's satellite Europa from the Galileo SSI instrument to construct digital elevation models (DEMs). Despite the sparse, well-analyzed nature of the SSI dataset, we have used new software techniques to identify potential stereo pairs and to create DEMs and extract profiles. Our new stereo results are an important cross-check on previous work using two independent techniques. Potential stereo pairs are identified and processed using ISIS software, reprojected to the same viewing geometry, and then serve as input to two separate stereo photogrammetry techniques. SOCET SET [1] and Ames Stereo Pipeline [2] both have been used successfully by our group to create DEMs of the satellites of Saturn from Cassini ISS data [3]. In the case of Europa, we were able to create successful DEMs using both techniques, but found that in most cases, the DEMs created with Ames Stereo Pipeline were of better quality with fewer artifacts. We continue to process stereo pairs using both techniques and will present the overall results of this work. Preliminary results from Ames Stereo Pipeline show a depth for Cilix crater of between 300-350 meters, with a central peak height of about 200 meters. This depth is roughly consistent with previous work such as [4], although our new DEM shows a central peak that is lower than the crater rim, rather than equivalent. In the case of Pwyll crater, our new results indicate a central peak height of about 400 m, less than that shown in [4] but still significantly higher than the crater rim or surrounding terrain. We are able to resolve a subtle crater rim in places, with a height of about 100-150m above the first lower-elevation section, but its presence is inconsistent. We also have successful results for a variety of ridges on Europa, which vary in height from about 50 meters

  6. Lyman Alpha Camera for Io's SO2 atmosphere and Europa's water plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McEwen, Alfred S.; Sandel, Bill; Schneider, Nick

    2014-05-01

    The Student Lyman-Alpha Mapper (SLAM) was conceived for the Io Volcano Observer (IVO) mission proposal (McEwen et al., 2014) to determine the spatial and temporal variations in Io's SO2 atmosphere by recording the H Ly-α reflection over the disk (Feldman et al., 2000; Feaga et al., 2009). SO2 absorbs at H Ly-α, thereby modulating the brightness of sunlight reflected by the surface, and measures the density of the SO2 atmosphere and its variability with volcanic activity and time of day. Recently, enhancements at the Ly-α wavelength (121.57 nm) were seen near the limb of Europa and interpreted as active water plumes ~200 km high (Roth et al., 2014). We have a preliminary design for a very simple camera to image in a single bandpass at Ly-α, analogous to a simplified version of IMAGE EUV (Sandel et al. 2000). Our goal is at least 50 resolution elements across Io and/or Europa (~75 km/pixel), ~3x better than HST STIS, to be acquired at a range where the radiation noise is below 1E-4 hits/pixel/s. This goal is achieved with a Cassegrain-like telescope with a 10-cm aperture. The wavelength selection is achieved using a simple self-filtering mirror in combination with a solar-blind photocathode. A photon-counting detector based on a sealed image intensifier preserves the poisson statistics of the incoming photon flux. The intensifier window is coated with a solar-blind photocathode material (CsI). The location of each photon event is recorded by a position-sensitive anode based on crossed delay-line or wedge-and-strip technology. The sensitivity is 0.01 counts/pixel/sec/R, sufficient to estimate SO2 column abundances ranging from 1E15 to 1E17 per cm2 in a 5 min (300 sec) exposure. Sensitivity requirements to search for and image Europa plumes may be similar. Io's Ly-α brightness of ~3 kR exceeds the 0.8 kR brightness of Europa's plume reported by Roth et al. (2014), but the plume brightness is a direct measurement rather than inferring column abundance from

  7. Gravity is the Key Experiment to Address the Habitability of the Ocean in Jupiter's Moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sessa, A. M.; Dombard, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    Life requires three constituents: a liquid solvent (i.e., water), a chemical system that can form large molecules to record genetic information (e.g., carbon based) as well as chemical nutrients (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorous), and a chemical disequilibrium system that can provide metabolic energy. While it is believed that there is a saline water layer located between the rock and ice layers in Jupiter's moon Europa, which would satisfy the first requirement, it is unknown if the other conditions are currently met. The likelihood that Europa is a haven for life in our Solar System skyrockets, however, if there is currently active volcanism at the rock-water interface, much the same that volcanic processes enable the chemosynthetic life that forms the basis of deep sea-vent communities at the bottom of Earth's oceans. Exploring the volcanic activity on this interface is challenging, as direct observation via a submersible or high-resolution indirect observations via a dense global seismic network on the surface is at present technically (and fiscally!) untenable. Thus, gravity studies are the best way to explore currently the structure of this all-important interface. Though mostly a silicate body with only a relatively thin (~100 km) layer of water, Europa is different from the terrestrial planets in that this rock-water interface, and not the surface, represents the largest density contrast across the moon's near-surface layers, and thus topography on this interface could conceivably dominate the gravity. Here, we calculate the potential anomalies that arise from topography on the surface, the water-ice interface (at 20 km depth), and the rock-water interface, finding that the latter dominates the free-air gravity at the longest wavelengths (spherical harmonic degrees < 10) and the Bouguer gravity at intermediate wavelengths (degrees ~10-50), and only for the shortest wavelengths (degrees > 50) does the water-ice interface (and presumably mass-density anomalies

  8. NIR spectral constraints of Europa's surface with ESO/VLT/ SINFONI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligier, Nicolas; Poulet, François; Carter, John; Langevin, Yves; Dumas, Christophe; Gourgeot, Florian

