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Sample records for bolonha da europa

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Europa Orbiter Exploration Strategies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, T. V.

    2001-01-01

    The Europa Orbiter mission is planned as the next stage of Europa exploration. Its primary goals are to search for definitive evidence of a subsurface ocean, to characterize the ice crust and ice/water interface, and to prepare for future surface/sub-surface missions. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  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. 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

  8. Impact Gardening on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, C. B.; Grossman, L.

    2007-12-01

    Charged-particle interactions with materials at Europa's surface can produce useful oxidants and simple organics. These oxidants and organics, if transported downward through the ice shell to a liquid water layer, could provide a significant amount of energy to sustain a biosphere. However, irradiation also destroys such materials if they remain exposed on Europa's surface. Sputtering erosion and surface mixing through impact gardening act to change the preservation depth. If sputtering dominates over gardening, then material is created and destroyed at Europa's surface much faster than it can be buried and preserved by gardening. However, if gardening dominates, this means that irradiation products can be buried beneath the surface by gardening, where they are protected from further radiation processing. We present new results on the gardening depth on Europa based on extrapolations from counts of small craters and models of regolith growth based on studies of the moon. The problem is complicated by the fact that most small craters on Europa are likely secondaries. Our new results suggest that the gardening depth on Europa is about 1 cm. This result means that sputtering likely dominates over gardening under most circumstances. CBP was supported by the NAI, and LG was supported by the NSF REU program.

  9. 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

  10. Ion bombardment of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, Timothy A.; Paranicas, C.; Hendrix, A.; Johnson, R. E.

    2010-10-01

    The spectral difference between Europa's leading and trailing hemispheres has long been explained as a result of magnetospheric bombardment. A closer look at the longitudinal variation of ultraviolet spectral features reveals, however, that several processes, both exogenic and endogenic, are operating on the surface (Hendrix et al., 2010, submitted; Dalton et al., 2010, in preparation). Even magnetospheric bombardment can produce a variety of exogenic patterns; each "population” of particles has a distinct bombardment pattern. Work is ongoing to connect exogenic and spectral patterns. Here we describe one piece of that ongoing work, the calculation of ion bombardment and sputtering rates. We calculated the ion bombardment rate using a program that traces ion motion given the magnetic and electric fields in the vicinity of Europa's orbit, along with information on ion composition and energies from the Voyager and Galileo missions. We conclude that the vast majority of sulfur ions impact Europa's trailing hemisphere, while the sputtering rate is more uniform, in qualitative agreement with previous work. Overall, we find that the sputtering rate at the trailing hemisphere apex (where ion flux peaks) is about 3 times that at the leading hemisphere apex. This likely results in a net erosion of Europa's entire surface, not, as some have suggested, a net deposition of ice onto the leading hemisphere. We also conclude that the energetic ion flux peaks at Europa's poles, though the sputtering rate still peaks at the equatorial trailing hemisphere apex, where the combined sputtering by "cold” and "suprathermal” ions is highest.

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Europa's Neutral Gas Torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauk, B. H.; Mitchell, D. G.; McEntire, R. W.; Paranicas, C. P.; Roelof, E. C.; Williams, D. J.; Krimigis, S. M.; Lagg, A.

    2004-05-01

    In-situ energetic ion measurements from the Galileo spacecraft and remote energetic neutral atom (ENA) images from the Cassini spacecraft have been previously interpreted as revealing an unexpectedly massive torus of gas co-orbiting with Jupiter's moon Europa (Lagg et al., 2003; Mauk et al., 2003). Here we report on the results of detailed modeling of the ENA emission process from the Europa regions. Updates to the distribution and composition of the trapped energetic ion populations are included in the models, as are considerations of the partitioning of the gas products into multiple atomic and molecular species. Comparisons between the models and the Cassini observations reveal a torus with a total gas content equal to (0.5 +/- 0.2) E34 atoms plus molecules. This value is higher than, but within a factor of 3 of, an estimate inferred from a prediction of gas densities derived from Voyager plasma measurements and modeling of the interaction between the plasmas and the gases assumed to be emanating from Europa (Schreier et al., 1993). Lagg, A., N. Krupp, J. Woch, and D. J. Williams, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30, DOI 10.1029/2003GL017214, 2003. Mauk, B. H., D. G. Mitchell, S. M. Krimigs, E. C. Roelof, and C. P. Paranicas, Nature, 241, 920, 2003. Schreier, S., A. Eviatar, V. M. Vasyliunas, and J. D. Richardson, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 21231, 1993.

  20. Model simulations for Europa's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, M. C.; Carlson, R. W.; Johnson, R. E.

    2000-10-01

    Europa's tenuous atmosphere is thought to be produced from sputtering of surface species (predominantly H2O ice ) by heavy ions in the Jovian magnetosphere. Because of its low residence time at Europa's surface temperature, O2, a stable decomposition product of H2O, has been predicted to exist in a significant amount in Europa's atmosphere [Johnson et al. 1982, Eviatar et al. 1985, Johnson 1990]. Recent HST observations have confirmed that and suggested an O2 atmospheric column of 1015 cm-2 on Europa [Hall et al. 1995]. Recent theoretical studies applied to modeling of pure oxygen atmospheres on Europa [Ip et al. 1996, Saur et al. 1998, Shematovich and Johnson 2000] have produced results that are consistent with the above scenerio. In addition to water products, recent observations from Galileo NIMS instruments have suggested the existence of hydrated salt minerals and sulfuric acid on Europa's surface [McCord et al. 1999, Carlson et al. 1999]. Therefore, it is expected that decomposition of these materials by magnetospheric ions can produce volatile species such as H2S, SO2, CO2 and Na in Europa's atmosphere. In fact, Na has been identified in the extended atmosphere of Europa [Brown and Hill, 1996]. In this paper, we will use a kinetic model to study the fate and abundance of these volatile species in addition to simulating the formation of an oxygen atmosphere on Europa.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.; 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

  4. 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.

  5. Modeling the Europa plasma torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-12-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Ridges on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This is the highest resolution picture ever taken of the Jupiter moon, Europa. The area shown is about 5.9 by 9.9 miles (9.6 by 16 kilometers) and the smallest visible feature is about the size of a football field. In this view, the ice-rich surface has been broken into a complex pattern by cross-cutting ridges and grooves resulting from tectonic processes. Sinuous rille-like features and knobby terrain could result from surface modifications of unknown origins. Small craters of possible impact origin range in size from less than 330 feet (100 meters) to about 1300 feet (400 meters) across are visible.

    This image was taken by the solid state imaging television camera aboard the Galileo during its fourth orbit around Jupiter, at a distance of 2060 miles (3340 kilometers). The picture is centered at 325 degrees West, 5.83 degrees North. North is toward the top of this image, with the sun shining 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 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

  11. 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

  12. Constraining the Europa Neutral Torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Howard T.; Mitchell, Donald; mauk, Barry; Johnson, Robert E.; clark, george

    2016-10-01

    "Neutral tori" consist of neutral particles that usually co-orbit along with their source forming a toroidal (or partial toroidal) feature around the planet. The distribution and composition of these features can often provide important, if not unique, insight into magnetospheric particles sources, mechanisms and dynamics. However, these features can often be difficult to directly detect. One innovative method for detecting neutral tori is by observing Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) that are generally considered produced as a result of charge exchange interactions between charged and neutral particles.Mauk et al. (2003) reported the detection of a Europa neutral particle torus using ENA observations. The presence of a Europa torus has extremely large implications for upcoming missions to Jupiter as well as understanding possible activity at this moon and providing critical insight into what lies beneath the surface of this icy ocean world. However, ENAs can also be produced as a result of charge exchange interactions between two ionized particles and in that case cannot be used to infer the presence of neutral particle population. Thus, a detailed examination of all possible source interactions must be considered before one can confirm that likely original source population of these ENA images is actually a Europa neutral particle torus. For this talk, we examine the viability that the Mauk et al. (2003) observations were actually generated from a neutral torus emanating from Europa as opposed to charge particle interactions with plasma originating from Io. These results help constrain such a torus as well as Europa source processes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Europa: Initial Galileo Geological Observations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greeley, R.; Sullivan, R.; Klemaszewski, J.; Homan, K.; Head, J. W.; 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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/).

  19. Organized Chaos at Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, B. E.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2010-12-01

    infiltration has instead occurred from basal cracks. Brine infiltration occurs even at many degrees below the freezing point of the embaying brine. We have undertaken a study of how brine infiltration may operate on Europa and contribute to the formation of chaos terrain. Rising plumes within the shell may not be sufficient to melt or break the ice, however pressure melt driven by rising ice may promote the collection of enriched brines at the heads of plumes. If such activity can cause small scale cracks to form in the brittle lithospheric layer of Europa’s ice shell overlying large plumes, brines may percolate into the multiply fractured and porous upper ice. The fluid can then both break up existing, denser blocks and destroy more brittle regions, allowing for the formation of a matrix enhanced in non-ice materials while preserving blocks and allowing them to move. Such a process may explain the height of, as well as topographic variability within, chaos terrain. Our goal is to establish how orbital lidar and radar sounding observations of chaos terrain may be used to evaluate hypothesized ice shell properties and ice-ocean exchange processes.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Structurally Complex Surface of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This is a composite of two images of Jupiter's icy moon Europa obtained from a range of 2119 miles (3410 kilometers) by the Galileo spacecraft during its fourth orbit around Jupiter and its first close pass of Europa. The mosaic spans 11 miles by 30 miles (17 km by 49 km) and shows features as small as 230 feet (70 meters) across. This mosaic is the first very high resolution image data obtained of Europa, and has a resolution more than 50 times better than the best Voyager coverage and 500 times better than Voyager coverage in this area. The mosaic shows the surface of Europa to be structurally complex. The sun illuminates the scene from the right, revealing complex overlapping ridges and fractures in the upper and lower portions of the mosaic, and rugged, more chaotic terrain in the center. Lateral faulting is revealed where ridges show offsets along their lengths (upper left of the picture). Missing ridge segments indicate obliteration of pre-existing materials and emplacement of new terrain (center of the mosaic). Only a small number of impact craters can be seen, indicating the surface is not geologically ancient.

    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

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Europa: Perspectives Halfway through the GEM Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, C. R.; Galileo Imaging Team

    1998-09-01

    We are now nearly a year past the end of the prime Galileo mission (orbital tour) and are approaching the halfway point of the Galileo Europa Mission (GEM). Plans are being formulated for follow-on missions. I will review Galileo results concerning Europa, emphasizing evidence from imaging concerning the near-surface interior of Europa (i.e. the putative sub-ice ocean). It is the photogeologist's difficult task to infer the nature of the subsurface third dimension from two-dimensional images of a planet's surface. The remarkably intricate patterns of ridges, cracks, pits, domes, and chaotic zones on Europa strongly constrain surface processes but are less diagnostic of the subsurface. The issue of time (ages and rates) is always a conundrum in geology and it is especially significant for Europa. Does Europa present us with a frozen tableau of the ancient past or a snapshot of a currently active world with surface units only hundreds of thousands to millions of years old? Is its geological style cyclical or even episodic? Does the evidence for "liquidity" below Europa's brittle crust imply actual water or only low-viscosity ice? If water, how close to the surface is it (a) on average and (b) at the shallowest locations? Galileo's evidence suggests, but has not yet proved, that Europa is the most likely currently habitable place in the solar system beyond the Earth.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.)

  18. Europa as an abode of life.

    PubMed

    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 commentary 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Science of the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert T.; Senske, David A.; Prockter, Louise; Hand, Kevin P.; Goldstein, Barry; Europa Science Team

    2016-10-01

    The Europa Multiple Flyby Mission, in formulation for launch in the 2020s, would investigate the habitability of Jupiter's moon Europa. The mission would send a solar-powered, radiation-tolerant spacecraft into an elliptical orbit about Jupiter to conduct more than 40 close flybys of Europa, most in the range 25 km–100 km. The payload comprises a suite of nine science instruments that together would support three key objectives: detailed investigation of Europa's interior, both its internal ocean (including its salinity and depth) and its ice shell (including thickness and potential water pockets within); composition of the icy surface, notably dark reddish areas that may evince linkages between the ocean and the surface; and geology at the regional and local scales, especially areas that may show signs of recent or current activity. The science objectives and project status will be summarized.

  5. A simulated magnetic induction investigation of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bills, B. G.; Khurana, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    We will present results of a simulated magnetic induction experiment designed to measure the electrical conductivity structure within Europa, as seen from a series of spacecraft flyby encounters. As Europa moves in its orbit about Jupiter, it experiences a time varying magnetic field, which induces electrical currents in any conductive layers. These currents produce induced magnetic fields, whose spatio-temporal pattern is diagnostic of Europa's internal conductivity structure. The main frequencies at which the imposed magnetic field changes at Europa are low order integer linear combinations of Jupiter's rotation (9.925 hour period) and Europa's orbit (85.228 hour period). Longer period oscillations penetrate more deeply, as they have more time to diffuse into the interior. At each forcing period, we define the admittance as the amplitude ratio (induced/imposed) of the associated magnetic fields. Each measurement of the admittance constrains the conductance (product of conductivity and thickness) of the main internal conductor, at the appropriate period. With measurements at multiple periods, a low frequency magnetic tomography inversion becomes possible. A spacecraft orbiting Europa could almost certainly constrain ice shell thickness, and both the depth extent and salinity of the ocean. The main challenge of a flyby version of that experiment is to have a sampling cadence which adequately separates the main signal frequencies. The magnetometer on Galileo has already detected an induction signal which is consistent with the presence of a salty ocean. However, the low number of flybys restricts the ability of that data-set to say more. We have simulated a time series of magnetometer measurements which could be acquired by the Europa Clipper mission concept, along a hypothetical planning trajectory, which would involve a total of 45 encounters with Europa. This trajectory has been designed to satisfy numerous instrument requirements, including that it encounter

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Hydrogen peroxide on the surface of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  9. Origin and Evolution of Europa's Oxygen Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oza, Apurva V.; Leblanc, Francois; Schmidt, Carl; Johnson, Robert E.

    2016-10-01

    Europa's icy surface is constantly bombarded by sulfur and oxygen ions originating from the Io plasma torus. The momentum transferred to molecules in Europa's surface results in the sputtering of water ice, populating a water product exosphere. We simulate Europa's neutral exosphere using a ballistic 3D Monte Carlo routine and find that the O2 exosphere, while global, is not uniformly symmetric in Europa local time. The O2 exosphere, sourced at a rate of ~ 5 kg/s with a disk-averaged column density of NO2 ~ 2.5 x 1014 O2/cm2, preferentially accumulates towards Europa's dusk. These dawn-dusk atmospheric inhomogeneities escalate as the surface-bounded O2 dissociates into an atomic O corona via electron impact. The inhomogeneities persist and evolve throughout the satellite's orbit, implying a diurnal cycle of the exosphere, recently evidenced by a detailed HST oxygen aurorae campaign (Roth et al. 2016). We conclude that the consistently observed 50% increase in FUV auroral emission from dusk to dawn is principally driven by the day-to-night thermal diffusion of O2 coupled with the Coriolis acceleration. This leads to a dawn-to-dusk gradient, peaking at Europa's leading hemisphere. This exospheric oxygen cycle, dependent on both orbital longitude and magnetic latitude, is fundamentally due to the bulk-sputtering vector changing with respect to the subsolar and subjovian points throughout the orbit. In principle, a similar mechanism should be present at other tidally-locked, rapidly orbiting satellite exospheres.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Topographic Analysis of Europa's Ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bader, C. E.; Kattenhorn, S. A.; Schenk, P. M.

    2008-12-01

    Ridges are the most ubiquitous surface feature on Europa. Here we examine double ridges that have two parallel, raised flanks with a continuous axial trough (referred to as a ridge pair). Characterizing ridge edifices may help us better understand the processes that drive ridge formation and evolution. Because there is no global elevation map for Europa, topography was derived from high resolution (18 to 181 m/pixel) combined stereographic and photoclinometric images to create 265 topographic profiles across 24 features of interest. Ridge topography was examined across 22 ridge pairs (12 with apparent lateral offsets) and 2 ridge complexes, in the Bright Plains, Conamara Chaos, Cilix, Argadnel Regio, Rhadamanthys Linea, and the E17DISSTR01 (northwest of Katreus Linea) areas. Topographic profiles are oriented perpendicular to the strike of each ridge pair to capture height and width variations as well as to highlight asymmetry between adjacent ridges. We characterize ridges using ridge height and width (vertical and horizontal distance from the base of the ridge flank to the ridge peak), average ridge height (average of the individual peaks in a ridge pair), total ridge width (distance between the ridge's outer flanks), and peak-to-peak (PTP) width (distance between peaks in a ridge pair). Height-to-width ratios of 44 individual ridges fall within a wide range that never exceeds 0.53, implying a maximum outer slope of 28 degrees, slightly less than the suggested angle of repose of loose granular ice (~34 degrees). Most slopes are much gentler, between 10 and 20 degrees, which are significantly smaller than those presented in a prior study undertaken early in the Galileo imaging mission. In fact, we have found that ridges can be very wide and low with outer slopes of only a few degrees, implying that very few ridge morphologies are likely to be controlled by granular flow processes down their outer slopes. The ratio of average ridge height to total ridge width has a

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Unraveling Europa's Tectonic History: Evidence for a Finite Obliquity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurford, T. A.; Bills, B. G.; Sarid, A. R.; Greenberg, R.

    2006-03-01

    It has been shown that Europa should have a forced obliquity of ~ 0.1 degrees, which must be accounted for when computing Europa's diurnal stress field. Using this fact, we produce maps of hypothetical cycloids on Europa that give better fits to observed cycloid patterns.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Project Galileo: completing Europa, preparing for Io.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Subsurface Exploration Technologies and Strategies for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Europa Geophysical Explorer Mission Concept Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, J. R.; Abelson, R. D.; Smythe, W.; Spilker, T. R.; Shirley, J. H.