    2015-04-01

    Europa is a major exobiological target with its possible sub-surface briny ocean buried under a water-ice dominated crust of several km-thick. The upcoming ESA L-class mission JUICE to the Jupiter system and its payload will partly address this question, in particular through compositional remote sensing in the near-infrared (using the MAJIS imaging hyperspectral spectrometer) and visible (using MAJIS and the camera JANUS) wavelength range. A global compositional mapping campaign was performed between October 2011 and January 2012 with the integral field spectrograph SINFONI on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile for increasing our knowledge acquired with the NIMS instrument onboard the Galileo spacecraft and previous telescopic observations. The high spectral binning of this instrument (0.5 nm) is suitable to detect any narrow signature in the wavelength range 1.45-2.45 μm. The spatially resolved spectra we obtained over five epochs nearly cover the entire surface of Europa with a pixel scale of 12.5 by 25 m.a.s (~35 by 70 km on Europa's surface). Depending on the hemisphere, our spectra are globally (1) dominated by crystalline water-ice distorted and asymmetric absorption features, or (2) dominated by sulfuric acid hydrate (Carlson et al. 1999b) coming from Iogenic sulfur ion bombardment. However, some well-identified geological structures such as crater (Pwyll) and some chaos regions (Tara Regio, Powys Regio) look spectrally different. Although hydrated magnesium sulfates as epsomite (MgSO4.7H2O) and chlorine hydrated salts were proposed to be present on the surface (Brown et al. 2013, Hanley et al. 2014), our preliminary fits from linear spectral modeling (using cryogenic laboratory spectra of these materials) cannot reproduce this result. Finally, no narrow signature, which could indicate the presence of material of exobiological interest, has been so far detected in this complex data set.

  9. Europa's Crust and Ocean: Origin, Composition, and the Prospects for Life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kargel, J.S.; Kaye, J.Z.; Head, J. W., III; Marion, G.M.; Sassen, R.; Crowley, J.K.; Ballesteros, O.P.; Grant, S.A.; Hogenboom, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    We have considered a wide array of scenarios for Europa's chemical evolution in an attempt to explain the presence of ice and hydrated materials on its surface and to understand the physical and chemical nature of any ocean that may lie below. We postulate that, following formation of the jovian system, the europan evolutionary sequence has as its major links: (a) initial carbonaceous chondrite rock, (b) global primordial aqueous differentiation and formation of an impure primordial hydrous crust, (c) brine evolution and intracrustal differentiation, (d) degassing of Europa's mantle and gas venting, (e) hydrothermal processes, and (f) chemical surface alteration. Our models were developed in the context of constraints provided by Galileo imaging, near infrared reflectance spectroscopy, and gravity and magnetometer data. Low-temperature aqueous differentiation from a carbonaceous CI or CM chondrite precursor, without further chemical processing, would result in a crust/ocean enriched in magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate, consistent with Galileo spectroscopy. Within the bounds of this simple model, a wide range of possible layered structures may result; the final state depends on the details of intracrustal differentiation. Devolatilization of the rocky mantle and hydrothermal brine reactions could have produced very different ocean/crust compositions, e.g., an ocean/crust of sodium carbonate or sulfuric acid, or a crust containing abundant clathrate hydrates. Realistic chemical-physical evolution scenarios differ greatly in detailed predictions, but they generally call for a highly impure and chemically layered crust. Some of these models could lead also to lateral chemical heterogeneities by diapiric upwellings and/or cryovolcanism. We describe some plausible geological consequences of the physical-chemical structures predicted from these scenarios. These predicted consequences and observed aspects of Europa's geology may serve as a basis for further analys is

  10. Physical Electron Belt Model from Jupiter's surface to the orbit of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sicard, AngéLica; Bourdarie, SéBastien

    2004-02-01

    The three-dimensional model, Salammbô-3D, which was initially developed to model the Earth's radiation belts, has been adapted to Jupiter's radiation environment. As a first step, this model has been validated between L = 1 and L = 6 (L: MacIlwain parameter), just inside Io's obit. In order to extend our three-dimensional (3-D) code up to L = 9.5, just inside Europa's orbit, a more realistic magnetic field than the dipole field used before has been introduced in Salammbô. Two magnetic field models are available: The model of [1981] and the one of [1997]. Both of them are composed of two parts: An internal magnetic field, intrinsic to the planet, and an external magnetic field, due to the current sheet. Results deduced from Salammbô-3D, using these two different models, will be shown and compared. Then, to validate our 3-D code, from Jupiter up to Europa's orbit, comparisons between simulations and two kinds of observations will be done. Firstly, Salammbô results will be compared with spacecraft data (Pioneer 10 and 11) and secondly with radio observations (Very Large Array: VLA). Indeed, with the help of Salammbô-3D and a synchrotron model, two-dimensional images of Jupiter's synchrotron emission can be deduced. It is then possible to investigate the global radiation belt shape by comparing simulations and VLA observations. Two important results emerge from this study. First, the extension of our model outside Io's orbit aims to show that Io does not play any role on relativistic electron dynamics, i.e., it does not create losses of particles like the inner moons (Metis, Adrastea, Amalthea, and Thebe). The second important result is that contrary to Io, Europa seems to play a significant role in determining the electron distribution in the Jovian radiation belts.