    2005-12-01

    The Strategic Road Map for Solar System Exploration recommended in May 2005 that NASA implement the Europa Geophysical Explorer (EGE) as a Flagship mission early in the next decade. This supported the recommendations of the National Research Council's Solar System Decadal Survey and the priorities of the Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG). The Europa Geophysical Explorer would: (1) Characterize tidal deformations of the surface of Europa and surface geology, to confirm the presence of a subsurface ocean; (2) Measure the three-dimensional structure and distribution of subsurface water; and (3) Determine surface composition from orbit, and potentially, prebiotic chemistry, in situ. As the next step in Europa exploration, EGE would build on previous Europa Orbiter concepts, for example, the original Europa Orbiter and the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). As well, a new set of draft Level One Requirements, provided by NASA sponsors, guided the concept development. These requirements included: (1) Earliest Launch: 2012; (2) Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Heavy or Atlas V; (3) Primary Propulsion: Chemical; (4) Power: Radioisotope Power System (RPS); (4) Orbital Mission: 30 days minimum to meet orbital science objectives; and (5) Earth Gravity Assists: Allowed. The previous studies and the new requirements contributed to the development of several scientifically capable and relatively mass-rich mission options. In particular, Earth-gravity assists (EGA) were allowed, resulting in an increased delivered mass. As well, there have been advances in radiation-hardened components and subsystems, due to the investments from the X-2000 technology program and JIMO. Finally, developments in radioisotope power systems (RPS) have added to the capability and reliability of the mission. Several potential mission options were explored using a variety of trade study methods, ranging from the work of the JPL EGE Team of scientists and engineers in partnership with the OPAG Europa Sub

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Thermal equilibrium in Europa's ice shell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, William B.

    2006-01-01

    Models of tidal-convective equilibrium for Europa's ice shell are computed using a laboratory-derived composite flow law for ice. Volume diffusion creep is found to dominate the flow law at equilibrium, and thus the thickness of the shell is strongly dependent on the poorly known grain size of the ice. This grain size is, however, constrained to be less than a few millimeters if equilibrium is achieved at the current eccentricity. Europa's ice shell cannot be thinner than about 16 km in equilibrium at present, since tidal dissipation cannot generate enough heat in such a thin shell to balance the heat transport. No conductive equilibria are found; this is likely due to the fact that most of a conductive shell must be cold if temperature gradients are to be large enough to carry the heat. A minimum eccentricity of about 0.0025 (about 1/4 the present value) below which there are no equilibria is also found.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Loss rates of Europa's tenuous atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucchetti, Alice; Plainaki, Christina; Cremonese, Gabriele; Milillo, Anna; Cassidy, Timothy; Jia, Xianzhe; Shematovich, Valery

    2016-10-01

    Loss processes in Europa's tenuous atmosphere are dominated by plasma-neutral interactions. Based on the updated data of the plasma conditions in the vicinity of Europa (Bagenal et al. 2015), we provide estimations of the atmosphere loss rates for the H2O, O2 and H2 populations. Due to the high variability of the plasma proprieties, we perform our investigation for three sample plasma environment cases identified by Bagenal et al. as hot/low density, cold/high density, and an intermediate case. The role of charge-exchange interactions between atmospheric neutrals and three different plasma populations, i.e. magnetospheric, pickup, and ionospheric ions, is examined in detail. Our assumptions related to the pickup and to the ionospheric populations are based on the model by Sittler et al. (2013). We find that O2-O2+ charge-exchange is the fastest loss process for the most abundant atmospheric species O2, though this loss process has been neglected in previous atmospheric models. Using both the revised O2 column density obtained from the EGEON model (Plainaki et al., 2013) and the current loss rate estimates, we find that the upper limit for the volume integrated loss rate due to O2-O2+ charge exchange is in the range (13-51)×1026 s-1, depending on the moon's orbital phase and illumination conditions. The results of the current study are relevant to the investigation of Europa's interaction with Jupiter's magnetospheric plasma.

  9. Dome shaped features on Europa's surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The Solid State Imaging system aboard the spacecraft Galileo took this image of the surface of Europa on February 20, 1997 during its sixth orbit around Jupiter. The image is located near 16 North, 268 West; illumination is from the lower-right. The area covered is approximately 48 miles (80 kilometers) by 56 miles (95 kilometers) across. North is toward the top of the image.

    This image reveals that the icy surface of Europa has been disrupted by ridges and faults numerous times during its past. These ridges have themselves been disrupted by the localized formation of domes and other features that may be indicative of thermal upwelling of water from beneath the crust. These features provide strong evidence for the presence of subsurface liquid during Europa's recent past.

    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

  10. New global maps of Europa's lineaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cremonese, Gabriele; Lucchetti, Alice; Simioni, Emanuele

    2016-10-01

    Physical models have been developed to successfully explain the orientations and locations of many fractures observed on Europa's surface. Between the different fractures located on the surface of the icy satellite global-scale lineaments are present. These features are correlated with tidal stress suggesting that they initiated at tensile cracks in response to non-synchronous rotation (Geissler et al., 1998, Geissler et al. 1999). In this work we completed a global map of all type of lineaments presented on the surface of Europa, including also cycloidal lineaments that are interpreted to be tensile cracks that form due to diurnal stresses from Europa's orbital eccentricity (Hoppa et al., 1999).We enhanced the mapping of lineaments in comparison to what previously published, tracking about 5500 lineaments located everywhere on the surface of the icy satellite. We analyze these features in terms of their orientation and location using 2D methods, such as stereo plots and rose diagrams, showing that our preliminary results are in agreement with previous studies (McEwen et al. 1986). In addition, we visualize our results taking into account the 3D information to perform a detailed analysis of lineaments constraining their orientation and behavior. The aim of this work is to characterize the mapped lineaments and investigate the timing of their formation in order to correlate our results with proposed stress pattern models.

  11. Europa: Divining Water from Surface Geology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.

    2001-12-01

    Europa's surface geology as viewed by Galileo imaging suggests a thin brittle lithosphere above a warm (potentially salt-rich) ice layer that is at least in part convecting, in turn situated above a liquid water ocean. This configuration is consistent with thermal and geochemical modeling, and with Galileo magnetometer and NIMS results, which suggest that Europa may have a salty global-scale subsurface ocean at relatively shallow depths (~20-30 km). Dynamical modeling and visible crater density suggests a surface age of ~50 million years, implying that Europa is probably still geologically active today. Large shallow craters and even larger multi-ringed structures imply impact into low-viscosity (warm) subsurface material. The satellite's bright plains are criss-crossed by narrow troughs and enigmatic double ridges (paired ridges separated by a medial trough); a morphological sequence (and implied evolutionary sequence) exists from isolated troughs to doublet ridges to wider and more complex ridge morphologies. Troughs are inferred as widened fractures formed though tensile and shear failure in response to global stressing of the ice shell above liquid water. Several models exist to explain ridges, but the most likely is one in which localized shear heating triggers upwelling of warm ice along fracture zones. Triple bands are ridges with diffuse ruddy margins that may have formed through thermal alteration and/or partial melting of briny ice. Wider pull-apart bands represent complete separation and spreading of the icy lithosphere, in a manner broadly analogous to terrestrial sea-floor spreading. Europa's global lineament pattern implies that nonsynchronous rotation and orbital flexing ("diurnal" stressing) have worked in tandem to deform the surface. Diurnal stressing can explain Europa's extremely enigmatic cycloid ridge and fracture patterns, and may drive rapid strike-slip faulting along ridges. Because significant tidal amplitude is necessary to produce

  12. Composition and Detection of Europa's Sputter-Induced Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, R. E.; Burger, M. H.; Cassidy, T. A.; Leblanc, F.; Marconi, M. L.; Smyth, W. H.

    2007-12-01

    Europa has an extremely tenuous atmosphere that appears to be marginally collisional, so that species ejected from the surface with sufficient energy have a high probability of escape. Such an atmosphere is often referred to as a surface boundary-layer atmosphere. That is, as at Mercury, the Moon and Ganymede, the interaction of the ambient gas with the surface determines the composition, local column density, and morphology of the atmosphere. Since gas phase species are often more readily identified both in situ and by remote sensing, Europa's atmosphere is of interest as an extension of Europa's surface. Since Europa is imbedded in the Jovian magnetosphere and is not protected from the solar EUV flux, radiolytic, photolytic and stimulated desorption processes populate the atmosphere with atoms and molecules ejected from Europa's surface. These processes are often lumped together using the words 'sputter-produced' atmosphere. Early laboratory sputtering data by Brown, Lanzerotti and co-workers were used to predict the principal atmospheric component, O2, and its average column density. Since H2 loss accompanies the formation and ejection of O2 from ice and H2 escapes readily, the atmospheric formation process also efficiently populates the Jovian magnetosphere. In fact the extension of Europa's atmosphere as a gas torus gravitationally bound to Jupiter and only perturbed by Europa contains more of Europa's ejected surface material than the gravitationally bound atmosphere. In addition to O2, Na and K have been identified. Here we review the modeling of Europa's sputter produced atmosphere and ionosphere. Our principal interest is in the morphology of the atmosphere and the relationship between the composition and Europa's local surface composition. The possibility of detection by an orbiting spacecraft is considered as is the relevance of such detections to Europa's putative subsurface ocean.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Europa Science Platforms and Kinetic Energy Probes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hays, C. C.; Klein, G. A.

    2003-01-01

    This presentation will outline a proposed mission for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). The mission outlined will concentrate on an examination of Europa. Some of the primary science goals for the JIMO mission are: 1) to answer broad science questions, 2) improved knowledge of Jovian system; specifically, lunar geological and geophysical properties, 3) chemical composition of Jovian lunar surfaces and subterranean matter, and 4) the search for life. In order to address these issues, the experiment proposed here will deploy orbiting, surface, and subterranean science platforms.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Europa's differentiated internal structure: inferences from two Galileo encounters.

    PubMed

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

    1997-05-23

    Doppler data generated with the Galileo spacecraft's radio carrier wave during two Europa encounters on 19 December 1996 (E4) and 20 February 1997 (E6) were used to measure Europa's external gravitational field. The measurements indicate that Europa has a predominantly water ice-liquid outer shell about 100 to 200 kilometers thick and a deep interior with a density in excess of about 4000 kilograms per cubic meter. The deep interior could be a mixture of metal and rock or it could consist of a metal core with a radius about 40 percent of Europa's radius surrounded by a rock mantle with a density of 3000 to 3500 kilograms per cubic meter. The metallic core is favored if Europa has a magnetic field.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Analytical model of Europa's O2 exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milillo, Anna; Plainaki, Christina; Orsini, Stefano; Mangano, Valeria; Massetti, Stefano; Mura, Alessandro

    2014-05-01

    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 predicts 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 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 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 different configurations among Europa, Jupiter and the Sun. This model is obtained by a non-linear fit procedure of the EGEON Monte Carlo model results 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Europa Sodium Cloud: orbital variability and Sodium recycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cipriani, F.; Leblanc, F.; Witasse, O.

    2007-08-01

    Discovery and further observations of Europa's thin atmosphere of sodium have been carried out by M.E. Brown (Brown and Hill 1996, Brown 2001, Brown 2004) and A.E. Potter and co-workers (Leblanc et al, 2005). The resonant scattering emission of sodium around Europa has been successfully modelled and compared to the compilation of such observations by Leblanc at al 2002; Leblanc et al 2005). Such an analysis confirmed that the cloud morphology is dominated by the production of Na from the trailing hemisphere. The influence of Europa's centrifugal latitude as well as the contribution of Io's sodium source at Europa orbit were also estimated. These studies concluded that the observed sodium atmosphere should be largely endogenic to Europa. However, significant variations of the total emission intensity along Europa's orbit around Jupiter were reported that were difficult to explain without adhoc assumptions on the variability of the sodium ejecta rate with respect to Europa position in Jupiter magnetosphere. In the present study, we investigate the redistribution of the ejected sodium atoms on the surface of the moon during its orbit around Jupiter following the suggestion by Leblanc et al (2005). In our model, the redistribution of sodium atoms at Europa's surface occurs from a set of ejection and absorption of the sodium atoms. Ejection processes are sputtering induced by energetic jovian particles, as well as photo-stimulated and thermal desorptions from the surface. Absorption mainly depends on the surface temperature and porosity. We will present comparisons of the newly calculated sodium emission with the observations, as well as density distributions of sodium at Europa's surface. Consequences of those calculations on the sodium cloud morphology will also be discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Lineament and polygon patterns on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pieri, D. C.

    1981-01-01

    A classification scheme is presented for the lineaments and associated polygonal patterns observed on the surface of Europa, and the frequency distribution of the polygons is discussed in terms of the stress-relief fracturing of the surface. The lineaments are divided on the basis of albedo, morphology, orientation and characteristic geometry into eight groups based on Voyager 2 images taken at a best resolution of 4 km. The lineaments in turn define a system of polygons varying in size from small reticulate patterns the limit of resolution to 1,000,000 sq km individuals. Preliminary analysis of polygon side frequency distributions reveals a class of polygons with statistics similar to those found in complex terrestrial terrains, particularly in areas of well-oriented stresses, a class with similar statistics around the antijovian point, and a class with a distribution similar to those seen in terrestrial tensional fracture patterns. Speculations concerning the processes giving rise to the lineament patterns are presented.

  17. Material transport across Europa's ice shell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allu Peddinti, Divya; McNamara, Allen K.

    2015-06-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa exhibits a deformed icy surface with salt deposits concentrated along the varied geological features. The topographic alignment of salt deposits has been speculated to indicate an endogenic sourcing of the material. Two-way transport of salts from a liquid-water ocean beneath the ice shell to the surface, and vice versa, has been speculated. We present dynamical models that demonstrate the incorporation of newly frozen ice into convective plumes within the ice shell, caused by convection within the ice shell that drives dynamic topography along the ice-ocean boundary. The new ice that forms at the freezing front can be transported by the rising ice plumes toward the surface until it is blocked by a high-viscosity lid at the surface. Weakening of the lid by tidal or tectonic forces could then lead to the surface detection of ocean trace chemistry captured in the newly formed ice.

  18. Analytical model of Europa's O2 exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    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 proved the presence of an asymmetric atomic Oxygen distribution, related to 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. It would thus be important to have a suitable and user-friendly model able to describe the major exospheric characteristics to use as a tool. This study presents an analytical 3D model that is able to describe the molecular Oxygen exosphere by reproducing the two-component profiles and the asymmetries due to diverse configurations among Europa, Jupiter and the Sun. This model is obtained by a non-linear fit procedure of the EGEON Monte Carlo model (Plainaki et al. 2013) 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. As an example a discussion on the exospheric temperatures in different configurations and space regions is given.

  19. Close-up of Europa's Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This close-up view of the icy surface of Europa, a moon of Jupiter, was obtained on December 20, 1996, by the Solid State Imaging system on board the Galileo spacecraft during its fourth orbit around Jupiter. The view is about 11 kilometers by 16 kilometers (7 miles by 10 miles) and has a resolution of 26 meters (28 yards). The Sun illuminates the scene from the east (right).

    A flat smooth area about 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) across is seen in the left part of the picture. This area resulted from flooding by a fluid which erupted onto the surface and buried sets of ridges and grooves. The smooth area contrasts with a distinctly rugged patch of terrain farther east, to the right of the prominent ridge system running down the middle of the picture. The rugged patch of terrain is 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) across and represents localized disruption of the complex network of ridges in the area. Eruptions of material onto the surface, crustal disruption, and the formation of complex networks of folded and faulted ridges show that significant energy was available in the interior of Europa. Although small impact craters are most easily seen in the smooth area, they occur throughout the ridged terrain seen in this view.

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Detection of an oxygen atmosphere on Jupiter's moon Europa.

    PubMed

    Hall, D T; Strobel, D F; Feldman, P D; McGrath, M A; Weaver, H A

    1995-02-23

    Europa, the second large satellite out from Jupiter, is roughly the size of Earth's Moon, but unlike the Moon, it has water ice on its surface. There have been suggestions that an oxygen atmosphere should accumulate around such a body, through reactions which break up the water molecules and form molecular hydrogen and oxygen. The lighter H2 molecules would escape from Europa relatively easily, leaving behind an atmosphere rich in oxygen. Here we report the detection of atomic oxygen emission from Europa, which we interpret as being produced by the simultaneous dissociation and excitation of atmospheric O2 by electrons from Jupiter's magnetosphere. Europa's molecular oxygen atmosphere is very tenuous, with a surface pressure about 10(-11) that of the Earth's atmosphere at sea level.

  3. 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.

  4. Jovian Magnetospheric Impacts on Determination of Europa's Astrobiological Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, J. F.; Sittler, E. C.

    2014-02-01

    Astrobiological potential of Europa for potential habitability and life is governed by availability of liquid water, organic chemistry, and energy. Jovian magnetospheric interactions impact and can even enable surveys for these resources.

  5. Energy cycling and hypothetical organisms in Europa's ocean.

    PubMed

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Irwin, Louis N

    2002-01-01

    While Europa has emerged as a leading candidate for harboring extraterrestrial life, the apparent lack of a source of free energy for sustaining living systems has been argued. In this theoretical analysis, we have quantified the amount of energy that could in principle be obtained from chemical cycling, heat, osmotic gradients, kinetic motion, magnetic fields, and gravity in Europa's subsurface ocean. Using reasonable assumptions based on known organisms on Earth, our calculations suggest that chemical oxidation-reduction cycles in Europa's subsurface ocean could support life. Osmotic and thermal gradients, as well as the kinetic energy of convection currents, also represent plausible alternative sources of energy for living systems at Europa. Organisms thriving on these gradients could interact with each other to form the complex energy cycling necessary for establishing a stable ecosystem.

  6. 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.

  7. The Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS) on The Europa Clipper Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westlake, Joseph H.; McNutt, Ralph L.; Kasper, Justin C.; Case, Anthony W.; Grey, Matthew P.; Kim, Cindy K.; Battista, Corina C.; Rymer, Abigail; Paty, Carol S.; Jia, Xianzhe; Stevens, Michael L.; Khurana, Krishan; Kivelson, Margaret G.; Slavin, James A.; Korth, Haje H.; Smith, Howard T.; Krupp, Norbert; Roussos, Elias; Saur, Joachim

    2016-10-01

    The Europa Clipper mission is equipped with a sophisticated suite of 9 instruments to study Europa's interior and ocean, geology, chemistry, and habitability from a Jupiter orbiting spacecraft. The Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS) on Europa Clipper is a Faraday Cup based plasma instrument whose heritage dates back to the Voyager spacecraft. PIMS will measure the plasma that populates Jupiter's magnetosphere and Europa's ionosphere. The science goals of PIMS are to: 1) estimate the ocean salinity and thickness by determining Europa's magnetic induction response, corrected for plasma contributions; 2) assess mechanisms responsible for weathering and releasing material from Europa's surface into the atmosphere and ionosphere; and 3) understand how Europa influences its local space environment and Jupiter's magnetosphere and vice versa.Europa is embedded in a complex Jovian magnetospheric plasma, which rotates with the tilted planetary field and interacts dynamically with Europa's ionosphere affecting the magnetic induction signal. Plasma from Io's temporally varying torus diffuses outward and mixes with the charged particles in Europa's own torus producing highly variable plasma conditions at Europa. PIMS works in conjunction with the Interior Characterization of Europa using Magnetometry (ICEMAG) investigation to probe Europa's subsurface ocean. This investigation exploits currents induced in Europa's interior by the moon's exposure to variable magnetic fields in the Jovian system to infer properties of Europa's subsurface ocean such as its depth, thickness, and conductivity. This technique was successfully applied to Galileo observations and demonstrated that Europa indeed has a subsurface ocean. While these Galileo observations contributed to the renewed interest in Europa, due to limitations in the observations the results raised major questions that remain unanswered. PIMS will greatly refine our understanding of Europa's global liquid ocean by

  8. 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

  9. Europa's Neutral Clouds: Probing the Atmosphere, Surface, and Subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, M. H.; Johnson, R. E.

    2004-05-01

    The existence of a sub-surface ocean at Europa and the possibility of its sustaining life is one of the most exciting scientific questions of our time. Unfortunately, the remoteness of the satellite makes it difficult to study this ocean directly. Studies of the atmosphere and atmospheric escape can provide clues needed for understanding Europa's icy shell and sub-surface ocean. The composition and energy distribution of material escaping from Europa are indicative of the interaction between its surface and the local plasma. Observations of this material made from Earth can provide insight into Europa's surface composition and interior and will help determine the capabilities needed for future Europa missions. The discovery of Europa's molecular oxygen atmosphere (Hall et al. 1995) was quickly followed by ground based observations of a sodium exosphere extending more than ten satellite radii above Europa's surface (Brown and Hill 1996). Modeling of this exosphere by Leblanc et al. (2002) indicates that roughly 40% of the material sputtered from Europa's surface escapes forming an extended neutral cloud in orbit around Jupiter. Recent Cassini and Galileo spacecraft observations are suggestive of water products lost from Europa (Mauk et al. 2003, Lagg et al. 2003) and constitute the first observations of Europa's extended cloud. We consider models of the large scale morphology of this cloud which suggest significant morphological differences from the extensively studied Io neutral cloud. We also discuss strategies for confirming these predictions by observing the sodium and oxygen components of the neutral cloud as they extend along Europa's orbit. References: Brown, M. E. and R. E. Hill, Nature, 380, 229-231, 1996. Hall, D. T., D. F. Strobel, P. D. Feldman, M. A. McGrath, and H. A. Weaver, Nature 373, 677, 1995. Lagg, A., N. Krupp, J. Woch, and D. J. Williams, GRL, 30, 10-1, 2003. Leblanc, F., R. E. Johnson, and M. E. Brown, Icarus 159, 132-144, 2002. Mauk, B. H., D

  10. Science Objectives and Mission Concepts for Europa Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamppari, L. K.; Senske, D. A.; Johnson, T. V.; Oberto, R.; Zimmerman, W.; JPL's Team-X Team

    2000-10-01

    Since the arrival of the Galileo spacecraft to the Jovian system in 1995, evidence indicating a liquid water ocean beneath the icy Europan crust has become much stronger. This evidence combined with the fact that Europa is greater than 90 wt% water [1] makes it a candidate body to harbor extant or extinct life. The outstanding Europa science questions [2] are to determine whether or not there is or has been a liquid water layer under the ice and whether or not liquid water currently exists on the surface or has in the geologically recent past, what geological processes create the ice rafts and other ice-tectonic processes that affect the surface, the composition of the deep interior , geochemical sources of energy, the nature of the neutral atmosphere and ionosphere, and the nature of the radiation environment, especially with regard to its implications for organic and biotic chemistry. In addition, in situ studies of the surface of Europa would offer the opportunity to characterize the chemistry of the ice including organics, pH, salinity, and redox potential. In order to address these scientific objectives, a Europa program, involving multiple spacecraft, is envisioned. The JPL Outer Planets program has been helping to lay the groundwork for such a program. This effort is being conducted with particular emphasis on compiling and identifying science objectives which will flow down to a Europa mission architecture. This poster will show the tracability of observational methods from the science objectives. Also in support of developing a Europa mission architecture, JPL's Team-X has conducted a variety of Europa mission studies . A comparison of the studies done to date will be presented, highlighting science objectives accomplished, technological challenges, and cost. A more detailed presentation will be given on a Europa Lander concept study. First, the science objectives and instrumentation will be shown, including instrument mass, power usage, volume, and data

  11. 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

  12. Planetary science. Europa's ocean--the case strengthens.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, D

    2000-08-25

    The possibility of a subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa has been suggested on the basis of theoretical, geological, and spectroscopic arguments. But, as Stevenson explains in his Perspective, none of these arguments were compelling. In contrast, the magnetic field data obtained by the Galileo spacecraft and presented in the report by Kivelson et al., provide persuasive evidence for a conducting layer--most likely a global water ocean--near Europa's surface.

  13. Current Status of the 2008 Europa-Jupiter Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Stankov, Anamarija; Greeley, Ronald; Blanc, Michel; Clark, Karla; Grunthaner, Paula; Falkner, Peter

    NASA and the ESA have embarked on a joint study of a mission to Europa and the Jupiter system. The Jupiter Joint Science Definition (JJSDT) team is providing science input to a Europa Orbiter mission study (run by NASA) and to the Jupiter Orbiter mission study (run by ESA). The JJSDT is defining the science content of the missions and working closely with the engineering team to define a mission concept that optimizes science, cost, and risk. Unique among the Jovian satellites, Europa is believed to shelter an ocean between its geodynamically active icy crust and its silicate mantle, one where the main conditions for habitability may be fulfilled. 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. The Europa Orbiter mission would investigate the habitability of this enigmatic satellite using gravity and remote sensing. To understand in a more generic way the habitability conditions around giant planets, we need to go beyond Europa itself and address two more general questions at the scale of the Jupiter system: to what extent is its possible habitability related to the initial conditions and formation scenario of the Jovian satellites? To what extent is it due to the way the Jupiter system works? ESA is investigating the possibility of a Jupiter Planetary Orbiter/Ganymede Orbiter, which would focus on the Jupiter system. Moreover, the NASA Europa Orbiter would orbit Jupiter for nearly 2 years using gravity assists of the icy Galilean satellites to lower its energy, providing the opportunity for significant Jupiter system science. This multi-platform and multi-target architecture, combined with its broadly multidisciplinary scientific dimension

  14. 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

  15. Europa's Water Vapor Plumes: Systematically Constraining their Abundance and Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roth, Lorenz

    2014-10-01

    The discovery of transient water vapor plumes near Europa's south pole (Roth et al. 2014) has important implications for the search for life in our Solar System. Europa's subsurface water ocean is thought to provide all the ingredients needed for a habitable environment. The plumes might enable direct sampling of Europa's subsurface constituents and provide insights into the chemistry, mobility, and extent of the liquid water environments. In STIS spectral images obtained in Dec. 2012, the intensity ratios of atomic H and O auroral emissions uniquely identify the source as electron impact excitation of water molecules. However, a confirmation of the initial detection has not yet been achieved, and non-detections from four out of five previous such visits suggest a complex and possibly episodic variation in plume activity. We have identified five potential variability sources for plume activity and detectability and propose a focused program to systematically constrain Europa's plumes and their variability pattern. Our constraints for the plume activity on Europa are vital inputs for key programmatic decisions regarding NASA's next large mission to Europa.

  16. 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.

  17. Liquid water sill emplacement on Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craft, K.; Patterson, G. W.; Lowell, R. P.

    2013-12-01

    Recent work has suggested that lithospheric flexure and flanking fractures observed along some ridges on Europa are best explained by the initial presence of a shallow liquid water sill. The emplacement of a sill suggests certain conditions existed that were favorable to water flow from the ocean to the subsurface, stresses that allowed horizontal fracturing for sill emplacement, and liquid water replenishment to enable a sill lifetime of ~ 1000s of years. Here, we investigate whether these conditions could occur and result in sill formation. Previous models of the stresses resulting from ice shell thickening on Europa indicated that fractures can initiate within the shell and propagate both upward toward the surface and downward to the ice-ocean interface. For an ~10 km thick ice shell, we determined that flow velocities for ocean water driven up a vertical fracture by the release of lithostatic pressures are adequate for reaching the subsurface before freezing occurs (LPSC #3033). We propose the next step for sill emplacement could occur through horizontal fracturing. Nominally, the stress field in a material under lithostatic load is conducive to vertical crack propagation. However, factors exist that can cause the stress field to change and propagate cracks horizontally. Seismically imaged terrestrial sills beneath mid-ocean ridges often occur in areas with extensive cracking and/or faulting, suggesting crack interactions may play a key role. Through application of a finite element program, we modeled four stress changing mechanisms and the resulting fracture propagation in a 10 km thick ice shell on Europa: (1) mechanical layering, (2) shallow cracks to the surface, (3) deep cracks from the ocean-ice interface and (4) shallow and deep cracks combined. Results determined that all mechanisms cause some turn in propagation direction, with Model 4 (both shallow and deep cracks) enabling the greatest turn to ~ horizontal. The horizontal extent of the fracture

  18. Galileo Observations of Europa's Opposition Effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfenstein, P.; Currier, N.; Clark, B. E.; Veverka, J.; Bell, M.; Sullivan, R.; Klemaszewski, J.; Greeley, R.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Head, J. W.; Jones, T.; Klaasen, K.; Magee, K.; Geissler, P.; Greenberg, R.; McEwen, A.; Phillips, C.; Colvin, T.; Davies, M.; Denk, T.; Neukum, G.; Belton, M. J. S.

    1998-09-01

    During Galileo's G7 orbit, the Solid State Imaging (SSI) camera acquired pictures of the spacecraft shadow point on Europa's surface as well as a comparison set of images showing the same geographic region at phase angle α = 5°. Coverage, obtained at three spectral bandpasses (VLT, 0.41 μm, GRN, 0.56 μm; and 1MC, 0.99 μm) at a spatial resolution of 404 m/pixel, shows a 162 × 220-km region of Europa's surface located at 30°N, 162°W. We have used these images to measure the near-opposition spectrophotometric behavior of four primary europan terrain materials: IR-bright icy material, IR-dark icy material, dark lineament material, and dark spot material. The high spatial resolution of the G7 images reveal low-albedo materials in dark spots that are among the darkest features (17% albedo at 0.56 μm and 5° phase) yet found on icy Galilean satellites. While material of comparable albedo is found on Ganymede and Callisto, low-albedo europan materials are much redder. All europan surface materials exhibit an opposition effect; however, the strength of the effect, as measured by the total increase in reflectance as phase angle decreases from α = 5° to α = 0°, varies among terrains. The opposition effects of IR-bright icy and IR-dark icy materials which dominate Europa's surface are about 1.5 times larger than predicted from pre-Galileo studies. Low-albedo materials in dark spots exhibit unusually intense opposition effects (up to four times larger than bright icy europan terrains), consistent with the presence of a strong shadow-hiding opposition surge. The strengths of the opposition surges among average europan terrains systematically vary with terrain albedo and can be explained in terms of the simultaneous contributions of shadow-hiding and coherent-backscatter to the total opposition effect. Coherent backscatter introduces a narrow angular contribution (<0.2° wide) to all europan terrains while the presence of a shadow-hiding contribution is revealed by

  19. Recovery of Europa's geophysical attributes with the radio science component of a Europa Multiple-Flyby Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, Ashok Kumar; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2016-10-01

    NASA has approved the development of a multiple-flyby mission to Jupiter's satellite Europa. Important science questions about Europa's interior structure and sub-surface ocean can be addressed by measuring Europa's gravity field, tidal Love number, and spin state. The mission's radio science investigation will rely on tracking the Doppler shift between the spacecraft and Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas. Here, we simulate the X-band two-way coherent Doppler link between the spacecraft and DSN antennas to evaluate the precision with which geophysical parameters can be recovered. We use the project's 15F10 reference trajectory and simulate Doppler measurements within ±2 h of the spacecraft's closest approach to Europa for each one of 42 flybys. After adding noise to the simulated observables, we solve for Europa's GM, degree and order 2 gravity coefficients (J2 and C22), tidal love number k2, pole position (right ascension and declination), and spin rate. The results of our simulations show that the precision in the recovery of geophysical parameters is sufficient to answer questions related to the presence of a global ocean in some tracking scenarios but not in others. We compare our results to an independent analysis by the Europa Mission Gravity Science Working Group (GSWG, 2016).

  20. Numerical Models of Folding on Europa, and the Mystery of Europa's Surface Area Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bland, Michael T.; McKinnon, W. B.

    2009-09-01

    Europa's surface is dominated by extensional tectonic features. While contractional features have been identified (e.g., folds, convergence bands, and even take-up across sheared double ridges), it is unclear whether the sum of such convergence can match the amount of surface extension represented by dilational bands alone (of order 5%) (see Kattenhorn and Hurford, in Europa, in press). Dombard and McKinnon used a semi-analytical model to examine the growth of folds on Europa and found that Astypalaea-like folds can form with a thermal gradient of 20 K/km (high) and 2% contraction (low) for reasonable strain rates, but generally only for low surface temperatures (i.e., high latitudes). We revisit folding of an ice lithosphere using the finite element code Tekton; the "Astypalaea” problem is especially appropriate as surface strain appears low and localized brittle faulting minimal. Initial benchmark simulations using a constant lithospheric strength with depth (as required by the semi-analytic model) gives results consistent with previous work, with only modestly smaller instability growth rates. Employing the more realistic strength profile of Beeman et al., however, suppresses fold growth rates, a known result from terrestrial studies. In these cases forming Astypalaea-like folds requires 10% lithospheric contraction for thermal gradients of 20 K/km, or 5% contraction for thermal gradients of 30 K/km. In the absence of high thermal gradients contraction results in near-uniform thickening of the lithosphere, and large local strains may be accommodated without producing large-amplitude deformation. These models support a hypothesis that large contractional strains can be "hidden” in long-wavelength, low-amplitude folds, but the large compressive stresses necessary (of order 10 MPa) are problematic. We are presently exploring whether such "cryptic compression” is possible in the presence of strain weakening (Bland and McKinnon, submitted) and whether a

  1. 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

  2. Quantifying Exact Motions Along Lineaments on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vetter, J. C.; Kattenhorn, S. A.

    2005-01-01

    Evaluating the precise motions along lineaments on the surface of Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, is a valuable tool for interpreting the development and history of lineaments of various morphologies. Such morphologies include strike-slip faults, dilational bands, ridges, and convergence zones. However, the exact mode of origin and kinematic behavior of these various lineaments are not obvious based on morphology alone. In fact, the apparent motions implied by displaced crosscut features can provide misleading indications of true motions along lineaments. Identifying the precise motions (combinations of sliding and opening/closing) is critical to the accurate characterization and interpretation of each of these lineament types. Lineaments of interest (i.e., those having displaced relatively older features in some manner) are identified on Galileo spacecraft images and measurements are made of the total offset, the separation, and relative orientations of crosscut features with respect to the lineament of interest. Specifically, by using these measured quantities and a series of trigonometric equations, the precise motions (i.e., dilation, convergence, strike-slip, or a combination of strike-slip and dilation or convergence) can be determined. These measurements are, however, limited by the resolution of the available images. This study focuses on motion analysis techniques for Europan lineaments and the precise characterization of fault-orthogonal and/or strike-slip motion along lineaments of varying morphologies. We highlight potential pitfalls of cursory analyses of motion indicators. For example, lineaments with obvious lateral offsets have typically been identified simply as strike-slip faults. This assumption may actually be incorrect, as fault-orthogonal motions may contribute to apparent lateral displacements (offsets or separations). Also, variability in the amount of fault motion along the trace length should theoretically be identifiable using the outlined

  3. 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

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Tírez Lake as a Terrestrial Analog of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

    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-SO4-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

  7. The water and oxygen exospheres of Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plainaki, C.; Milillo, A.; Massetti, S.; Mura, A.; Saur, J.; Orsini, S.

    2013-09-01

    The exospheres of Jupiter's icy satellites Europa and Ganymede are mixtures of H2O, O2 and H2 and some minor constituents, like Na. H2O is released from the surface mainly through either direct sputtering, caused by the impact of energetic ions of Jupiter's magnetosphere, or sublimation. O2 and H2 are produced through chemical reactions among different products of H2O radiolytic decomposition. In the present study we investigate at first the Europa's exospheric characteristics under the external conditions that are likely in the Jupiter's magnetospheric environment, applying the Europa Global model of Exospheric Outgoing Neutrals (EGEON, [1]) for different configurations between the positions of Europa, Jupiter and the Sun. We show that the H2O exosphere around Europa is denser and more extended above the moon's trailing hemisphere. We find that solar illumination and preferable plasma impact direction together determine the spatial distribution of Europa's exosphere and the O2 release efficiency. We show that the modelled O2 densities are in good agreement with the analysis results from two HST observations of Europa's leading and trailing hemisphere. In order to investigate on the O2 exosphere of Ganymede, we apply the same model, making however some important modifications regarding the impacting ions precipitation regions and the satellite physical characteristics. The map of the ion precipitation to Ganymede's surface, is produced using a single-particle Monte Carlo model the simulates the trajectories of the ions inside the magnetic field, assumed to be described by the model of [2]. We present some first preliminary results on the spatial distribution of the H2O and O2 exosphere of Ganymede and discuss the escape.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Astrobiological Aspects of Radiation Chemistry in Europa's Icy Regolith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, R. W.; Hand, K. P.

    2006-05-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa, with its likely subsurface ocean and young, active surface, is a promising habitat for life. Europa orbits in the heart of Jupiter's powerful magnetosphere and suffers intense energetic particle bombardment, producing both positive and negative aspects for astrobiology at Europa. Ionizing radiation can produce oxidants that could support a radiation-driven ecology as proposed by Chyba. On the other hand, biomolecular evidence for life that may be upwelled to the surface is rapidly altered by irradiation, complicating astrobiological searches for evidence of life. We present an overview of laboratory work performed at JPL and elsewhere and observational results related to these two aspects. The oxidants hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen are known to exist on Europa and the radiolytic production of these species has been studied in the laboratory for both electron and ion irradiation. Laboratory- measured equilibrium concentrations of H2O2, where production and destruction rates are equal, are in general agreement with the observed 0.1% molar abundance on Europa. The shape of Europa's peroxide band is consistent with the line shapes observed in radiolysis and with H2O2 dispersed in water ice rather than occurring as H2O2 aggregates. Surprisingly, molecular oxygen may be even more abundant on Europa even though O2 is extremely volatile ande would be expected to escape from the ice surface. Radiolysis can produce molecular oxygen and appears to simultaneously alter the ice matrix, trapping the O2. Other species observed on Europa are CO2 and SO2, and laboratory radiolysis of these species in H2O ice produces carbonic and sulfuric acid, respectively. We are studying the radiolytic degradation of biomarkers in ice at Europa temperatures by studying both simple organics and more complex biomolecules, including microorganisms. Hydrocarbon radiolysis yields carbon dioxide and methane, which can escape the system and results in loss of carbon. In

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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.

  20. The Magnetic Dichotomy of the Galilean Satellites Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breuer, D.; Hussmann, H.; Spohn, T.