  11. Fracturing and flow: Investigations on the formation of shallow water sills on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craft, Kathleen L.; Patterson, G. Wes; Lowell, Robert P.; Germanovich, Leonid

    2016-08-01

    Double ridge tectonic features appear prominently and ubiquitously across the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa. Previous studies have interpreted flanking fractures observed along some of the ridges as indicators of stress resulting from the ridge loading and flexing of the ice shell above a shallow water body. Here, we investigate a shallow water sill emplacement process at a time when the shell is cooling and thickening and explore the conditions that would make such a system feasible on timescales of ridge formation. Results show that fracture initiation and transport of ocean water to shallow depths can realistically occur, although horizontal fracturing and sill lifetimes prove challenging. Finite element models demonstrate that mechanical layering or a fractured shell do not provide enough stress change to promote horizontal fracturing, but tidal forcing does result in a small amount of turn. Assuming it is possible for a shallow sill to form, a sill would convect internally and conduct heat out quickly, resulting in a short lifetime in comparison to an estimated flexure timeframe of 100 kyr suggested required for double ridge formation. Consideration of heat transfer and residence in the overlying ice, however, extends the flexure timeframe and multiple sill intrusions or replenishment with warm ocean water could prolong the effective sill lifetime. Though challenges still remain for sill formation at Europa, these analyses constrain the potential mechanisms for emplacement and indicate sills can act as viable options for supplying the heat needed for surface flexure. Further analyses and future missions to Europa will help to increase our understanding of these enigmatic processes.

  12. The Effect of Incidence Angle on Stereo DTM Quality: Simulations in Support of Europa Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirk, R. L.; Howington-Kraus, E.; Hare, T. M.; Jorda, L.

    2015-12-01

    Many quality factors for digital topographic models (DTMs) from stereo imaging can be predicted geometrically. For example, pixel scale is related to instantaneous field of view and range, and vertical precision is a known function of the pixel scale and convergence angle if the image quality is high so that automated image matching reaches its optimal precision (~0.2 pixel). The influence of incidence angle is harder to predict. Reduced quality is expected both at low incidence (where topographic shading disappears) and high incidence (where signal/noise ratio is low and shadows occur). This problem is of general interest, but critical for NASA's Europa mission. The REASON instrument will obtain a radar sounding profile on each Europa flyby. Stereo images collected simultaneously by the EIS camera will be used to make DTMs needed to distinguish off-nadir surface echos (clutter) from subsurface features. The question is, how much of this DTM strip will be useful, given that incidence angle will vary substantially? We are using simulations to answer this question. We mosaicked 220 m/pixel Galileo images of the Castalia Macula region of Europa and made a DTM by photoclinometry, using a low-incidence image to correct for albedo variations. With the simulation software OASIS we generated synthetic stereopairs that are realistic in terms of image resolution, noise, photometry (including albedo variations based on the low incidence image), and cast shadows. We then use the commercial stereo software SOCET SET (® BAE Systems), which we have used for a wide variety of planetary mapping projects, to produce DTMs. These are compared to the input DTM as "truth" to quantify the dependence of DTM resolution and vertical precision on illumination, and to document the ways that DTMs degrade at high and low incidence angles. This methodology is immediately applicable to other planetary targets, and in particular can be used to address how much difference in illumination can be

  13. Tectonic Processes on Europa: Tidal Stresses, Mechanical Response, and Visible Features

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenberg, R.; Geissler, P.; Hoppa, G.; Tufts, B.R.; Durda, D.D.; Pappalardo, R.; Head, J.W.; Greeley, R.; Sullivan, R.; Carr, M.H.

    1998-01-01

    Europa's orbital eccentricity, driven by the resonance with Io and Ganymede, results in "diurnal" tides (3.5-day period) and possibly in nonsynchronous rotation. Both diurnal variation and nonsynchronous rotation can create significant stress fields on Europa's surface, and both effects may produce cracking. Patterns and time sequences of apparent tectonic features on Europa include lineaments that correlate with both sources of stress, if we take into account nonsynchronous rotation, after initial crack formation, by amounts ranging up to several tens of degrees. For example, the crosscutting time sequence of features in the Cadmus and Minos Linea region is consistent with a combined diurnal and nonsynchronous tensile-stress field, as it evolves during tens of degrees of nonsynchronous rotation. Constraints on the rotation rate from comparing Voyager and Galileo images show that significant rotation requires 104yr, but could be fast enough to have allowed significant rotation since the last global resurfacing, even if such resurfacing was as recent as a few million years ago. Once cracking is initiated, diurnal tides work cracks so that they open and close daily. Although the daily effect is small, over 105yr double ridges could plausibly be built along the cracks with sizes and morphologies consistent with observed structures, according to a model in which underlying liquid water fills the open cracks, partially freezes, and is extruded during the daily closing of the cracks. Thus, several lines of observational and theoretical evidence can be integrated if we assume nonsynchronous rotation and the existence of a liquid water layer. ?? 1998 Academic Press.

  14. Thermal drill sampling system onboard high-velocity impactors for exploring the subsurface of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, P.; Yung, K. L.; Kömle, N.; Ko, S. M.; Kaufmann, E.; Kargl, G.