    2006-12-01

    A major discovery of the Galileo mission was the detection of Ganymede's self-generated magnetic field. The magnetic field also proves beyond doubt that Ganymede is fully differentiated into an iron-rich core, a silicate mantle, and an outer ice shell that most likely also contains an ocean. It is widely believed that Europa has a similar structure although the absence of a self-sustained magnetic field makes the case for a core in Europa less compelling. Since Callisto's moment-of-inertia factor suggests an undifferentiated satellite and since the absence of a magnetic of Io is best explained by tidal heating in the mantle blocking the heat flow from the core (Wienbruch and Spohn, 1995), Europa and Ganymede form a magnetic dichotomy in the Jovian system. We have used stagnant lid models of convection in the two icy satellites to calculate thermal history models with core cooling and have allowed for inner core growth through freezing. The models have stagnant lid convection or conduction in the outer ice shells (depending on material parameters), isothermal oceans, and, in the case of Ganymede, stagnant-lid convection in the ice shell underneath the ocean and above the rock mantle. For Europa the ocean interfaces with the rock mantle. We assume iron cores that start fully molten for both satellites, the radii of which were taken from Sohl et al. (2002). These models suggest that Europa has a few 100 km smaller core and thinner mantle and a substantially thinner ice shell. All but interior structure parameters equal, we find that core convection and hence dynamo action is more likely for Europa than for Ganymede. The reason are mainly the larger core and the thicker mantle. Accepting core convection in Ganymede, the question than poses itself of how to explain the absence of core convection in Europa. We find and will discuss the following possibilities: 1) Europa has no iron core. This is consistent with the observation but leaves the question why Ganymede should

  1. 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.

  2. Jovian tour design for orbiter and lander missions to Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

    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 multiple flyby only mission, an orbiter mission, and a lander mission. This paper presents the moon tours for the lander and orbiter concepts. The total Δv and radiation dose would be reduced when compared to previous designs by exploiting multi-body dynamics and avoiding multi-revolution transfers in the Ganymede-to-Europa transfer. Tours 11-O3, 12-L1 and 12-L4 and their performances compared to other tours from previous Europa mission studies are presented in detail.

  3. 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.

  4. Exploration and Protection of Europa's Biosphere: Implications of Permeable Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. Combined Effects of Diurnal and Nonsynchronous Surface Stresses on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stempel, M. M.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Wahr, J.; Barr, A. C.

    2004-01-01

    To date, modeling of the surface stresses on Europa has considered tidal, nonsynchronous, and polar wander sources of stress. The results of such models can be used to match lineament orientations with candidate stress patterns. We present a rigorous surface stress model for Europa that will facilitate comparison of principal stresses to lineament orientation, and which will be available in the public domain. Nonsynchronous rotation and diurnal motion contribute to a stress pattern that deforms the surface of Europa. Over the 85-hour orbital period, the diurnal stress pattern acts on the surface, with a maximum magnitude of approximately 0.1 MPa. The nonsynchronous stress pattern sweeps over the surface due to differential rotation of the icy shell relative to the tidally locked interior of the moon. Nonsynchronous stress builds cumulatively with approximately 0.1 MPa per degree of shell rotation.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. Europa: Prospects for Life and for the Origin of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyba, C. F.

    2002-12-01

    Life as we know it could exist on Europa as we know it. That is, our current understanding of Europa seems to allow the existence of certain microorganisms that we know on Earth. Europa almost certainly has an ocean of liquid water and a supply of biogenic elements sufficient for a biosphere. Potential sources of free energy that could fuel a europan microbial ecosystem can be identified, but several of them depend on the extent to which Europa's crust communicates with its ocean (Chyba and Hand, Science 292, 2026-2027 (2001); Chyba and Phillips, Origins of Life 32, 47-68 (2002)). This communication seems possible in both thin-ice and thick-ice scenarios, but it may require another mission before we are confident about which geophysical models are in fact correct. The prospects for the origin of life on Europa are much trickier to evaluate. If the origin of life had to occur under the present ice cover, the abundant energy of the Sun's ultraviolet light would not have been available to drive prebiotic chemistry. Some current models for the origin of life on Earth would seem not to be troubled by this, but recent experimental results suggest that the concentration of salts in the early terrestrial ocean could have been an important impediment to the polymerization of early organic monomers and the formation of prebiotic vesicles-implying that life may have originated in freshwater environments on early Earth. The implications of these results for the origin of life in Europa's ocean will be discussed.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. "Sniffing" Jupiter's moon Europa through ground-based IR observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paganini, Lucas; Mumma, Michael J.; Hurford, Terry; Roth, Lorenz; Villanueva, Geronimo Luis

    2016-10-01

    The ability to sample possible plumes from the subsurface ocean in Europa represents a major step in our search for extraterrestrial life. If plumes exist, sampling the effluent material would provide insights into their chemistry and relevant information about the prospect that life could exist, or now exists, within the ocean. Most of the difficulties in detecting plumes come from the less frequent observational coverage of Europa, which contrasts strongly with the frequent Cassini flybys of Enceladus (Spencer & Nimmo 2013). Recent observations have been taken with HST/STIS in 2014/2015, but results have shown no evident confirmation of the 2012 plume detection (Roth et al. 2014, 2015). Future in situ observations (Europa Mission) will provide definitive insights, but not before the spacecraft's arrival in ~2025, thus an interim approach is needed to inform such space mission planning and to complement existing observations at other wavelengths.In 2015, we initiated a strong campaign to build a comprehensive survey of possible plumes on Europa through high-resolution IR spectroscopy with Keck/NIRSPEC. We were awarded 10 nights out of 15 total nights available for Key Strategic Mission Support projects for the 2016A, 2016B, 2017A, and 2017B semesters under NASA time with the Keck Observatory. In 2016A, we observed Europa during 10 half-nights and will continue to do so for another 10 half-nights in 2017A. We target a serendipitous search of gaseous activity from Europa to confirm and constrain the chemical composition of possible Europan plumes that can aid the investigation of physical processes underlying (or on) its surface. Ultimately, we seek to: (1) provide information that can inform planning for NASA's Europa mission, (2) further our current understanding of Europa's gas environment, and (3) complement studies that are currently underway with other facilities (like the Hubble Space Telescope). In this presentation, we will discuss preliminary results

  13. On the formation of the atmosphere of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Mao-Chang; Shemansky, D. E.; Yung, Yuk

    2016-10-01

    Europa was observed to possess spatiotemporal variability in water above the surface. In addition, there were reports of a tenuous atmosphere that interacts with the magnetospheric plasma. To explain the presence of an ionosphere in a thin atmosphere, we developed a photochemistry-transport model that includes ion-neutral chemistry and diffusive transport. We examine sources of neutrals from Europa's surface geophysical activity and from ion sputtering at the surface by particles from the Jovian magnetosphere. Sensitivity of the results to the surface and magnetospheric activities is presented and discussed.

  14. 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).

  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. Scientific Synergies from the Europa Multiple-Flyby Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abramov, O.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Prockter, L. M.; Senske, D.; Retherford, K. D.; Turtle, E. P.; Blaney, D. L.; Christensen, P. R.; Blankenship, D. D.; Raymond, C. A.; Westlake, J. H.; Waite, J. H., Jr.; Kempf, S.; Collins, G. C.; Hand, K. P.; Lunine, J. I.; McGrath, M. A.; Nimmo, F.; Paty, C. S.; Soderblom, J. M.; Spencer, J. R.; Solomon, S. C.; Paranicas, C.

    2015-12-01

    In May 2015, NASA announced selection of a suite of nine instruments for the Europa mission's scientific payload. The payload consists of five remote sensing instruments that cover the wavelength range from ultraviolet through radar and four in situ instruments that measure fields and particles; moreover, gravity science can be achieved via the telecom system, and valuable scientific data could come from the spacecraft's planned radiation monitoring system. The remote sensing instruments are: an ultraviolet spectrograph (Europa-UVS); a wide-angle and narrow-angle visible camera system (EIS); an infrared spectrometer (MISE); a thermal instrument (E-THEMIS); and an ice-penetrating radar (REASON). The fields and particles instruments are: a magnetometer suite (ICEMAG); a plasma instrument (PIMS); a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MASPEX); and a dust analyzer (SUDA). Taken together, the payload has the potential to test hypotheses relevant to the composition, interior, and geology of Europa, in order to address the potential habitability of this intriguing moon. This presentation will introduce the Europa mission's instrument suite, while providing an overview of the synergistic science that can come from this mission.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Mid-IR Spectral Search for Salt SIgnatures on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Tracy M.; Retherford, Kurt D.; Hanley, Jennifer; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Tsang, Constantine; Roth, Lorenz

    2016-10-01

    We present mid-IR spectra of Europa's leading and trailing hemispheres obtained with the NASA IRTF/TEXES instrument on March 28 and March 30, 2015. The observations span from ~10 – 11 microns with a resolving power of R ~2500. Few observations of Europa have been made at these wavelengths, and the high spectral resolution of the instrument enables the identification of distinguishing spectral features in this relatively unexplored bandpass. While the leading hemisphere of Europa consists of relatively pure water ice, the trailing hemisphere's surface contains a mix of ice and some other component, causing the surface to appear reddish at visible wavelengths. We compare the spectra from the trailing hemisphere with those from the leading, pure-ice hemisphere and with recent laboratory measurements of chlorinated salts, which have distinct spectral signatures at these wavelengths. We find that the signal obtained from Europa's leading hemisphere is 5-10 times lower than the signal obtained from the trailing hemisphere, likely due to a temperature difference between the hemispheres. We discern several spectral features that are present in the trailing hemisphere but not in the spectra of the leading hemisphere, though the explanation for these features is not yet apparent.

  2. 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.

  3. The Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS): Enabling Required Plasma Measurements for the Exploration of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westlake, J. H.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Kasper, J. C.; Case, A. W.; Rymer, A. M.; Khurana, K. K.; Stevens, M. L.; Jia, X.; Slavin, J. A.; Paty, C. S.; Smith, H. T.; Kivelson, M.; Saur, J.; Krupp, N.; Roussos, E.; Korth, H.

    2015-12-01

    Europa exists in a complicated plasma environment where the tilt of Jupiter's magnetic field and rapid rotation rate leads to a dynamic interaction with Europa's ionospheric plasma. While understanding this plasma interaction is interesting in its own right, it is crucial for successfully magnetically sounding Europa's subsurface ocean. . In magnetic sounding, currents induced in Europa by the changing Jovian plasma produce a detectable secondary magnetic field that reflects properties of Europa's subsurface ocean such as depth and conductivity. This technique was successfully employed with Galileo observations of Europa to demonstrate that Europa indeed has a subsurface ocean containing more liquid water than Earth's oceans. While these Galileo observations contributed to the renewed interest in Europa, the results raised major questions that remain unanswered, in part due to the large uncertainties in the ice shell thickness, ocean depth, and ocean salinity due to limitations in the observations. Here we present the scientific goals of the Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS), one of the 9 instruments selected for the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission. We specifically address how PIMS plasma measurements will transform the accuracy of magnetic sounding of Europa's subsurface oceans. We also present synergistic science with other Europa instrumentation such as the ultraviolet spectrometer, mass spectrometer, and the radar.

  4. Europa's Neutral Cloud: Modeling Galileo and Cassini Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, M. H.; Johnson, R. E.

    2004-11-01

    Recently reported Galileo observations coupled with Cassini measurements during its Jupiter flyby are suggestive of the presence of a water product component of Europa's extended cloud. Lagg et al. (2003) reported the depletion of protons with pitch angle of 90 degrees near Europa which suggests the presence of an equatorially confined cloud of neutral gas. Mauk et al. (2003) detected energetic neutrals resulting from charge exchange between protons and atomic or molecular neutrals in the Europa cloud. Models of the previously detected sodium component of this cloud (Brown and Hill 1996, Leblanc et al. 2002) by Burger and Johnson (2004) predict that the cloud morphology is significantly different from the morphology of the Io neutral cloud. Due to differences in the radial variations in the magnetospheric plasma at each satellite, the Io cloud is predominately a leading cloud while the Europa cloud is a trailing cloud expanding radially outward from Jupiter. We present models of the molecular and atomic oxygen clouds formed from water dissociation products escaping from Europa's surface and atmosphere and compare with the Galileo and Cassini observations. These studies use recent models of Europa's atmosphere (Shematovich et al. 2004) and an empirical description of the Io plasma torus (described in Burger 2003) to estimate the large scale distribution of neutrals escaping from Europa. In addition, we discuss the effects of the variable plasma environment on observable oxygen emissions. This work has been supported by grants from NASA's Planetary Atmospheres Program. References: Brown, M.E. and Hill, R.E. Nature, 380, 229, 1996. Burger, M.H. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Colorado, 2003. Burger, M.H., Johnson, R.E. Icarus, in press, 2004. Lagg, A., Krupp, N., Woch, J., Williams, D.J. GRL, 30, 10-1, 2003. Leblanc, F., Johnson, R.E., Brown, M.E. Icarus, 159, 132, 2002. Mauk, B.H., et al. Nature, 421, 920, 2003. Shematovich, V. I., Johnson, R.E., Cooper, J.F. Wong, M

  5. 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.

  6. The Europa Imaging System (EIS), a Camera Suite to investigate Europa's Geology, Ice Shell, and Potential for Current Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turtle, E. P.; McEwen, A. S.; Osterman, S. N.; Boldt, J. D.; Strohbehn, K.; EIS Science Team

    2016-10-01

    EIS NAC and WAC use identical rad-hard rapid-readout 4k × 2k CMOS detectors for imaging during close (≤25 km) fast ( 4.5 km/s) Europa flybys. NAC achieves 0.5 m/pixel over a 2-km swath from 50 km, and WAC provides context pushbroom stereo imaging.

  7. Exploring A Thermal-Orbital Feedback Mechanism At Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Matthew; Mitchell, Jonathan L.; Bills, Bruce

    2016-10-01

    We present a geophysical model of the Europa system to describe it's structural, orbital, and thermal states. In doing so, we examine the potential for feedback mechanisms to occur which can produce oscillatory behavior in shell thickness, eccentricity, and heat flux, due to the coupled nature of the relevant processes. We implement a tidal heating model to describe the heat flux into the body. This model depends primarily on the shell structure as well as the orbital eccentricity. The model has the capacity to consider multilayered bodies for which the interior structure can evolve over time. Furthermore, the tidal heating model is fully three dimensionally resolved, having the ability to predict radial and lateral variations in heating throughout Europa. This allows us to predict particular locations on Europa that should have the maximum surface heat flux. This heating model is coupled to the orbital evolution as well. Tidal dissipation pulls energy out of the orbit, effectively reducing the semi-major axis and eccentricity, circularizing the orbit. This would slow, and even shut down, the tidal heating at Europa, however, the Galilean Satellites' Laplace resonance continuously transfers energy back into Europa's orbit, keeping the tidal dissipation active. We compare the tidal heat input to the heat conducted out of the ice shell, which is a function of shell thickness, among other things. Heat transfer into or out of the ice compensates any imbalance of heat. This heating, in turn, leads to structural variations of the shell. For example, if tidal heating is greater than the heat conducted out of the shell, the remaining balance goes into sensible and latent heats which thin the shell (thus increasing the surface heat output to balance that which is tidally input). Oppositely, when conducted heat output is greater than the tidal heating, the shell thickens. Shell thickness variations then result in global extension or contraction, due to the density difference

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Europa's small impactor flux and seismic detection predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuji, Daisuke; Teanby, Nicholas A.

    2016-10-01

    Europa is an attractive target for future lander missions due to its dynamic surface and potentially habitable sub-surface environment. Seismology has the potential to provide powerful new constraints on the internal structure using natural sources such as faults or meteorite impacts. Here we predict how many meteorite impacts are likely to be detected using a single seismic station on Europa to inform future mission planning efforts. To this end, we derive: (1) the current small impactor flux on Europa from Jupiter impact rate observations and models; (2) a crater diameter versus impactor energy scaling relation for icy moons by merging previous experiments and simulations; and (3) scaling relations for seismic signal amplitudes as a function of distance from the impact site for a given crater size, based on analogue explosive data obtained on Earth's ice sheets. Finally, seismic amplitudes are compared to predicted noise levels and seismometer performance to determine detection rates. We predict detection of 0.002-20 small local impacts per year based on P-waves travelling directly through the ice crust. Larger regional and global-scale impact events, detected through mantle-refracted waves, are predicted to be extremely rare (10-8-1 detections per year), so are unlikely to be detected by a short duration mission. Estimated ranges include uncertainties from internal seismic attenuation, impactor flux, and seismic amplitude scaling. Internal attenuation is the most significant unknown and produces extreme uncertainties in the mantle-refracted P-wave amplitudes. Our nominal best-guess attenuation model predicts 0.002-5 local direct P detections and 6 × 10-6-0.2 mantle-refracted detections per year. Given that a plausible Europa landed mission will only last around 30 days, we conclude that impacts should not be relied upon for a seismic exploration of Europa. For future seismic exploration, faulting due to stresses in the rigid outer ice shell is likely to be a

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Water accumulation below Europa's strike-slip faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalousova, K.; Tobie, G.; Soucek, O.; Choblet, G.; Cadek, O.

    2015-10-01

    The onset of melting below Europa's recently active strike-slip faults and the gravitational/thermal stability of partially molten ice are investigated by solving the equations for a two-phase compressible mixture of water ice and liquid water in 2D geometry. As a first step, the relative motion between ice and water is neglected, i.e. the meltwater is transported by the flowing ice. Our preliminary results suggest that for sufficiently large shear heating rate of˜2×10-4W m-3 melting can occur at depths as shallow as˜3km below Europa's surface. Moreover, the reservoirs of partially molten ice with˜5-10% of liquid water can remain within the cold lid for a few hundreds of kiloyears if the underlying ice is sufficiently cold (vis-cous) and free of fractures.

  15. Spectral/Image Data Cubes of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granahan, J. C.; Polk, K. S.; Fanale, F. P.; McCord, T. B.

    1996-03-01

    A set of spectral image cubes of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto have been constructed from Voyager mission images in an effort to prepare for the Jovian system portion of the Galileo spacecraft mission. Unfortunately, due to the fact that this spacecraft is presently restricted by an optimal 40 bits per second downlink and a finite onboard tape data storage many general observations of these moons will be restricted. Galileo imaging experiments like the Solid State Imager (SSI) and the Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) will be restricted to making specific targeted observations due to their data intensive usage of spacecraft downlink and tape storage. These spectral image cubes are designed to provide complementary spectral and spatial coverage of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto utilizing up to date control network measurements and photometric correction algorithms.

  16. En Echelon Ridge and Trough Structures on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michalski, Joseph R.; Greeley, Ronald

    2002-01-01

    Europa#s surface is tectonically and morphologically complex. Europan ridges, bands, ridged bands, double ridges, complex ridges, and troughs are collectively referred to as lineaments. Some lineaments are fault zones and exhibit sets of en echelon ridge and trough structures (EERTS). EERTS can be used to interpret the stress field in which the lineaments formed. These observations suggest that some lineaments at low latitudes initially formed as shear zones. rather than as purely tensional fractures as is commonly assumed. From stepping directions of EERTS and the offset directions of the lineaments in which they occur, we infer that some EERTS form as a result of compressional stress and others form as a result of tensional stress. EERTS that are inferred to form in compression are morphologically indistinguishable from EERTS that form in tension. The presence of tensional EERTS may support a diapiric origin for some ridges.

  17. Biomarkers on Europa: Unique signatures produced by radiolysis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, R. W.; Hand, K. P.

    A promising habitat for life is Jupiter's moon Europa, with its likely ocean under a young, active surface. Europa orbits in the heart of Jupiter's powerful magnetosphere and suffers intense energetic particle bombardment, producing both good and bad aspects for astrobiology at Europa. Ionizing radiation can produce oxidants that could support a radiation-driven ecology as proposed by Chyba. On the other hand, biomolecular evidence for oceanic life that may be emplaced on the surface is rapidly altered by radiation, perhaps complicating astrobiological searches for evidence of life. We are studying the radiolytic degradation of molecular biomarkers in ice at Europa temperatures by studying both simple organics and more complex biomolecules, including microorganisms. High energy (1-100 keV) electron irradiation is employed and the products are analyzed using infrared spectroscopy, thermal desorption mass spectroscopy, and laser desorption/ionization mass spectroscopy. Hydrocarbon radiolysis yields carbon dioxide and methane which can escape the system and results in the net loss of carbon. Aliphatic molecules with C=O bonds are formed and thought to be mainly polymethylene oxides. When heated, they polymerize to form brown, high-molecular-weight refractory residues with linear, spherical, and ring- shaped macrostructures, typically many tens of micrometers in size. Laser desorption mass spectra of the residues are not overly complex and are different for each initial species. Radiolysis of microorganisms shows the destruction of amine, amide, methyl, and methylene groups, and production of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitriles, and isocyanates. Mass spectra of irradiated B. pumilus spores are different and surprisingly less complex than those of unirradiated spores. It is possible that unique, diagnostic biosignatures may exist in mass spectra of irradiated microorganisms.

  18. On the origin of alkali metals in Europa exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozgurel, Ozge; Pauzat, Françoise; Ellinger, Yves; Markovits, Alexis; Mousis, Olivier; LCT, LAM

    2016-10-01

    At a time when Europa is considered as a plausible habitat for the development of an early form of life, of particular concern is the origin of neutral sodium and potassium atoms already detected in its exosphere (together with magnesium though in smaller abundance), since these atoms are known to be crucial for building the necessary bricks of prebiotic species. However their origin and history are still poorly understood. The most likely sources could be exogenous and result from the contamination produced by Io's intense volcanism and/or by meteoritic bombardment. These sources could also be endogenous if these volatile elements originate directly from Europa's icy mantle. Here we explore the possibility that neutral sodium and potassium atoms were delivered to the satellite's surface via the upwelling of ices formed in contact with the hidden ocean. These metallic elements would have been transferred as ions to the ocean at early epochs after Europa's formation, by direct contact of water with the rocky core. During Europa's subsequent cooling, the icy layers formed at the top of the ocean would have kept trapped the sodium and potassium, allowing their future progression to the surface and final identification in the exosphere of the satellite. To support this scenario, we have used chemistry numerical models based on first principle periodic density functional theory (DFT). These models are shown to be well adapted to the description of compact ice and are capable to describe the trapping and neutralization of the initial ions in the ice matrix. The process is found relevant for all the elements considered, alkali metals like Na and K, as well as for Mg and probably for Ca, their respective abundances depending essentially of their solubility and chemical capabilities to blend with water ices.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Youthful Geologic Terrains with Anomalous Surface Chemistry on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirley, James H.; Dalton, J. B., III; Prockter, L. M.; Kamp, L. W.

    2010-10-01

    Geologic mapping of Europa's Argadnel Regio has identified more than a dozen distinctive geologic terrains. We have assembled and registered spacecraft imaging, geologic mapping, and spectroscopic mapping datasets for part of this region. We have obtained linear mixture modeling compositional solutions for more than 40 non-overlapping exposures of ridged plains, low albedo plains, chaos, dark spots, and crater ejecta (Dalton et al., LPSC XL #2511, 2009; Shirley et al., 2010, Icarus, in press). This work has uncovered a well-defined spatial gradient of sulfuric acid hydrate abundance, with concentrations of this material increasing in the direction of Europa's trailing-side apex. Surprisingly, the gradient appears to be independent of the nature of the underlying terrain (Shirley et al., LPSC XLI, 2010). This suggests that the H2SO4 hydrate abundance may be closely linked with magnetospheric bombardment processes, which supply both sulfur ions and energy for driving the chemical reactions of the sulfur cycle (Carlson et al., Science 286, 97, 1999; Dalton et al., this meeting). Stratigraphic relationships indicate that the low albedo plains are among the youngest geologic terrains within our study area. Compositional solutions for four contiguous non-overlapping exposures of low albedo plains materials exhibit abundances of the H2SO4 hydrate that are lower than those of their immediate neighbors by up to 33%. We suggest that these particular exposures may not have been exposed to the surface radiation environment long enough to reach radiolytic chemical equilibrium; if so, this would suggest that these deposits may have been emplaced quite recently. We will touch on implications for chemical models of Europa's subsurface fluids, for observing strategies for future missions to Europa, and for astrobiological investigations. This work was supported by NASA's Outer Planets Research Program, and was performed at the California Institute of Technology-Jet Propulsion

  2. Penetrators for in situ subsurface investigations of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gowen, R. A.; Smith, A.; Fortes, A. D.; Barber, S.; Brown, P.; Church, P.; Collinson, G.; Coates, A. J.; Collins, G.; Crawford, I. A.; Dehant, V.; Chela-Flores, J.; Griffiths, A. D.; Grindrod, P. M.; Gurvits, L. I.; Hagermann, A.; Hussmann, H.; Jaumann, R.; Jones, A. P.; Joy, K. H.; Karatekin, O.; Miljkovic, K.; Palomba, E.; Pike, W. T.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Raulin, F.; Sephton, M. A.; Sheridan, S.; Sims, M.; Storrie-Lombardi, M. C.; Ambrosi, R.; Fielding, J.; Fraser, G.; Gao, Y.; Jones, G. H.; Kargl, G.; Karl, W. J.; Macagnano, A.; Mukherjee, A.; Muller, J. P.; Phipps, A.; Pullan, D.; Richter, L.; Sohl, F.; Snape, J.; Sykes, J.; Wells, N.

    2011-08-01

    We present the scientific case for inclusion of penetrators into the Europan surface, and the candidate instruments which could significantly enhance the scientific return of the joint ESA/NASA Europa-Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). Moreover, a surface element would provide an exciting and inspirational mission highlight which would encourage public and political support for the mission.Whilst many of the EJSM science goals can be achieved from the proposed orbital platform, only surface elements can provide key exploration capabilities including direct chemical sampling and associated astrobiological material detection, and sensitive habitability determination. A targeted landing site of upwelled material could provide access to potential biological material originating from deep beneath the ice.Penetrators can also enable more capable geophysical investigations of Europa (and Ganymede) interior body structures, mineralogy, mechanical, magnetic, electrical and thermal properties. They would provide ground truth, not just for the orbital observations of Europa, but could also improve confidence of interpretation of observations of the other Jovian moons. Additionally, penetrators on both Europa and Ganymede, would allow valuable comparison of these worlds, and gather significant information relevant to future landed missions. The advocated low mass penetrators also offer a comparatively low cost method of achieving these important science goals.A payload of two penetrators is proposed to provide redundancy, and improve scientific return, including enhanced networked seismometer performance and diversity of sampled regions.We also describe the associated candidate instruments, penetrator system architecture, and technical challenges for such penetrators, and include their current status and future development plans.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Interplanetary Exchange of Meteoritic Material: From Europa to the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayala-Loera, C.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.; Chavez, C. E.; Aceves, H.

    2014-03-01

    We examine the dynamics of high-speed ejecta launched to interplanetary space from theJovian satellite Europa, possibly as a result of a giant impact. In particular we consider this as a mechanism for material exchange between Europa and other Solar System bodies. Numerical simulations of a large collection of test particles, taken to represent the different conditions of ejected debris, are carried out for 3,000 yr using the Mercury 6.5 code. We include in the integration the Sun, the planets from Venus to Uranus, the Moon and, on account of their astrobiological importance, Saturn’s major moons, Encelladus and Titan, and the major Jovian satellites Io, Callysto and Ganymede. We assume that debris is ejected with such velocity that it gets out of range of Europa’s gravitational influence. Particles are ejected from Europa isotropically and several ejection velocities are considered. We find that ejection from Europa’s surface with speeds greater than 10.10 km/s are enough to overcome the gravitational influence of Jupiter and they are captured in heliocentric orbits or escape from the Solar System. For suitable conditions, particles reach orbits with perihelia smaller than 1 AU, in principle, they could collide with Earth. On the basis of our results we estimate the collision probability of such ejecta with other bodies in the Solar System.

  11. Returning to Europa: can traces of surficial life be detected?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chela-Flores, J.; Kumar, N.

    2008-10-01

    There is at present a possibility for returning to Europa with LAPLACE, a mission to Europa and the Jupiter System for European Space Agency's Cosmic Vision Programme. The question of habitability by the identification of reliable bio-indicators is a major priority. We explain the options for approaching the question of selecting the right instrumentation for measuring the more abundant sulphur isotope, in spite of the fact that 32S is isobaric (same m/z) with 16O2. Two technologies are available for investigating the possible biogenicity of the surficial sulphur on the icy patches discovered by the Galileo mission. We argue that there is a need to use higher-order statistics in the data that are to be gathered with the instruments chosen for the payload (ion-traps for orbital measurements, or penetrators for surficial measurements). In particular, we argue in favour of data analysis taken from an orbital spacecraft that addresses fluctuations of the data retrieved, rather than the mean. For this purpose, we reconsider the significance of deviations of sulphur abundances relative to normal (meteoritic) values. In the present work, we consider the experimentally testable possibility of biogenically driven isotopic anomalies in the light of statistical data analysis. The fluctuation test that is being proposed in the context of future missions to Europa may well be appropriate to a laboratory experiment with sulphur-reducing bacteria with the corresponding isotopic fractionation.

  12. 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.

  13. The influence of variations in Jupiter's plasma environment on the Europa interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westlake, J. H.; Case, A. W.; Jia, X.; Kasper, J. C.; Khurana, K. K.; Kivelson, M.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Paty, C. S.; Rymer, A. M.; Saur, J.; Slavin, J. A.; Smith, H. T.; Stevens, M. L.

    2014-12-01

    We present a multidisciplinary study of the influence of variations in Jupiter's corotational plasma environment on the details of the Europa interaction and the production of Europa's sputtered atmosphere. We build upon the measurements of the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft with updated models of the Jovian plasma environment and its interaction with Europa. We specifically discuss how plasma perturbations affect the accuracy with which Europa's induction signature can be extracted from measurements and the resulting fidelity of any quantities obtained related to ocean depth and salinity.

  14. Discovery that secondary craters dominate Europa's small crater population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierhaus, Edward B.

    2004-08-01

    This thesis presents data and analysis that demonstrate secondary craters (craters formed by material ejected from a primary impactor) dominate the small-crater (<1 km) population on Europa. Of the 17,000+ impact craters I measured in high-resolution images that cover only 0.2% of Europa's surface, 90% are clustered. I applied three spatial analysis techniques, including a novel hybrid of Monte Carlo and hierarchical clustering algorithms, to identify the clustered population. Additional analysis suggests that many unclustered craters are also secondaries; the true percentage of secondary craters is at least 95%. Least-squares, non-linear power-law fits to the differential (dN = kDb dD) size-distributions demonstrate that the secondaries have “steep” exponents, typically b < -4. Because the regions examined are at least hundreds of km away from any large primary crater, this is the first robust study of far- field secondary craters (those formed by material ejected at hundreds of m/s to over 1 km/s). I also measured 7,000+ near-field (only several parent crater radii distant) secondaries around Tyre, a 44 km primary crater on Europa, and measured 1,000+ near-field secondaries in a smaller area around Pwyll, a 26 km primary. The Pwyll data indicate a peak size for the near-field secondaries; the size-distribution at diameters larger than the peak size has very steep exponents, -6.3 to -7.8. The combined measurements of near- and far-field secondaries demonstrate that primary cratering events are extraordinarily efficient in generating ejecta for both populations. This research is the first to demonstrate that, at least on Europa, distant secondary craters overwhelm the small primary craters. Among the many potential implications of my research, two are profound: (1)the population of objects (now known to be ecliptic comets) that hits Europa to form primary craters must have a shallow (b > -2) size- distribution for objects <100 m diameter; and (2)to the degree

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. On Hydrated Sulfates and Carbonates on Europa's Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCord, T.; Fanale, F.; Hansen, G.; Orlando, T.; Sieger, M.; Petrik, N.; Crowley, J.

    1999-09-01

    Galileo NIMS observations of Europa indicate the presence of hydrated non-ice materials on the surface. McCord et al. (Science, 280, 1242, 1998; JGR, 104, 11827, 1999) suggested hydrated sulfates and/or carbonates, with MgSO_4*xH_2O being one candidate. Carlson et al. (submitted to JGR) suggests sulfuric acid (H_2SO_4*xH_2O). MgSO_4*xH_2O and H_2SO_4*xH_2O have similar spectral and chemical characteristics that are dominated by the solvated sulfate species. In fact, the indicative distorted water bands in the NIMS spectra are most likely associated with solvation shell and water molecules that interact most strongly with the sulfate and carbonate anions (McCord et al. ibid.). The cations present (e.g., Mg, Na, H) affect these bound water molecules less, making it difficult to identify them in the NIMS spectra. A number of hydrated SO_4- and CO_3-bearing materials are predicted by models of interior evolution (Fanale et al., Science, 186, 922, 1977; Kargel, Icarus, 94, 368, 1991). McCord et al. (ibid.) suggested that the Europa material is probably a mixture of these materials with possible modification by radiation-induced chemistry. We report further analysis of the NIMS spectra and recent laboratory work on the radiation and thermal stability of these materials under Europa conditions. Our results indicate that the hydrated magnesium sulfate epsomite (x=7) remains hydrated under high vacuum (<10(9) Torr) at temperatures less than about 250 K and are much more stable with respect to electron irradiation than is water ice. Thus, deposits of at least hydrated sulfates can become concentrated on Europa due to electronic sputtering of ice and may account for the apparently high concentrations of these materials in some places. These results, with the likelihood that ice sputtering provides sufficient water molecules at the surface to maintain fully solvated sulfate ions, makes these materials reasonable for Europa's surface.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Europa's Icy Shell: A Bridge Between Its Surface and Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul; Mimmo, Francis; Prockter, Louise

    2004-01-01

    Europa, a Moon-sized, ice-covered satellite of Jupiter, is second only to Mars in its astrobiological potential. Beneath the icy surface, an ocean up to 150 km deep is thought to exist, providing a potential habitat for life,and a tempting target for future space missions. The Galileo mission to the Jovian system recently ended, but there are already long-range plans to send much more capable spacecraft,such as the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO), to take a closer look at Europa and her siblings, Ganymede and Callisto, some time in the next two decades. Europak outer icy shell is the only interface between this putative ocean and the surface, but many aspects of this shell are presently poorly understood; in particular, its composition, thickness, deformational history, and mechanical properties. To discuss the ice shell and our current understanding of it, 78 scientists from the terrestrial and planetary science communities in the United States and Europe gathered for a 3-day workshop hosted by the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston in February. A key goal was to bring researchers from disparate disciplines together to discuss the importance and limitations of available data on Europa with a post-Galileo perspective. The workshop featured 2 days of reviews and contributed talks on the composition, physical properties, stratigraphy, tectonics, and future exploration of the ice shell and underlying ocean. The final morning included an extended discussion period, moderated by a panel of noted experts, highlighting outstanding questions and areas requiring future research.

  1. 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.

  2. Layering and Double-Diffusion Style Convection in Europa's Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vance, S.; Brown, J.

    2004-12-01

    We assess the effects of fluid composition and depth-dependent hydrostatic pressure on dynamics in Europa's ocean for aqueous Na2SO4 and MgSO4. We observe a salinity- and pressure-dependent check on buoyancy in putative upwellings, which may act as mechanism for storing heat in the ocean's base. For either sodium or magnesium, a small excess in salinity of an initially buoyant parcel of water, even for low average ambient salinity, causes upwellings to lose buoyancy before reaching the base of the overlying ice. The result is a two-layer convecting system with a characteristic lifetime dependent on the properties of Europa's ocean, including the balance of heat flow through the system and details of pressure effects on thermal expansion and volumes of mixing. When volume of mixing is neglected plume rise remains dependent on temperature and pressure effects alone. Stratification develops as bottom water continually acquires heat and salt. The added mass of the salt dominates over the thermal expansion. As the rise in temperature becomes sufficient to overcome the salinity effect, upwellings rise to a terminal height determined by the pressure dependence of thermal expansion of the fluid, and by differences in the fluid's temperature and salinity. This regime is similar to double-diffusive convecting systems observed in the Red Sea and Lake Vanda over the last forty years. In the Red Sea, boundary layers separating convecting zones have been observed to move upward as the lower layer acquires heat and salt. By analogy using reasonable parameters for Europa's ocean, we estimate a time scale on the order of 10 Myr for the upward progress of a lower convecting layer saturated with MgSO4, which could correlate with recently inferred change in surface alteration style over the last 70-80 Myr.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Jovian magnetospheric weathering of Europa's nonice surface material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hibbitts, Charles A.; Paranicas, Christopher; Blaney, Diana L.; Murchie, Scott; Seelos, Frank

    2016-10-01

    Jovian plasma and energetic charged particles bombard the Galilean satellites. These satellites vary from volcanically active (Io) to a nearly primordial surface (Callisto). These satellites are imbedded in a harsh and complex particle radiation environment that weathers their surfaces, and thus are virtual laboratories for understanding how particle bombardment alters the surfaces of airless bodies. Europa orbits deeply in the Jovian radiation belts and may have an active surface, where space weathering and geologic processes can interact in complex ways with a range of timescales. At Europa's surface temperature of 80K to 130K, the hydrated nonice material and to a lesser extent, water ice, will be thermally stable over geologic times and will exhibit the effects of weathering. The ice on the surface of Europa is amorphous and contains trace products such as H2O2 [1] due to weathering. The nonice material, which likely has an endogenic component [2] may also be partially amorphous and chemically altered as a result of being weathered by electrons, Iogenic sulfur, or other agents [3]. This hydrated salt or frozen brine likely compositionally 'matures' over time as the more weakly bound constituents are preferentially removed compared with Ca and Mg [4]. Electron bombardment induces chemical reactions through deposition of energy (e.g., ionizations) possibly explaining some of the nonice material's redness [5,6]. Concurrently, micrometeroid gardening mixes the upper surface burying weathered and altered material while exposing both fresh material and previous altered material, potentially with astrobiological implications. Our investigation of the spectral alteration of nonice analog materials irradiated by 10s keV electrons demonstrates the prevalence of this alteration and we discuss relevance to potential measurements by the Europa MISE instrument.References: [1] Moore, M. and R. Hudson, (2000), Icarus, 145, 282-288; [2] McCord et al., (1998), Science, 280, 1242

  12. Astrometric analysis of Europa-Io occultations observed in 1991

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Descamps, P.