    2011-08-01

    The planned Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) will provide a unique opportunity to place scientific instruments onto the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa in the late 2020s. After the Galileo mission, this will be a long awaited chance to have a close glimpse into some of the mysteries of this moon. Care must be taken in the choice of in-situ science that will be undertaken on the surface.We present a novel approach to deliver scientific instruments into the subsurface layers of planetary ice: A thermal drill was developed which uses heat and mechanical drilling in combination to penetrate the ice. The objective of such an instrument is to penetrate the upper layers of Europa's surface to reach zones where space weathering and Jupiter's heavy radiation have not altered potentially biogenic material that might have been brought from the depths to the surface.This paper presents the concept of the thermal drill and test results from its prototype. In the second part of the paper, we study the possibility of integrating a melting probe as a sampling system in high-velocity penetrators. The use of a melting probe in such a mission scenario gives various advantages: For example, a melting probe is less sensitive to the high decelerations of the impacting penetrators since the number of moving parts is reduced. This sampling technique would extend the operational range of an impact penetrator, allowing it to reach zones well beyond the depths where organic matter might be altered by micro-meteoroids and radiation. The paper concludes with a forecast into what kinds of instruments could be integrated into such a mission.

  15. Ice melting and downward transport of meltwater by two-phase flow in Europa's ice shell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalousová, Klára; Souček, Ondřej; Tobie, Gabriel; Choblet, Gaël.; Čadek, Ondřej

    2014-03-01

    With its young surface, very few impact craters, and the abundance of tectonic and cryovolcanic features, Europa has likely been subjected to relatively recent endogenic activity. Morphological analyses of chaos terrains and double ridges suggest the presence of liquid water within the ice shell a few kilometers below the surface, which may result from enhanced tidal heating. A major issue concerns the thermal/gravitational stability of these water reservoirs. Here we investigate the conditions under which water can be generated and transported through Europa's ice shell. We address particularly the downward two-phase flow by solving the equations for a two-phase mixture of water ice and liquid water in one-dimensional geometry. In the case of purely temperate ice, we show that water is transported downward very efficiently in the form of successive porosity waves. The time needed to transport the water from the subsurface region to the underlying ocean varies between ˜1 and 100 kyr, depending mostly on the ice permeability. We further show that water produced in the head of tidally heated hot plumes never accumulates at shallow depths and is rapidly extracted from the ice shell (within less than a few hundred kiloyears). Our calculations indicate that liquid water will be largely absent in the near subsurface, with the possible exception of cold conductive regions subjected to strong tidal friction. Recently active double ridges subjected to large tidally driven strike-slip motions are perhaps the most likely candidates for the detection of transient water lenses at shallow depths on Europa.

  16. Interaction of the Jovian magnetosphere with Europa: Constraints on the neutral atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saur, J.; Strobel, D. F.; Neubauer, F. M.

    1998-09-01

    A three-dimensional plasma model was developed to understand the sources and sinks that maintain Europa's neutral atmosphere and to study the interaction of the Jovian magnetosphere with this atmosphere and the formation of an ionosphere. The model includes self-consistently the feedback of the plasma action on the atmosphere through mass balance. Suprathermal torus ions with a contribution from thermal ions sputter O2 from the water ice surface, and thermal torus ions remove the O2 atmosphere by sputtering. For an oxygen column density of 5×1018m-2 the calculated intensities of the oxygen lines OI 130.4 nm and 135.6 nm produced by electron impact dissociation agree with observations by the Hubble Space Telescope [Hall et al., 1995]. Mass balance is also consistent with this column density, with a net atmospheric mass loss of 50 kgs-1. For a given neutral atmosphere and magnetospheric conditions, the electrodynamic model computes self-consistently plasma density, plasma velocity, electron temperature of the thermal and the suprathermal population, electric current and electric field in the vicinity of Europa, with the assumption of a constant homogeneous Jovian magnetic field. Europa's ionosphere is created by electron impact ionization where the coupling of the ionosphere with the energy reservoir of the plasma torus by electron heat conduction supplies the energy to maintain ionization. The calculated distribution of electron densities with a maximum value of nearly 104cm-3 is in general agreement with densities derived by Kliore et al. [1997] from the Galileo spacecraft radio occultations. The Alfvénic current system closed by the ionospheric Hall and Pedersen conductivities carries a total current of 7×105A in each Alfvén wing.

  17. Jovian's plasma torus interaction with Europa. E12 pass: 3D hybrid kinetic modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipatov, A. S.; Cooper, J. F.; Sittler, E. C., Jr.; Paterson, W. R.; Hartle, R. E.

    2012-09-01

    The hybrid kinetic model supports comprehensive simulation of the interaction between different spatial and energetic elements of the Europa moonmagnetosphere system with respect to variable upstream magnetic field and flux or density distributions of plasma and energetic ions, electrons, and neutral atoms. This capability is critical for improving the interpretation of the existing Europa flybymeasurements from Galileo orbital mission and for planning flyby and orbital measurements for future missions. The simulations are based on recent models of the atmosphere of Europa [1, 2, 3]. The upstream parameters have been chosen from the plasma and magnetic field Galileo E12 observations, [4, 5]. In contrast to previous approaches with MHD simulations, the hybrid model allows us to fully take into account the finite gyroradius effect and electron pressure, and to correctly estimate the ions velocity distribution and the fluxes along themagnetic field [6]. Photoionization, electron-impact ionization and charge exchange are included in our model. The temperature of the background electrons and pickup electrons was also included into the generalized Ohm's law. The background plasma contains heavy (Mi/Qi = 16) and light (Mi/Qi = 1) ions [4]. In our modeling we take into account only O+ ions for magnetospheric plasma. The pickup ions were created from the atmosphere. The majority of O2 atmosphere is thermal with an extended non-thermal population [1]. The moon is modeled in this initial work as a weakly conducting body. The critical point of E12 pass is the extremely high density in upstream plasma, e.g. n0 = 70-571 cm-3 for ions with Mi/Qi ratio equals 16. This density results in to the superAlfvénic flow and it will change the physics of the interaction between Jovianmagnetosphere and Europa. The modeling show the formation of the Mach cone instead of the Alfv'en wing which was observed in hybrid modeling of E4 pass [6]. The modeling shows that the effective size of the

  18. Linear spectral modeling of ground-based observations of Europa (ESO/VLT/SINFONI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligier, Nicolas; Poulet, François; Carter, John; Langevin, Yves; Dumas, Christophe; Gourgeot, Florian

    2015-11-01

    Jupiter’s moon Europa may harbor a global salty subsurface liquid water ocean (Kivelson et al. 2000), and its surface should contain important clues about its composition. However, debate still persists about the nature of the surface chemistry and the relative roles of exogenous versus endogenous processing. Recently, Roth et al. (2014) reported the presence of activity by the detection of plumes reinforcing Europa as a major target of interests of upcoming space missions such as the ESA L-class mission JUICE.To continue the investigation of the composition of the surface of Europa, a global mapping campaign of the satellite was performed between October 2011 and January 2012 with the integral field spectrograph SINFONI on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. The high spectral binning of this instrument (0.5 nm) is suitable to detect any narrow signature in the wavelength range 1.45-2.45 μm. The spatially resolved spectra we obtained over five epochs nearly cover the entire surface of Europa with a pixel scale of 12.5 by 25 m.a.s (~35 by 70 km on Europa’s surface).We perform linear spectral modeling using 4 types of species : water-ice (both crystalline and amorphous), sulfuric acid hydrate, sulfate salts and Cl-rich salts. At first order, spectra on the leading side are, as expected, dominated by water-ice distorted and asymmetric absorption features, whereas sulfuric acid hydrate thought to originate from Iogenic sulfur ion bombardment is clearly predominant on the trailing side (Carlson et al. 2005).Salts are also required to fit any SINFONI spectrum with the following notable result: when Na/K-bearing chlorines instead of Mg-sulfates are used, the fits are improved whatever the region. The feature centered at ~2.07 µm previously associated to the magnesium sulfates (Brown et al. 2013) is also observed in the SINFONI spectra and can be reproduced by some chlorine salts. Global abundance maps will be presented, regional variations of abundances will be

  19. Investigation of the atmospheres of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto with PEP/JUICE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wurz, Peter; Tulej, Marek; Vorburger, Audrey; Thomas, Nicolas; Barabash, Stas; Wieser, Martin; Lammer, Helmut

    2013-04-01

    The Particle Environment Package (PEP) suite of instruments has been proposed for the JUICE mission, which contains sensors for the comprehensive measurements of electrons, ions and neutrals. One of the instruments for neutral particles is the Neutral and Ion Mass spectrometer instrument (NIM). NIM is a time-of-flight neutral gas and thermal ion mass spectrometer and is optimised for exospheric investigations. Full mass spectra (1 - 1000 amu, m/Δm = 1100) are recorded with high cadence, typically every 100 s, and during flybys even at 1 s cadence. In a 5-s spectrum the detection threshold is 10-16 mbar (about 1 cm-3). Various physical processes are acting on the surfaces of Jupiter's icy moons (Europa, Ganymede, Callisto) to promote material from the surface into the exosphere. These are thermal desorption (sublimation), photon stimulated desorption, ion-induced sputtering, and micro-meteorite impact vaporisation (Wurz and Lammer, 2003; Wurz et al., 2010). At Europa, sputtering is the most important surface release process (Johnson et al., 2009), which releases all species present on the surface more or less stoichiometrically into the exosphere, allowing to derive the chemical composition of the surface from the exospheric measurements. However, the chemical composition of the surface is modified by the bombardment of energetic electrons and ions, and the ultraviolet radiation. For example, species like H2, O2, H2O2 or O3 begin to be produced in the top surface layer and are later released into the exosphere by various means. Also, the co-rotation plasma's electrons and to a smaller extent the UV photons cause fragmentation and ionisation of molecules at some locations in these exospheres. We calculated the expected densities for established and expected species in Jupiter's icy moons exospheres. We find that for the planned JUICE trajectories near these moons that NIM will record most known species because of NIM's high sensitivity, even in the presence of the

  20. Energy requirements in Terrestrial biology and implications for the habitability of Europa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoehler, T. M.