    1994-11-01

    Astrometric results from an analysis of 36 lightcurves of Io's occultations by Europa, observed during 1991 in the visible bands, are presented. They are issued from the adjustment of a theoretical astrometric-photometric model to observations using Hapke's law. These observations are of importance because they give high quality astrometric information useful to the determination of the location of Io's hotspots. In fact, accurate positioning of hotspots on Io is made possible from infrared observations only if the occultation timing is well-known.

  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. The HADES Mission Concept - Astrobiological Survey of Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böttcher, T.; Huber, L.; Le Corre, L.; Leitner, J.; McCarthy, D.; Nilsson, R.; Teixeira, C.; Vaquer Araujo, S.; Wilson, R.

    2009-04-01

    The HADES Europa mission concept aims to provide a framework for an astrobiological in-depth investigation of the Jupiter moon Europa, relying on existing technologies and feasibility. This mission study proposes a system consisting of an orbiter, lander and cryobot as a platform for detailed exploration of Europa. While the orbiter will investigate the presence of a liquid ocean and characterise Europa's internal structure, the lander will survey local dynamics of the ice layer and the surface environment. The lander releases a cryobot, that melts into the ice, will sample the pristine subsurface and is expected to provide data on organic and gaseous content and putative bio-signatures. In summary, we present the scientific objectives for an astrobiological investigation of Europa, resulting in a mission concept with a detailed evaluation of scientific instrumentation, mission sequences, basic design of the spacecraft, technology needs and cost estimations.

  15. The HADES mission concept - astrobiological survey of Jupiter's icy moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böttcher, Thomas; Huber, Liliane; Le Corre, Lucille; Leitner, Johannes; McCarthy, David; Nilsson, Ricky; Teixeira, Carlos; Vaquer Araujo, Sergi; Wilson, Rebecca C.; Adjali, Fatah; Altenburg, Martin; Briani, Giacomo; Buchas, Peter; Le Postollec, Aurélie; Meier, Teresa

    2009-10-01

    The HADES Europa mission concept aims to provide a framework for an astrobiological in-depth investigation of the Jupiter moon Europa, relying on existing technologies and feasibility. This mission study proposes a system consisting of an orbiter, lander and cryobot as a platform for detailed exploration of Europa. While the orbiter will investigate the presence of a liquid ocean and characterize Europa's internal structure, the lander will survey local dynamics of the ice layer and the surface environment. The lander releases a cryobot, that melts into the ice, will sample the pristine subsurface and is expected to provide data on organic and gaseous content and putative bio-signatures. In summary, we present the scientific objectives for an astrobiological investigation of Europa, resulting in a mission concept with a detailed evaluation of scientific instrumentation, mission sequences, basic design of the spacecraft, technology needs and cost estimations.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Contour mapping of Europa using frequency diverse spatial heterodyne imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, R. L.; Höft, Thomas; Marron, J. C.; Pitman, Joe; Seldomridge, Nathan

    2006-09-01

    Three dimensional imaging of planetary and lunar surfaces has traditionally been the purview of Synthetic Aperture Radar payloads. We propose an active imaging technique that utilizes laser frequency diversity coupled with spatial heterodyne imaging. Spatial heterodyne imaging makes use of a local oscillator which encodes pupil plane object information on a carrier frequency. The object information is extracted via Fourier analysis. Snapshots of the encoded pupil plane information are acquired as the frequency of the illumination laser is varied in small steps (GHz). The resulting three-dimensional data cube is processed to provide angle-angle-range information. The range resolution can be adjusted from microns to meters simply by adjusting the range over which the illuminator laser frequency is varied. The proposed technique can provide fine resolution contour maps of planetary surfaces having widely varying characteristics of importance to science exploration, such as the search for astrobiological habitat niches near the surface of heavily irradiated Europa. This information can be used to better understand the geological processes that form the surface features, and help characterize candidate potential habitat sites on the surface of Europa and other planetary bodies of interest. In this paper we present simulations and experimental data that demonstrate the concept.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. A New Understanding of the Europa Atmosphere and Limits on Geophysical Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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 × 1025 atoms s-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 H2O into the Europa

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Sodium Recycling at Europa : What do we Learn From the Sodium Cloud Variability ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cipriani, F.; Leblanc, F.; Witasse, O.

    2007-12-01

    Discovery and further observations of Europa's thin atmosphere of sodium have been carried out by M.E. Brown (Brown and Hill 1996, Brown 2001, Brown 2004) and A.E. Potter and co-workers (Leblanc et al, 2005). The resonant scattering emission of sodium around Europa has been successfully modelled and compared to the compilation of such observations by Leblanc at al 2002; Leblanc et al 2005). Such an analysis confirmed that the cloud morphology is dominated by the production of Na from the trailing hemisphere. The influence of Europa's centrifugal latitude as well as the contribution of Io's sodium source at Europa orbit were also estimated. These studies concluded that the observed sodium atmosphere should be largely endogenic to Europa. However, significant variations of the total emission intensity along Europa's orbit around Jupiter were reported that were difficult to explain without adhoc assumptions on the variability of the sodium ejecta rate with respect to Europa position in Jupiter magnetosphere. In the present study, we investigate the redistribution of the ejected sodium atoms on the surface of the moon during its orbit around Jupiter following the suggestion by Leblanc et al (2005). In our model, the redistribution of sodium atoms at Europa's surface occurs from a set of ejection and absorption of the sodium atoms. Ejection processes are sputtering induced by energetic jovian particles, as well as photo-stimulated and thermal desorptions from the surface. Absorption mainly depends on the surface temperature and porosity. We will present comparisons of the newly calculated sodium emission with the observations, as well as density distributions of sodium at Europa's surface. Consequences of those calculations on the sodium cloud morphology will also be discussed.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Salts on Europa's surface detected by Galileo's near infrared mapping spectrometer. The NIMS Team.

    PubMed

    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

    1998-05-22

    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.

  16. The biological potential of Mars, the early Earth, and Europa.

    PubMed

    Jakosky, B M; Shock, E L

    1998-08-25

    The potential biomass that could have existed on Mars is constrained by the total amount of energy available to construct it. From an inventory of the available geochemical sources of energy, we estimate that from the time of the onset of the visible geologic record 4 b.y. ago to the present, as much as 20 g cm-2 of biota could have been created. This is the same amount that could have been constructed on the early Earth in only 100 million years. This indicates that there likely was sufficient energy available to support an origin of life on Mars but not sufficient energy to create a ubiquitous and lush biosphere. Similar calculations for Europa suggest that even less would have been available there.

  17. 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

  18. Locating potential biosignatures on Europa from surface geology observations.

    PubMed

    Figueredo, Patricio H; Greeley, Ronald; Neuer, Susanne; Irwin, Louis; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2003-01-01

    We evaluated the astrobiological potential of the major classes of geologic units on Europa with respect to possible biosignatures preservation on the basis of surface geology observations. These observations are independent of any formational model and therefore provide an objective, though preliminary, evaluation. The assessment criteria include high mobility of material, surface concentration of non-ice components, relative youth, textural roughness, and environmental stability. Our review determined that, as feature classes, low-albedo smooth plains, smooth bands, and chaos hold the highest potential, primarily because of their relative young age, the emplacement of low-viscosity material, and indications of material exchange with the subsurface. Some lineaments and impact craters may be promising sites for closer study despite the comparatively lower astrobiological potential of their classes. This assessment will be expanded by multidisciplinary examination of the potential for habitability of specific features.

  19. Europa, tidally heated oceans, and habitable zones around giant planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reynolds, Ray T.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Kasting, James F.

    1987-01-01

    Tidal dissipation in the satellites of a giant planet may provide sufficient heating to maintain an environment favorable to life on the satellite surface or just below a thin ice layer. Europa could have a liquid ocean which may occasionally receive sunlight through cracks in the overlying ice shell. In such a case, sufficient solar energy could reach liquid water that organisms similar to those found under Antarctic ice could grow. In other solar systems, larger satellites with more significant heat flow could represent environments that are stable over an order of eons and in which life could perhaps evolve. A zone around a giant planet is defined in which such satellites could exist as a tidally-heated habitable zone. This zone can be compared to the habitable zone which results from heating due to the radiation of a central star. In this solar system, this radiatively-heated habitable zone contains the earth.

  20. Thermal state of an ice shell on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojakangas, G. W.; Stevenson, D. J.

    1989-10-01

    The thickness of the ice shell presently hypothesized for Europa, which is decoupled from a silicate core by a liquid water layer, is calculated as a function of colatitude and longitude under suitable assumptions for two plausible ice rheology behaviors: that of Maxwell type, and that of generalized flow-law rheology. Due to the dissipation rate's pronounced temperature dependence, virtually all tidal dissipation is found to concentrate in the lowest few kilometers of the shell. While for some parameter choices an insulating regolith that raises the near-surface temperature by more than a few tens of degrees C may stabilize the shell against polar wander, a modest regolith may enhance the probability of such wander's occurrence through the reduction of the shell's retarding friction.

  1. Polar wander of an ice shell on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojakangas, G. W.; Stevenson, D. J.

    1989-10-01

    The present consideration of a hypothesized ice shell around Europa, which is decoupled from the silicate core by a liquid water layer and possesses a spatially varying thermal equilibrium thickness profile, proceeds through the development of equations for variations in the inertia tensor of a body when second-harmonic-degree topography is added to the crustal base. Attention is given to a realistic model in which the shell and ocean are assumed to undergo reorientations as a single entity independently of the core, but subject to viscous dissipation within the shell. Shell friction is in this case noted to preclude polar wander, unless a low conductivity regolith increases the near-surface temperature by a few tens of degrees C; the ice beneath the regolith would then behave viscously on the time-scale of polar wander.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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].

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Subduction on Europa: A Nutrient Conveyor Belt into the Ice Shell?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenhorn, S. A.; Prockter, L. M.

    2014-02-01

    Portions of Europa's surface were removed along discrete tectonic boundaries that we hypothesize to be subduction zones. These zones may have moved chemical compounds important for astrobiological potential from the surface into the Europan interior.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The Search for Life on Europa: Limiting Environmental Factors, Potential Habitats, and Earth Analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marion, Giles M.; Fritsen, Christian H.; Eicken, Hajo; Payne, Meredith C.

    2003-12-01

    The putative ocean of Europa has focused considerable attention on the potential habitats for life on Europa. By generally clement Earth standards, these Europan habitats are likely to be extreme environments. The objectives of this paper were to examine: (1) the limits for biological activity on Earth with respect to temperature, salinity, acidity, desiccation, radiation, pressure, and time; (2) potential habitats for life on Europa; and (3) Earth analogues and their limitations for Europa. Based on empirical evidence, the limits for biological activity on Earth are: (1) the temperature range is from 253 to 394 K; (2) the salinity range is aH2O = 0.6-1.0; (3) the desiccation range is from 60% to 100% relative humidity; (4) the acidity range is from pH 0 to 13; (5) microbes such as Deinococcus are roughly 4,000 times more resistant to ionizing radiation than humans; (6) the range for hydrostatic pressure is from 0 to 1,100 bars; and (7) the maximum time for organisms to survive in the dormant state may be as long as 250 million years. The potential habitats for life on Europa are the ice layer, the brine ocean, and the seafloor environment. The dual stresses of lethal radiation and low temperatures on or near the icy surface of Europa preclude the possibility of biological activity anywhere near the surface. Only at the base of the ice layer could one expect to find the suitable temperatures and liquid water that are necessary for life. An ice layer turnover time of 10 million years is probably rapid enough for preserving in the surface ice layers dormant life forms originating from the ocean. Model simulations demonstrate that hypothetical oceans could exist on Europa that are too cold for biological activity (T < 253 K). These simulations also demonstrate that salinities are high, which would restrict life to extreme halophiles. An acidic ocean (if present) could also potentially limit life. Pressure, per se, is unlikely to directly limit life on Europa. But

  6. 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

  7. Hydrocarbon Radiolysis on Europa and the Production of Clathrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hand, K. P.; Carlson, R. W.

    2006-12-01

    We are studying the radiolysis of organic molecules in ice at Europa temperatures by studying both simple and complex biomolecules, including microorganisms. High energy electron irradiation is employed and the products are analyzed using infrared spectroscopy, thermal desorption mass spectroscopy, and laser desorption/ionization mass spectroscopy. Hydrocarbon radiolysis yields carbon dioxide that is trapped and methane molecules that escape and results in net loss of carbon. Aliphatic molecules with C=O bonds are also formed and thought to be polymethylene oxides (PMOs). When heated, they polymerize to form brown, high-molecular-weight refractory residues with linear, spherical, and ring-shaped macrostructures, typically many tens of micrometers in size. Laser desorption mass spectra of the residues are not overly complex and different for each initial species. During warming, CO2 spectra indicate trapping in a clathrate structure. While pure CO2 clathrates may be difficult to form on icy satellite surfaces, mixed hydrate clathrates can be formed using "helper" molecules including PMOs such as C2H4O (oxirane) and C4H8O (tetrahydrofuran). Ices containing such "helper" molecules form clathrate structures in vacuum at temperatures of about 140 K. If the original mixture contains CO2 then a mixed clathrate can be formed. In our experiments, irradiation produces both the CO2 and "helper" molecules. Clathrate hydrates may also trap O2 in similar fashion (Hand et al. 2006).

  8. 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.

  9. Exploring the ocean of Europa: Reactor or RHU?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poston, David; Belooussov, Andrei

    2000-01-01

    This paper examines the heat transfer characteristics of a probe (cryobot) penetrating through the ice layer of Europa. Initially, simple 1D calculations are used to predict the ideal (no heat losses or temperature limitations) penetration rates for various size cryobots. Next, a detailed 2D model is used to more realistically model penetration rates. It is found that for small, low power density systems, conductive losses can cause the penetration rate to be significantly lower than the ideal rate. The results of these calculations are meant to establish rough limits on the size of cryobot that can be powered by an RHU (Radioisotope Heater Unit), and at what sizes a reactor becomes enabling. It is concluded that if an RHU system (that delivers almost all power to the bit) can be developed with an overall, fully-engineered power density of ~1 W/cm3, then an RHU system may be suitable for some mission scenarios, although slow penetration times (which increase mission risk) and/or high Pu-238 requirements (cost and availability) may still make a reactor a more optimal choice. If there is a requirement for a large payload and/or a rapid penetration time (~months), then a reactor will probably be required. The final portion of the paper examines potential reactor designs that could be used to power a cryobot. Two potential reactor designs are discussed-a near-term, low-cost heatpipe cooled system and a conductively-cooled metal-fueled reactor. .

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Spectral Properties of Chlorides and Other Oxidized Chlorine Compounds in Relation to Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanley, Jennifer; Dalton, J. B., III

    2010-10-01

    Galileo's Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) has revealed the surface of Europa to be mostly water ice. The non-icy spectra have been compared to those of various hydrated minerals, suggesting that the non-ice material has a heavily hydrated salt component. However, many relevant laboratory spectra are still not available, especially at the low temperatures and pressures of Europa. In particular, chlorides are predicted to exist in the interior, and if the non-ice material is of an endogenic source, hydrated chlorides might be present on the surface. Oxidation of chlorides would result in chlorates (ClO3-) and/or perchlorates (ClO4-) as well. Both chlorates and perchlorates would lower the freezing point of water significantly (down to 205 K in the case of Mg(ClO4)2), adding new constraints to the arguments for a liquid layer below the surface. Using an environmental chamber to create the relevant pressures and temperatures of Europa, we have acquired new spectra of some of these hydrated salts, specifically MgCl2, Mg(ClO3)2, NaClO4 and Mg(ClO4)2. These materials exhibit spectral features similar to those seen on NIMS observations of Europa's non-icy terrains. We will compare these spectra to those of water ice, hydrated sulfates, and the data. Preliminary analysis suggests that chlorate hydrates may contribute to the spectral signature of Europa's surface deposits.

  15. Europa's Plasma Environment: A Reanalysis of Galileo PLS and PWS Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, T. A.; Dols, V. J.; Kurth, W. S.; Sidrow, E. J.; Bagenal, F.; Paterson, W. R.; Delamere, P. A.; Crary, F. J.; Steffl, A.

    2015-12-01

    We present a new analysis of Galileo plasma observations in the vicinity of Europa's orbit. We estimated plasma densities and temperatures from the Plasma Wave Spectrometer and Plasma Spectrometer instruments. Both density and temperature show extreme fluctuations. As expected some of this results from Europa's varying distance from the centrifugal equator, but most of the variability is random. An anti-correlation in ion density and temperature suggests that these fluctuations are due to flux tube interchange—cold and dense plasma traveling outward from the Io plasma torus interchanging with hot and tenuous plasma traveling inward from the outer magnetosphere. The unusually large plasma density observed during Galileo's E12 Europa encounter falls onto this temperature/density regression, suggesting that Galileo observed a cold flux tube traveling outward from the Io plasma torus. We also find that the plasma is significantly denser than generally appreciated, with a median electron density of ~160 cm-3. These new results have important implications for models of Europa's interaction with the jovian magnetosphere. Many models assume a much lower plasma density, and telescopic observations have been interpreted using these low values. These much higher densities suggest, e.g., much larger charge exchange rates, a process that is often ignored at Europa. Assumptions built into such models will need to be revisited.

  16. Sulfate Content of Europa's Ocean and Shell: Evolutionary Considerations and Some Geological and Astrobiological Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, William B.; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2003-12-01

    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 MgSO4 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 SO2 gas. Geological and astrobiological implications are considered.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Wavy Lineaments on Europa: Fracture Propagation into Combined Nonsynchronous and Diurnal Stress Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crawford, Zane; Pappalardo, Robert T.; Barr, Amy C.; Gleeson, Damhnait; Mullen, McCall; Nimmo, Francis; Stempel, Michelle M.; Wahr, John

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the processes that have operated on Europa and the manner in which they may have changed through time is fundamental to understanding the satellite's geology and present-day habitability. Previous studies have shown that lineament patterns on Europa can be explained by accumulation of tensile stress from slow nonsynchronous rotation (NSR), while the cycloidal planforms of other Europan lineaments can be explained if fractures propagate through a diurnally changing tensile stress field. We find that fractures propagated into combined diurnal and NSR stress fields can be "wavy" in planform for NSR stress accumulated over 2 to 8 of ice shell rotation and average propagation speeds of approx. 1 to 3 m/s. The variety of Europa's observed lineament planforms from cycloidal, to wavy, to arcuate can be produced by accumulation of NSR stress relative to the diurnal stress field. Varying proportions of these stress mechanisms plausibly may be related to a time-variable (slowing) NSR rate.

  4. 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.

  5. Correlation of Sulfuric Acid Hydrate Abundance with Charged Particle Flux at the Surface of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, James B.; Paranicas, C. P.; Cassidy, T. A.; Shirley, J. H.

    2010-10-01

    The trailing hemisphere of Jupiter's moon Europa is bombarded by charged particles trapped within Jupiter's magnetosphere. Sulfur ion implantation and impacting energetic electrons strongly affect the surface chemistry of Europa. Understanding these processes is important for disentangling the extrinsic and intrinsic components of Europa's surface chemistry. In the sulfur cycle model of Carlson et al. (Science 286, 97, 1999), hydrated sulfuric acid represents the dominant reaction product of radiolytic surface modification processes on Europa. In recent compositional investigations employing linear mixture modeling, Dalton et al. (LPSC XV, #2511, 2009) and Shirley et al. (Icarus, in press, 2010) document a well-defined gradient of hydrated sulfuric acid abundance for a study area spanning the leading side - trailing side boundary in Argadnel Regio. Sulfuric acid hydrate abundance in this region increases toward the trailing side apex. Here we compare the derived sulfuric acid hydrate abundances at 41 locations on Europa's surface with independent model results describing 1) the sulfur ion flux (Hendrix et al., 2010, in preparation), and 2) the energetic electron flux, at the same locations. We improve upon the prior calculation of electron energy into the surface of Paranicas et al. (2009, in Europa, U. Arizona, p529; Pappalardo, McKinnon, & Khurana eds.) by incorporating a realistic pitch angle dependence of the distribution. While the sulfur ion implantation and electron energy deposition model distributions differ in important details, both show trailing side gradients similar to that found for the sulfuric acid hydrate. Correlation coefficients exceed 0.9 in comparisons of each of these models with the sulfuric acid hydrate distribution. Our results support models in which the electron energy flux drives reactions that utilize implanted sulfur to produce sulfuric acid hydrate. This work was performed at the California Institute of Technology-Jet Propulsion

  6. Europa's Opposition Surge in the Near-Infrared: Interpreting Disk-Integrated Observations by Cassini VIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonelli, D. P.; Buratti, B. J.

    2003-05-01

    Observations of Europa's opposition surge by Cassini VIMS, presented at last year's DPS, have now been modeled with the commonly used Hapke photometric function. The VIMS dataset emphasizes observations at 16 phase angles from 0.4 to 0.6 deg---the first time the < 1 deg phase ``heart" of Europa's opposition surge has been observed in the near-IR. This dataset also provides a unique opportunity to examine how the surge is affected by changes in wavelength and albedo: at VIMS wavelengths of 0.91, 1.73, and 2.25 microns, the geometric albedo of Europa is 0.81, 0.33, and 0.18 respectively. Despite this factor-of-four albedo range, however, the slope of Europa's phase curve at < 1 deg phase is similar at all three wavelengths (to within error bars) and this common slope is similar to the phase coefficient seen in visible observations of Europa. Two competing models for the opposition surge's physical cause are the Shadow Hiding Opposition Effect (SHOE) and Coherent Backscatter Effect (COBE). Because of sparse VIMS phase coverage, it's not possible to constrain all the surge parameters at once in a Hapke function that has both SHOE and COBE; accordingly, we performed separate Hapke fits for SHOE-only and COBE-only surges. At 2.25 microns, where VIMS data are somewhat noisy, both types of surges can mimic the slope of the VIMS phase curve at < 1 deg phase. At 0.91 and 1.73 microns, however---where VIMS data are ``cleaner"---COBE does a noticeably poorer job than SHOE of matching the VIMS phase coefficient at < 1 deg phase; in particular, the best COBE fit insists on having a steeper phase-curve slope than the data. This suggests---without being conclusive---that COBE is less likely than SHOE to be the cause of Europa's near-IR opposition surge.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  13. Production of noble gases near the surface of Europa and the prospects for in situ chronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swindle, T. D.; Masarik, J.; Kollár, D.; Kim, K. J.; Reedy, R. C.

    2005-03-01

    The age of the surface of Europa is probably tens of Myr or less, but is poorly constrained. Two different geochronology schemes could potentially be applied to near-surface samples to provide far more precise ages. First, the surface salts apparently contain enough potassium to make potassium-argon dating feasible. Second, the bombardment of the surface with both galactic cosmic rays and protons trapped within the jovian magnetosphere will cause nuclear reactions that can lead to measurable buildups of cosmogenic noble gases, which can be used to determine both cosmic-ray exposure ages and erosion, deposition, or mixing rates for surface modification. The major differences between Europa's salt-rich ice and the rocks (meteorites, lunar samples and terrestrial rocks) in which cosmogenic noble gases are normally measured are that the abundance of target elements for nuclear reactions creating neon and argon are lower (because of the high water content), but neutron-capture reactions, particularly 35Cl( n, γ) 36Cl( β-) 36Ar, are enhanced because of the thermalizing effects of the water. As well as presenting calculations of noble gas production near the surface of Europa, we also show that the measurements required to determine ages are within reach of technology in the near future, if an instrument can be landed on the surface of Europa.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Timing of chaotic terrain formation in Argadnel Regio, Europa, and implications for geological history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parro, Laura M.; Ruiz, Javier; Pappalardo, Robert T.

    2016-10-01

    Chaos terrains are among the most prominent landforms of Europa, and are generally among the youngest features recorded on the surface. Chaos units were formed by to endogenic activity, maybe related to solid-state convection and thermal diapirism in the ice shell, perhaps aided by melting of salt-rich ice bodies below the surface. In this work, we analyze the different units of chaotic terrain in a portion of Argadnel Regio, a region located on the anti-Jovian hemisphere of Europa, and their possible timing in the general stratigraphic framework of this satellite. Two different chaos units can be differentiated, based on surface texture, morphology, and cross-cutting relationships with other units, and from interpretations based on pre-existing surface restoration through elimination of a low albedo band. The existence of two stratigraphically different chaos units implies that conditions for chaos formation occurred during more than a single discreet time on Europa, at least in Argadnel Regio, and perhaps in other places. The existence of older chaos units on Europa might be related to convective episodes possibly favored by local conditions in the icy shell, such as variations in grain size, abundance of non-water ice-components, or regional thickness of the brittle lithosphere or the entire ice shell.

  20. 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.

  1. Technology considerations relevant to an exobiology surface-science approach for Europa.

    PubMed

    Wdowiak, T J; Gerakines, P A; Agresti, D G; Clemett, S J

    2001-01-01

    If Europa is to be of primary exobiological interest, namely, as a habitat for extant life, it is obvious that (a) a hydrosphere must prevail beneath the cryosphere for a long time, (b) internal energy sources must be present in a sufficient state of activity, and (c) a reasonable technical means must be available for assessing if indeed life does exist in the hypothesized hydrosphere. This discussion focuses on the last point, namely, technological issues, because the trend of the compounding evidence about Europa indicates that the first two points are likely to be true. First, we present a consideration of time-of-flight mass spectroscopy conducted in situ on the cryosphere surface of Europa during a first 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. Secondly, this work also addresses practical issues inherent in any kind of instrumental interrogation of a surface whose properties are governed by radiation chemistry. This includes advocating the construction of a Europan surface simulator to familiarize instrumental system developers with the spacecraft- and instrument-scale conditions under which such an interrogation would take place on Europa. Such a simulator is mandatory in certification of the functional utility of a flight instrument.

  2. True polar wander on Europa from global-scale small-circle depressions.

    PubMed

    Schenk, Paul; Matsuyama, Isamu; Nimmo, Francis

    2008-05-15

    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 300 m to approximately 1.5 km deep. An excellent match to these features is found with stresses caused by an episode of approximately 80 degrees 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. LAPLACE: A mission to Europa and the Jupiter System for ESA's Cosmic Vision Programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc, Michel; Alibert, Yann; André, Nicolas; Atreya, Sushil; Beebe, Reta; Benz, Willy; Bolton, Scott J.; Coradini, Angioletta; Coustenis, Athena; Dehant, Véronique; Dougherty, Michele; Drossart, Pierre; Fujimoto, Masaki; Grasset, Olivier; Gurvits, Leonid; Hartogh, Paul; Hussmann, Hauke; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Kivelson, Margaret; Khurana, Krishan; Krupp, Norbert; Louarn, Philippe; Lunine, Jonathan; McGrath, Melissa; Mimoun, David; Mousis, Olivier; Oberst, Juergen; Okada, Tatsuaki; Pappalardo, Robert; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Prieur, Daniel; Regnier, Pascal; Roos-Serote, Maarten; Sasaki, Sho; Schubert, Gerald; Sotin, Christophe; Spilker, Tom; Takahashi, Yukihiro; Takashima, Takeshi; Tosi, Federico; Turrini, Diego; van Hoolst, Tim; Zelenyi, Lev

    2009-03-01

    The exploration of the Jovian System and its fascinating satellite Europa is one of the priorities presented in ESA’s “Cosmic Vision” strategic document. The Jovian System indeed displays many facets. It is a small planetary system in its own right, built-up out of the mixture of gas and icy material that was present in the external region of the solar nebula. Through a complex history of accretion, internal differentiation and dynamic interaction, a very unique satellite system formed, in which three of the four Galilean satellites are locked in the so-called Laplace resonance. The energy and angular momentum they exchange among themselves and with Jupiter contribute to various degrees to the internal heating sources of the satellites. Unique among these satellites, Europa is believed to shelter an ocean between its geodynamically active icy crust and its silicate mantle, one where the main conditions for habitability may be fulfilled. For this very reason, Europa is one of the best candidates for the search for life in our Solar System. So, is Europa really habitable, representing a “habitable zone” in the Jupiter system? To answer this specific question, we need a dedicated mission to Europa. But to understand in a more generic way the habitability conditions around giant planets, we need to go beyond Europa itself and address two more general questions at the scale of the Jupiter system: to what extent is its possible habitability related to the initial conditions and formation scenario of the Jovian satellites? To what extent is it due to the way the Jupiter system works? ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme offers an ideal and timely framework to address these three key questions. Building on the in-depth reconnaissance of the Jupiter System by Galileo (and the Voyager, Ulysses, Cassini and New Horizons fly-by’s) and on the anticipated accomplishments of NASA’s JUNO mission, it is now time to design and fly a new mission which will focus on these

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Seismometers on Europa: Insights from Modeling and Antarctic Ice Shelf Analogs (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmerr, N. C.; Brunt, K. M.; Cammarano, F.; Hurford, T. A.; Lekic, V.; Panning, M. P.; Rhoden, A.; Sauber, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    The outer satellites of the Solar System are a diverse suite of objects that span a large spectrum of sizes, compositions, and evolutionary histories; constraining their internal structures is key for understanding their formation, evolution, and dynamics. In particular, Jupiter's icy satellite Europa has compelling evidence for the existence of a global subsurface ocean beneath a surface layer of water ice. This ocean decouples the ice shell from the solid silicate mantle, and amplifies tidally driven large-scale surface deformation. The complex fissures and cracks seen by orbital flybys suggest brittle failure is an ongoing and active process in the ice crust, therefore indicating a high level of associated seismic activity. Seismic probing of the ice, oceanic, and rocky layers would provide altogether new information on the structure, evolution, and even habitability of Europa. Any future missions (penetrators, landers, and rovers) planning to take advantage of seismometers to image the Europan interior would need to be built around predictions for the expected background noise levels, seismicity, wavefields, and elastic properties of the interior. A preliminary suite of seismic velocity profiles for Europa has been calculated using moment of inertia constraints, planetary mass and density, estimates of moon composition, thermal structure, and experimentally determined relationships of elastic properties for relevant materials at pressure, temperature and depth. While the uncertainties in these models are high, they allow us to calculate a first-order seismic response using 1-D and 3-D high frequency wave propagation codes for global and regional scale structures. Here, we show how future seismic instruments could provide detailed elastic information and reduced uncertainties on the internal structure of Europa. For example, receiver functions and surface wave orbits calculated for a single seismic instrument would provide information on crustal thickness and

  9. 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

  10. Europa's opposition surge in the near-infrared: interpreting disk-integrated observations by Cassini VIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonelli, Damon P.; Buratti, Bonnie J.

    2004-11-01

    Near-infrared observations of Europa's disk-integrated opposition surge by Cassini VIMS, first published in Fig. 4 of Brown et al. (2003, Icarus, 164, 461), have now been modeled with the commonly used Hapke photometric function. The VIMS data set emphasizes observations at 16 solar phase angles from 0.4° to 0.6°—the first time the <1° phase "heart" of Europa's opposition surge has been observed this well in the near-IR. This data set also provides a unique opportunity to examine how the surge is affected by changes in wavelength and albedo: at VIMS wavelengths of 0.91, 1.73, and 2.25 μm, the geometric albedo of Europa is 0.81, 0.33, and 0.18, respectively. Despite this factor-of-four albedo range, however, the slope of Europa's phase curve at <1° phase is similar at all three wavelengths (to within the error bars) and this common slope is similar to the phase coefficient seen in visible-light observations of Europa. The two components of the opposition surge—involving different models of the physical cause of the surge—are the Shadow Hiding Opposition Effect (SHOE) and the Coherent Backscatter Opposition Effect (CBOE). Because of sparse VIMS phase coverage, it is not possible to constrain all the surge parameters at once in a Hapke function that has both SHOE and CBOE; accordingly, we performed separate Hapke fits for SHOE-only and CBOE-only surges. At 2.25 μm, where VIMS data are somewhat noisy, both types of surges can mimic the slope of the VIMS phase curve at <1° phase. At 0.91 and 1.73 μm, however—where VIMS data are "cleaner"—CBOE does a noticeably poorer job than SHOE of matching the VIMS phase coefficient at <1° phase; in particular, the best CBOE fit insists on having a steeper phase-curve slope than the data. This discrepancy suggests that Europa's near-IR opposition surge cannot be explained by CBOE alone and must have a significant SHOE component, even at wavelengths where Europa is bright.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Photographer: JPL P-21752 C Range: 1.2 million kilometers This image of Europa shows detail about 20

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Photographer: JPL P-21752 C Range: 1.2 million kilometers This image of Europa shows detail about 20 kilometers across and is somewhat higher resolution than the best Voyager 1 image. The part of Europa shown is the hemisphere that will be viewed at even higher resolution during another Voyager 2 encounter with Europa. Color reconstruction in this image was slightly enhanced to bring out detail in the complicated mottled region on the west limb, containing some of the linear fracture-like features discovered by Voyager 1. The regions in the north and south polar areas which appear bluish in this version are in fact white.

  15. Photographer: JPL P-21752 BW Range: 1.2 million kilometers This image of Europa shows detail about

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Photographer: JPL P-21752 BW Range: 1.2 million kilometers This image of Europa shows detail about 20 kilometers across and is somewhat higher resolution than the best Voyager 1 image. The part of Europa shown is the hemisphere that will be viewed at even higher resolution during another Voyager 2 encounter with Europa. Color reconstruction in this image was slightly enhanced to bring out detail in the complicated mottled region on the west limb, containing some of the linear fracture-like features discovered by Voyager 1. The regions in the north and south polar areas which appear bluish in this version are in fact white.

  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. 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

  18. 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

  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

    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

  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

    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.; 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. The vertical thickness of Jupiter's Europa gas torus from charged particle measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollmann, P.; Paranicas, C.; Clark, G.; Roussos, E.; Lagg, A.; Krupp, N.

    2016-09-01

    Measurements and modeling suggest the presence of a neutral gas torus collocated with the orbit of Jupiter's moon Europa. Here we use data from the CMS instrument that is part of the Energetic Particles Detector (EPD) on board the Galileo spacecraft to characterize the distribution of 130 keV protons. Near the orbit of Europa this distribution has a minimum around 70° in equatorial pitch angle. We reproduce this with a model assuming that the protons are lost via charge exchange with a gas torus. Since the pitch angle characterizes whether the protons remain mostly in the dense center of the torus or continuously bounce through it, we can determine the latitudinal extent of the torus. We find that the full thickness where its density falls to 1/e of its maximum has to be ≲2RJ and is closer to ≈1RJ.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Probing for Evidence of Plumes on Europa with HST/STIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, W. B.; Hand, K. P.; McGrath, M. A.; Bergeron, E.; Cracraft, M.; Deustua, S. E.

    2016-10-01

    Roth et al. (2014a) reported evidence for plumes of water venting from a southern high latitude region on Europa: spectroscopic detection of off-limb line emission from the dissociation products of water. Here, we present Hubble Space Telescope direct images of Europa in the far-ultraviolet (FUV) as it transited the smooth face of Jupiter to measure absorption from gas or aerosols beyond the Europa limb. Out of 10 observations, we found 3 in which plume activity could be implicated. Two observations showed statistically significant features at latitudes similar to Roth et al., and the third at a more equatorial location. We consider potential systematic effects that might influence the statistical analysis and create artifacts, and are unable to find any that can definitively explain the features, although there are reasons to be cautious. If the apparent absorption features are real, the magnitude of implied outgassing is similar to that of the Roth et al. feature; however, the apparent activity appears more frequently in our data.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Slush Fund: Ice's Multiphase Evolution and Its Role in Shaping Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buffo, Jacob; Schmidt, Britney E.