    2013-12-01

    Among the classically suggested determinants of habitability - availability of energy, clement physiochemical conditions, and a solvent and inventory of elements suitable for biochemistry - energy availability is the greatest uncertainty for Europa. Life on Earth expresses the need for energy in two dimensions: a minimum Gibbs Energy change (ΔG) requirement and a minimum energy flux (power) requirement. The first is a 'binary' requirement (if the minimum ΔG is met, metabolism is possible; otherwise not) that is constrained by theory and observation to about -10 to -20 kJ/mol. Plausible scenarios have been suggested by which any of several prospective metabolisms could meet this requirement on Europa. The power requirement specifies the minimum energy flux needed to maintain a standing biomass of a given size. The quotient of environmental energy flux and mass-normalized power requirement thus places an upper bound on the quantity of biomass a given system can support. On Earth, variability in the terms of this quotient underlie more than eight orders of magnitude in biomass abundance from energy-replete to energy-poor systems. Uncertainty in the terms of this quotient for Europa is very large, and spans a range from pessimistic to relatively optimistic, where 'energetic habitability' is concerned. Even for life on Earth, cellular power requirements are not well quantified, with field and lab-based estimates spanning a range from 10-17 to 10-13 kJ/cell/day for typical microbial cells. The rate and mode of energy delivery to the Europan ocean is even more uncertain. In energetic terms, the greatest headway in assessing the habitability of Europa would be made by: quantifying the rate at which specific oxidants may be delivered to the ocean by transport from the surface, if any; quantifying the extent to which water has reacted with a rocky crust, and whether such reaction is ongoing; and understanding the 'style' of energy flux - e.g., by focused venting of reduced

  1. Patterns of fracture and tidal stresses due to nonsynchronous rotation - Implications for fracturing on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helfenstein, P.; Parmentier, E. M.

    1985-01-01

    This study considers the global patterns of fracture that would result from nonsynchronous rotation of a tidally distorted planetary body. The incremental horizontal stresses in a thin elastic or viscous shell due to a small displacement of the axis of maximum tidal elongation are derived, and the resulting stress distributions are applied to interpret the observed pattern of fracture lineaments on Europa. The observed pattern of lineaments can be explained by nonsynchronous rotation if these features formed by tension fracturing and dike emplacement. Tension fracturing can occur for a small displacement of the tidal axis, so that the resulting lineaments may be consistent with other evidence suggesting a young age for the surface.

  2. Deglaciation and post-glacial environmental evolution in the Western Massif of Picos de Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Fernández, Jesús; Oliva, Marc; García, Cristina; López-Sáez, José Antonio; Gallinar, David; Geraldes, Miguel

    2014-05-01

    This study examines the process of deglaciation of the Western Massif of Picos de Europa through field work, geomorphological mapping, sedimentary records and absolute datings of 14C. This massif has several peaks over 2,400 m a.s.l. (Peña Santa de Castilla, 2,596 m; Torre Santa María, 2,486 m; Torre del Mediu, 2,467 m). It is composed mainly by Carboniferous limestones. This area has been intensively affected by karstic dissolution, Quaternary glaciers and fluvio-torrential processes (Miotke, 1968; Moreno et al, 2010; Ruiz-Fernández et al, 2009; Ruiz-Fernández, 2013). At present day, periglacial processes are active at the highest elevations (Ruiz-Fernández, 2013). We have identified four main glacial stages regarding the deglaciation of the massif: (i) maximum advance corresponding to the Last Glaciation, (ii) retreat and stabilization after the maximum advance, (iii) Late Glacial, and (iv) Little Ice Age. Sedimentological studies also contribute data to the understanding of the chronological framework of these environmental changes. The datings of the bottom sediments in two long sequences (8 and 5.4 m) provided a minimum age of 18,075 ± 425 cal BP for the maximum advance stage and 11,150 ± 900 cal BP for retreat and stabilization in the phase following the maximum advance. The ongoing analyses of these sequences at very high resolution will provide new knowledge about the environmental conditions prevailing since the deglaciation of the massif. References Miotke, F.D. (1968). Karstmorphologische studien in der glazial-überformten Höhenstufe der Picos de Europa, Nordspanien. Hannover, Selbtverlag der Geografischen Gessellschaft, 161 pp. Moreno, A., Valero, B.L., Jiménez, M., Domínguez, M.J., Mata, M.P., Navas, A., González, P., Stoll, H., Farias, P., Morellón, M., Corella, J.P. & Rico, M. (2010). The last deglaciation in the Picos de Europa National Park (Cantabrian Mountains, Northern Spain). Journal of Quaternary Science, 25 (7), 1076-1091. Ruiz

  3. Hybrid Simulation of the Interaction of Europa's Atmosphere with the Jovian Plasma: Multiprocessor Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dols, V. J.; Delamere, P. A.; Bagenal, F.; Cassidy, T. A.; Crary, F. J.

    2014-12-01

    We model the interaction of Europa's tenuous atmosphere with the plasma of Jupiter's torus with an improved version of our hybrid plasma code. In a hybrid plasma code, the ions are treated as kinetic Macro-particles moving under the Lorentz force and the electrons as a fluid leading to a generalized formulation of Ohm's law. In this version, the spatial simulation domain is decomposed in 2 directions and is non-uniform in the plasma convection direction. The code is run on a multi-processor supercomputer that offers 16416 cores and 2GB Ram per core. This new version allows us to tap into the large memory of the supercomputer and simulate the full interaction volume (Reuropa=1561km) with a high spatial resolution (50km). Compared to Io, Europa's atmosphere is about 100 times more tenuous, the ambient magnetic field is weaker and the density of incident plasma is lower. Consequently, the electrodynamic interaction is also weaker and substantial fluxes of thermal torus ions might reach and sputter the icy surface. Molecular O2 is the dominant atmospheric product of this surface sputtering. Observations of oxygen UV emissions (specifically the ratio of OI 1356A / 1304A emissions) are roughly consistent with an atmosphere that is composed predominantely of O2 with a small amount of atomic O. Galileo observations along flybys close to Europa have revealed the existence of induced currents in a conducting ocean under the icy crust. They also showed that, from flyby to flyby, the plasma interaction is very variable. Asymmetries of the plasma density and temperature in the wake of Europa were also observed and still elude a clear explanation. Galileo mag data also detected ion cyclotron waves, which is an indication of heavy ion pickup close to the moon. We prescribe an O2 atmosphere with a vertical density column consistent with UV observations and model the plasma properties along several Galileo flybys of the moon. We compare our results with the magnetometer

  4. Early Formulation Model-centric Engineering on Nasa's Europa Mission Concept Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayer, Todd; Chung, Seung; Cole, Bjorn; Cooke, Brian; Dekens, Frank; Delp, Chris; Gontijo, I.; Lewis, Kari; Moshir, Mehrdad; Rasmussen, Robert; Wagner, David

    2012-01-01

    By leveraging the existing Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) infrastructure at JPL and adding a modest investment, the Europa Mission Concept Study made striking advances in mission concept capture and analysis. This effort has reaffirmed the importance of architecting and successfully harnessed the synergistic relationship of system modeling to mission architecting. It clearly demonstrated that MBSE can provide greater agility than traditional systems engineering methods. This paper will describe the successful application of MBSE in the dynamic environment of early mission formulation, the significant results produced and lessons learned in the process.

  5. Distribution of Hydrogen Peroxide, Carbon Dioxide, and Sulfuric Acid in Europa's Icy Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlson, R. W.

    2004-01-01

    Galileo's Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) detected hydrogen peroxide, carbon dioxide and a hydrated material on Europa's surface, the latter interpreted as hydrated sulfuric acid (H2SO4*nH2O) or hydrated salts. Related compounds are molecular oxygen, sulfur dioxide, and two chromophores, one that is dark in the ultraviolet(UV) and concentrated on the trailing side, the other brighter in the UV and preferentially distributed in the leading hemisphere. The UV-dark material has been suggested to be sulfur.

  6. Breaking the ice: Widespread fracturing and fragmentation processes in Europa's ice shell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, C. C.; Bassis, J. N.

    2013-12-01

    The fracture of the icy shells remains a relatively poorly understood phenomenon, despite the fact that observations have shown it to be a ubiquitous process in the outer solar system satellites. Like Enceladus and some others, Europa has a relatively young surface and exhibits signatures of activity - if not current, it is at least geologically recent. For interior material to erupt onto or resurface the surfaces of these satellites, fractures have to vertically penetrate the ice shell to the depth of a subsurface reservoir or ocean. With this particular work, we focus on the fact that Europa's ice shell is highly fractured, and investigate the effects of such structural heterogeneity in two ways. First, we use a linear elastic fracture mechanics model (LEFM) to show that when surface fractures are closely spaced, the stress required for these fractures to penetrate the entire icy shell thickness is at least an order of magnitude higher than previously estimated by studies that considered only isolated fractures. We also show that fractures that initiate from the base of the icy shell penetrate a larger fraction of the ice shell thickness than closely-spaced surface fractures, providing a more promising avenue to permit full thickness fracture penetration. Moreover, basal fractures are prevalent beneath terrestrial ice shelves, perhaps providing an apt analogy. Second, we use a statistical approach to investigate whether or not there exists a quantifiable critical fracture density, or 'critical mass' of closely-spaced fractures in a given area, beyond which dynamic fragmentation of the shell occurs in localized regions. This is a technique that for the most part has been employed in civil and weapons engineering in the past. By studying the size distribution of fragments in Europa's chaos regions, we seek to back out physical properties of the ice, such as material strength and cohesion properties, and the energy necessary to create a fragmentation event

  7. Europa Cycloids: Key to the Chronology of Tectonics and Implications for Nonsynchronous Rotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppa, G. V.; Tufts, B. R.; Greenberg, R.; Hurford, T. A.; O'Brien, D.

    2000-10-01

    Cycloidal features on Europa appear to form as tensile cracks in response to diurnal tides of a global ocean [1,2]. Modeling formation of specific features shows where they likely formed relative to the direction of Jupiter. Imagery of the southern hemisphere of Europa suggests that Cilicia and Delphi Flexus are the youngest ridges in the region. These cycloids are also younger than other prominent tectonic features including Astypalaea Linea. Modeling of Cilicia and Delphi Flexus suggest that these features would have formed as cracks 65o and 75o to the west respectively (see also [3]). Cross-cutting relationships show that a third prominent (but unnamed) cycloidal ridge is older than Delphi, but still younger than Astypalaea. Modeling of this feature suggests that it could have formed 50o (modulo 180o) to the west. However the cross-cutting relationships suggest that it formed before Cilicia and Delphi; thus likely 230o west of its current position. Tectonic features that are even older according to stratigraphy (e.g. Astypalaea) must date from previous cycles of nonsynchronous rotation. That result implies that an upper limit to the number of cycloids or global scale lineaments that form regionally over a nonsynchronous rotation period may be as few as 1 or 2. Moreover, that rate of crack formation is reasonable , because once a crack forms the tidal stress is relieved in its region. This chronology may also be used to constrain formation rates of ridges and the nonsynchronous rotation period of Europa. Assuming the lower limit nonsynchronous rotation period of 12,000 yrs [4], the growth from a crack to the observed double ridges (100 m high and 2 km wide) associated with cycloidal features must take place as quickly as 2000 yrs. Alternatively, the fastest possible nonsynchronous rotation period for Europa would be 170,000 yrs, assuming estimates of double ridges formation time of 30,000 yrs [5]. What is the slowest possible nonsynchronous rotation period? Given

  8. Fingerprints of endogenous process on Europa through linear spectral modeling of ground-based observations (ESO/VLT/SINFONI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligier, Nicolas; Carter, John; Poulet, François; Langevin, Yves; Dumas, Christophe; Gourgeot, Florian

    2016-04-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa harbors a very young surface dated, based on cratering rates, to 10-50 M.y (Zahnle et al. 1998, Pappalardo et al. 1999). This young age implies rapid surface recycling and reprocessing, partially engendered by a global salty subsurface liquid ocean that could result in tectonic activity (Schmidt et al. 2011, Kattenhorn et al. 2014) and active plumes (Roth et al. 2014). The surface of Europa should contain important clues about the composition of this sub-surface briny ocean and about the potential presence of material of exobiological interest in it, thus reinforcing Europa as a major target of interest for upcoming space missions such as the ESA L-class mission JUICE. To perform the investigation of the composition of the surface of Europa, a global mapping campaign of the satellite was performed between October 2011 and January 2012 with the integral field spectrograph SINFONI on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. The high spectral binning of this instrument (0.5 nm) is suitable to detect any narrow mineral signature in the wavelength range 1.45-2.45 μm. The spatially resolved spectra we obtained over five epochs nearly cover the entire surface of Europa with a pixel scale of 12.5 by 25 m.a.s (~35 by 70 km on Europa's surface), thus permitting a global scale study. Until recently, a large majority of studies only proposed sulfate salts along with sulfuric acid hydrate and water-ice to be present on Europa's surface. However, recent works based on Europa's surface coloration in the visible wavelength range and NIR spectral analysis support the hypothesis of the predominance of chlorine salts instead of sulfate salts (Hand & Carlson 2015, Fischer et al. 2015). Our linear spectral modeling supports this new hypothesis insofar as the use of Mg-bearing chlorines improved the fits whatever the region. As expected, the distribution of sulfuric acid hydrate is correlated to the Iogenic sulfur ion implantation flux distribution (Hendrix et al

  9. Europa - Ultraviolet emissions and the possibility of atomic oxygen and hydrogen clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, F.-M.; Judge, D. L.; Carlson, R. W.

    1978-01-01

    Emission signals from Europa with wavelength below 800 A were detected by the Pioneer 10 ultraviolet photometer. In the present paper, improved procedures for data reduction are used to determine the spatial region as well as the intensity of the suggested emission sources. The observations indicate a cloud with a radius of about 1.5 Jupiter radii and an apparent brightness of approximately 10 rayleighs for a wavelength of 500 A. It is argued that neutral oxygen atoms, along with neutral hydrogen, are produced through dissociation of water ice on the surface of Europa by particle impact. Electron impact ionization excitation of oxygen atoms in the resulting cloud then gives rise to the observed emission. The present source brightness and cloud radius results are used to estimate an oxygen column density of the order of 10 trillion per sq cm, while the density of atomic hydrogen is at most 100 billion per sq cm and 1 trillion per sq cm for molecular hydrogen.

  10. The Effect of Illumination on Stereo DTM Quality: Simulations in Support of Europa Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirk, R. L.; Howington-Kraus, E.; Hare, T. M.; Jorda, L.

    2016-06-01

    We have investigated how the quality of stereoscopically measured topography degrades with varying illumination, in particular the ranges of incidence angles and illumination differences over which useful digital topographic models (DTMs) can be recovered. Our approach is to make high-fidelity simulated image pairs of known topography and compare DTMs from stereoanalysis of these images with the input data. Well-known rules of thumb for horizontal resolution (>3-5 pixels) and matching precision (~0.2-0.3 pixels) are generally confirmed, but the best achievable resolution at high incidence angles is ~15 pixels, probably as a result of smoothing internal to the matching algorithm. Single-pass stereo imaging of Europa is likely to yield DTMs of consistent (optimal) quality for all incidence angles ≤85°, and certainly for incidence angles between 40° and 85°. Simulations with pairs of images in which the illumination is not consistent support the utility of shadow tip distance (STD) as a measure of illumination difference, but also suggest new and simpler criteria for evaluating the suitability of stereopairs based on illumination geometry. Our study was motivated by the needs of a mission to Europa, but the approach and (to first order) the results described here are relevant to a wide range of planetary investigations.

  11. The Atmospheric Escape of Europa: The Role of Symmetrical O2 Charge Exchanges.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, F.; Dols, V. J.; Cassidy, T. A.; Crary, F. J.; Delamere, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    We model the interaction of magnetospheric plasma with the atmosphere of Europa using a multi-species chemistry model where the atmospheric distributions of H2 and O2 are prescribed. The plasma flow is idealized as an incompressible flow around a conducting obstacle. We compute changes in plasma composition resulting from this interaction as well as the reaction rates integrated over the simulation domain for several upstream plasma conditions (ion density, ion temperature and flow velocity). We show that for all cases, the main atmospheric loss process is the symmetrical charge exchange of O2, which results in the production of fast neutrals. This neutral production rate is about an order of magnitude larger than the production of ions. This conclusion is relevant to future missions to Europa that aim to detect fast neutrals. The neutral ejection resulting from this charge exchange creates an oxygen cloud around the orbit of the moon that is very extended radially but also very tenuous, and has not yet been directly detected.

  12. Domes, pits, and small chaos on Europa produced by water sills