    2016-10-01

    The role of Europa's ice shell in mediating ocean-surface interaction, constraining potential habitability of the underlying hydrosphere, and dictating the surface morphology of the moon has been discussed in the literature for years, yet the dynamics and characteristics of the shell itself remain largely unconstrained. These discrepancies likely arise from underrepresented physics and varying a priori assumptions built into the current ice shell models. Presented here is a two-phase reactive porous media model of Europa's ice shell evolution, inspired by successful contemporary sea ice models, designed to capture the multiphase nature of forming ice as well as eliminate the need for a priori assumptions about ice shell structure and properties. The design of the model is such that it temporally and spatially constructs the ice shell from a first principles approach, allowing for accurate simulation of the shell's thermodynamic and compositional properties from the beginning of its formation up to its current state. This methodology provides explicit predictions of the ice's two-phase behavior, including heat and mass transfer, which ultimately dictate the shell's composition, density, and eutectic properties. All of which have been suggested as key factors in facilitating ocean-surface interaction, understanding the ocean's potential habitability, and shaping the moons surface. Preliminary results and their potential impact on how we understand Europa's evolution and dynamics will be discussed.

  3. 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

  4. Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. A review of thermophysical surface models in preparation for E-THEMIS observations of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathbun, Julie A.; Hayne, Paul O.; Howett, Carly; Mellon, Michael; Piqueux, Sylvain; Spencer, John R.

    2016-10-01

    One of the primary science objectives of the Europa Thermal Emission Imaging System (E-THEMIS) is to determine the regolith particle size, block abundance, and sub-surface layering for landing site assessment and surface process studies. To accomplish this, E-THEMIS will obtain thermal infrared images in three spectral bands from 7 to 70 microns at multiple times of day. The Galileo Photo-Polarimeter Radiometer (PPR) also obtained thermal infrared images of Europa, but at a very low spatial resolution. Rathbun et al. (2010) used a simple thermal model to determine the thermal inertia and albedo of ~20% of Europa's surface at a scale of hundreds of km. E-THEMIS will acquire images at several orders of magnitude better spatial resolution, enabling the use of more sophisticated thermal models. Here, we will conduct an initial survey of the thermal models and techniques that have been employed to determine surface properties of other planetary bodies from thermal infrared images. We will identify what physical processes are included in each model and which independent variables they account for. Since those models have been used on primarily rocky planetary surfaces, we will determine which aspects apply to icy surfaces and what changes might need to be made when considering icy surfaces.

  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. Europa's South Pole Region: A sequential reconstruction of surface modification processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, Jeannie; Greenberg, Richard; Sarid, Alyssa

    2006-08-01

    High-resolution images of a region near the south pole of Europa allow reconstruction of a series of events, tectonic and thermal, that displaced and modified the surface. This approach is complementary to regional geological mapping, which is based on less detailed images, but covers a broader sample of the surface. The events reconstructed in this locale resurfaced about half the area or more, so they probably ranged over a substantial fraction of the age of Europa's surface, which in itself is quite young (< 50 Myr) due to the cumulative effects of such local (or regional) reprocessing events acting over the entire globe. Chaotic terrain was formed (probably by thermal processes) both early and late in the sequence. Trends in changing geological processes that had been inferred from lower-resolution images in regional geological mapping efforts, especially an increase in formation of chaotic terrain with time, which had been widely interpreted as implying a thickening of the ice crust, are not evident in this area. The impression that chaotic terrain is a relatively recent phenomenon may come from the fact that older chaotic terrain can be more difficult to identify, especially in the lower-resolution images used for geological mapping. This study reinforces the conclusion that both chaotic terrain and tectonic features have been formed by competing processes that have resurfaced Europa through much of its geologic history.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Sublimation as a Continuous and Transient Source of Water in Europa's Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayne, Paul O.

    2016-10-01

    Europa's crust is composed primarily of water ice, which may be vaporized by sputtering and sublimation when exposed to the jovian radiation environment. Models of H2O in Europa's exosphere have focused primarily on the contribution of sputtering by energetic particles, with globally averaged production rates estimated to be ~1015 H2O m-2 s-1. Although sublimation rates at Europa's average dayside temperature of ~106 K are much lower at ~1010 H2O m-2 s-1, surfaces at low- to mid-latitude experiences temperatures in excess of 130 K, with expected sublimation rates of >1015 H2O m-2 s-1 possible. These production rates would be reduced where the surface ice is mixed with impurities, or through development of a non-ice lag deposit. In addition to the continuous flux due to sublimation, transient outgassing may be caused by exposure of fresh ice to direct sunlight, for example by mass wasting on steep slopes. Here, we revisit the process of sublimation on Europa's surface to quantify possible H2O vapor production on a range of spatial and temporal scales.The model includes solar heating, conduction, and vapor diffusion. Temperatures and sublimation rates are calculated by the instantaneous energy budget within each model layer, and outgassing to the exosphere depends on the surface vapor pressure and molecular thermal velocities. Vapor densities and line-of-sight column abundances can be directly compared to observations. Our results show that for surfaces composed of pure ice, sublimation contributes significant quantities to the dayside exosphere. The production rate declines as a sublimation lag develops, with a characteristic timescale of ~1 – 10 kyr at the equator. Freshly exposed ice may produce localized sources. For example, a fresh exposure of ice at 60° latitude with dimension ~2 km would be expected to produce a line-of-sight column abundance of ~1020 H2O m-2 near the limb. However, expansion of the plume would lead to lower column abundance at higher

  15. 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.

  16. Gas-Surface Chemical Exchange in the Near-surface Atmosphere of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shematovich, V. I.; Johnson, R. E.; Cooper, J. F.

    2002-12-01

    The very tenuous O2 atmosphere of Europa is a near-surface (or surface-bounded) atmosphere [1]. It is produced by the radiolysis of Europa's surface due to exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation and energetic magnetospheric plasma ions and electrons. Earlier we developed a collisional Monte Carlo model of Europa's atmosphere [2] accounting for adsorption, thermalization and re-emission of condensed O2, a stable decomposition product of H2O radiolysis. Dissociation and ionization by magnetospheric electron and solar UV-photon impact, and collisional ejection from the atmosphere by the low energy plasma were also taken into account. It was found that to account for the production of oxygen emission observed by HST [3] larger surface fluxes of O2 are required than those assumed in earlier work from measured fluxes of magnetospheric particles [4]. This has since been shown to be due to the fact that radiolysis is occurring in a regolith and not on a laboratory surface [5]. In this report we present the results of an expanded Monte Carlo model of Europa's atmosphere. In this model the sublimation and sputtering sources of H2O molecules and their molecular fragments are also included. Therefore, we account for water and oxygen photochemistry in the near surface atmospheric region and for adsorption-desorption of radiolytic water products onto the satellite surface. This expanded model allowed us to emphasize the important role of chemical exchange in the atmosphere-surface interface of Europa. The numerical modeling of chemical composition in both the near-surface gas-phase boundary region and the satellite surface provides a more complete accounting of the chemical pathways occurring in the icy satellite surface material following decomposition by the solar ultraviolet radiation and the energetic magnetospheric plasma. The model will eventually be expanded to include the effect of the release of trace amounts of SO2 and CO2 that are trapped in the surface ice. [1

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Antioxidant activities of some local bangladeshi fruits (Artocarpus heterophyllus, Annona squamosa, Terminalia bellirica, Syzygium samarangense, Averrhoa carambola and Olea europa).

    PubMed

    Soubir, Titov

    2007-03-01

    In the present study, antioxidant activities of the fruits of A. heterophyllus, A. squamosa, T. bellirica, S. samarangense, A. carambola and O. europa were investigated. For this, at first matured fruits of them were sliced into small pieces and dried in the sun and finally crushed in a grinder to make powder. Ethanolic extracts of fruit powder were prepared using 99.99% ethanol. The antioxidative activities of these extracts were determined according to their abilities of scavenging 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical. It was demonstrated that all the ethanolic extracts of A. heterophyllus, A. squamosa, T. bellirica, S. samarangense, A. caranbola and O. europa showed antioxidant activities. The IC50 of the ethanolic extracts of A. heterophyllus, A. squamosa, T. bellirica, S. samarangense, A. carambola and O. europa were 410, 250, 34, 200, 30 and 76 microg/mL, respectively. Among them, A. carambola showed the highest antioxidant activities followed by T. bellirica, O. europa, S. samarangense, A. squamosa and A. heterophyllus indicating that fruits of A. carambola, T. bellirica and O. europa are very beneficial to human health.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Europa's Crust and Ocean: Origin, Composition, and the Prospects for Life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kargel, J.S.; Kaye, J.Z.; Head, J. W.; 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

  7. 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.

  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. Hydrocode simulation of Ganymede and Europa cratering trends - How thick is Europa’s crust?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bray, Veronica J.; Collins, Gareth S.; Morgan, Joanna V.; Melosh, H. Jay; Schenk, Paul M.

    2014-03-01

    One of the continuing debates of outer Solar System research centers on the thickness of Europa's ice crust, as it affects both the habitability and accessibility of its sub-surface ocean. Here we use hydrocode modeling of the impact process in layered ice and water targets and comparison to Europan cratering trends and Galileo-derived topographic profiles to investigate the crustal thickness. Full or partial penetration of the ice crust by an impactor occurred in simulations in which the ice thickness was less than 14 times the projectile radius. Craters produced in these thin-shell simulations were consistently smaller than for larger ice thicknesses, which will complicate inference of large impactor population sizes. Simulations in which the resultant crater was 3 times the ice layer thickness resulted in summit-pit morphology. This work supports that summit pit craters noted on both rocky and icy bodies, can be created by the presence of a weaker layer at depth. We suggest that floor pits, seen only on ice-rich bodies, require a different formation mechanism to summit pits. Pristine craters formed in a target with high heat flow were shallower than for the same impact into a target of lesser heat flow, suggesting that the 'starting' crater morphology for viscous relaxation, isostatic readjustments and erosion rate studies is different for craters formed in times of different heat flow. We find that the crater depth-diameter trend of Europa can only be recreated when simulating impact into an upper brittle ice layer of 7 km depth, with a corresponding geothermal gradient of 0.025 K/m. As this ice thickness estimate is below ∼10 km, results from this work suggest that convective overturn of the surface ice may occur, or have occurred, on Europa making the development of indigenous life a possibility.

  10. 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.

  11. Simulating Negative Pickup Ions and Ion Cyclotron Wave Generation at Europa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, R. T.; Cowee, M.; Gary, S. P.; Wei, H.; Coates, A. J.; Kataria, D. O.; Fu, X.

    2015-12-01

    The mass loading of space environments through the ionisation of planetary atmospheres is a fundamental process governing the plasma interactions and long term evolution of celestial bodies across the solar system. Regions containing significant pickup ion populations have been observed to exhibit a rich variety of electromagnetic plasma wave phenomena, the characteristics and properties of which can be used to infer the ion species present, their spatial and temporal distributions, and the global ionisation rates of the neutral material. In this study we present hybrid (kinetic ion, massless fluid electron) simulations of ion pickup and Ion Cyclotron (IC) waves observed in the Jovian magnetosphere and draw comparisons to sub-alfvénic pickup observed by Cassini in the Saturnian system, and also to supra-alfvénic pickup at planetary bodies immersed directly in the solar wind. At Jupiter, Europa has been identified as the secondary mass loader in the magnetosphere, orbiting within a neutral gas torus at ~9.38 Rj. Near Europa, Galileo magnetometer observations displayed bursty IC wave characteristics at the gyrofrequency of a number of species including SO2, K, Cl, O2, and Na, suggesting a complex mass loading environment. A particular deduction from the dataset was the presence of both positively and negatively charged pickup ions, inferred from the left and right hand polarisations of the transverse waves. Using hybrid simulations for both positively and negatively charged Cl pickup ions we are able to self-consistently reproduce the growth of both right and left hand near-circularly polarised waves in agreement with linear theory and, using the observed wave amplitudes, estimate Cl pickup ion densities at Europa.

  12. Melting of ice and liquid water transport in the ice shell of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalousova, K.; Soucek, O.; Tobie, G.; Choblet, G.; Cadek, O.

    2012-12-01

    Europa, the smallest of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, is very likely differentiated into a metallic core surrounded by a rock mantle and an icy outer layer. Its outermost part might contain liquid water, possibly decoupling the ice shell from the silicate mantle. Presence of liquid water at shallow depth is often used to explain formation of the so-called 'chaos' terrain, and may be also related with other tectonic features on Europa's strikingly young surface, such as fractures, ridges, etc. Despite the fact that the presence of liquid water and its transport within the ice may dramatically affect the state and properties of the ice layer, the problem of ice melting and water percolation in the outer shell of Europa has not yet been treated thoroughly. We attempt to overcome this deficiency by treating the system as a two-phase incompressible mixture of water ice and liquid water and by developing numerical model of a partially molten ice layer which captures both the water/heat transport and ice melting. Several scenarios of possible generation and evolution of a partially molten region are investigated. Locally, under certain conditions, relatively large melt fractions or even liquid water layers up to few kilometres thick may be obtained. Even though both the formation and time evolution of the molten water reservoir are quite sensitive to the particular physical set-up (water-ice permeability, initial temperature profile, heating scenario, etc.), our preliminary results indicate that most of the water produced at shallow depths by tidal/shear heating is transported downwards on timescales of few tens of kyrs. This implies that substantial water accumulation at shallow depths within the ice shell is possible but the duration of such event is relatively short (~101 kyrs).

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Evaluation of the possible presence of clathrate hydrates in Europa's icy shell or seafloor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Fernández-Sampedro, Maite; Selsis, Franck; Martínez, Eduardo Sebastián; Hogenboom, David L.

    2005-10-01

    Several substances besides water ice have been detected on the surface of Europa by spectroscopic sensors, including CO 2, SO 2, and H 2S. These substances might occur as pure crystalline ices, as vitreous mixtures, or as clathrate hydrate phases, depending on the system conditions and the history of the material. Clathrate hydrates are crystalline compounds in which an expanded water ice lattice forms cages that contain gas molecules. The molecular gases that may constitute Europan clathrate hydrates may have two possible ultimate origins: they might be primordial condensates from the interstellar medium, solar nebula, or jovian subnebula, or they might be secondary products generated as a consequence of the geological evolution and complex chemical processing of the satellite. Primordial ices and volatile-bearing compounds would be difficult to preserve in pristine form in Europa without further processing because of its active geological history. But dissociated volatiles derived from differentiation of a chondritic rock or cometary precursor may have produced secondary clathrates that may be present now. We have evaluated the current stability of several types of clathrate hydrates in the crust and the ocean of Europa. The depth at which the clathrates of SO 2, CO 2, H 2S, and CH 4 are stable have been obtained using both the temperatures observed in the surface [Spencer, J.R., Tamppari, L.K., Martin, T.Z., Travis, L.D., 1999. Temperatures on Europa from Galileo photopolarimeter-radiometer: Nighttime thermal anomalies. Science 284, 1514-1516] and thermal models for the crust. In addition, their densities have been calculated in order to determine their buoyancy in the ocean, obtaining different results depending upon the salinity of the ocean and type of clathrate. For instance, assuming a eutectic composition of the system MgSO 4sbnd H 2O for the ocean, CO 2, H 2S, and CH 4 clathrates would float but SO 2 clathrate would sink to the seafloor; an ocean of much

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Origin of Domes on Europa: The Role of Thermally Induced Compositional Buoyancy,

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Barr, A. C.

    2004-01-01

    The surface of Jupiter's moon Europa is peppered by topographic domes, interpreted as sites of intrusion and extrusion. Diapirism is consistent with dome morphology, but thermal buoyancy alone cannot produce sufficient driving pressures to create the observed dome elevations. Instead, diapirs may initiate by thermal convection that induces compositional segregation. Exclusion of impurities from warm upwellings allows sufficient buoyancy for icy plumes to create the observed surface topography, provided the ice shell has a small effective elastic thickness (0.2 to 0.5 km) and contains low-eutectic point impurities at the few percent level. This model suggests that the ice shell may be depleted in impurities over time.

  1. Non-Newtonian Convection and Compositional Buoyancy: Advances in Modeling Convection and Dome Formation on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Barr, A. C.

    2004-01-01

    Numerical modeling of non-Newtonian convection in ice shows that convection controlled by grain boundary sliding rheology may occur in Europa. This modeling confirms that thermal convection alone cannot produce significant dome elevations. Domes may instead be produced by diapirs initiated by thermal convection that in turn induces compositional segregation. Exclusion of impurities from warm upwellings would allow sufficient buoyancy for icy plumes to account for the observed approximately 100 m topography of domes, provided the ice shell has a small effective elastic thickness (approximately 0.2 to 0.5 km) and contains low eutectic-point impurities at the few percent level.

  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. 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

  4. Fault offsets and lateral crustal movement on Europa - Evidence for a mobile ice shell

    SciTech Connect

    Schenk, P.M.; Mckinnon, W.B.; Washington Univ., Saint Louis, MO )

    1989-05-01

    An examination is conducted of Europa's cross-cutting structural relationships between various lineament types, in order to constrain the type of structure involved in each such case and, where possible, to also constrain the degree of extension across the lineaments. Evidence is adduced for significant lateral crustal movement, allowing alternative models and mechanisms for lineament formation to be discussed, as well as plausible lithospheric and crustal models. The question as to whether any of the water-ice layer has been, or currently is, liquid, is also treated in light of the evidence obtained. 53 refs.

  5. Photographer : JPL Range : 4.2 million km. ( 2.6 million miles ) Jupiter's moon Europa, the size of

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Photographer : JPL Range : 4.2 million km. ( 2.6 million miles ) Jupiter's moon Europa, the size of earth's moon, is apparently covered by water ice, as indicated by ground spectrometers and its brightness. In this view, global scale dark sreaks discovered by Voyager 1 that criss-cross the the satelite are becoming visible. Bright rayed impact craters, which are abundant on Ganymede and Callisto, would be easily visible at this range, suggesting that Europa's surface is young and that the streaks are reflections of currently active internal dynamic processes.

  6. 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

  7. Domes, pits, and small chaos on Europa produced by water sills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaut, Chloé; Manga, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Pits, domes, and small chaos on Europa's surface are quasi-circular features a few to a few tens of kilometers in diameter. We examine if injection of water sills into Europa's ice shell and their subsequent evolution can induce successive surface deformations similar to the morphologies of these features. We study the dynamics of water spreading within the elastic part of the ice shell and show that the mechanical properties of ice exert a strong control on the lateral extent of the sill. At shallow depths, water makes room for itself by lifting the overlying ice layer and water weight promotes lateral spreading of the sill. In contrast, a deep sill bends the underlying elastic layer and its weight does not affect its spreading. In that case, the sill lateral extent is limited by the fracture toughness of ice and the sill can thicken substantially. After emplacement, cooling of the sill warms the surrounding ice and thins the overlying elastic ice layer. As a result, preexisting stresses in the elastic part of the ice shell increase locally to the point that they may disrupt the ice above the sill (small chaos). Disruption of the surface also allows for partial isostatic compensation of water weight, leading to a topographic depression at the surface (pit), of the order of ~102 m. Complete water solidification finally causes expansion of the initial sill volume and results in an uplifted topography (dome) of ~102m.

  8. 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.

  9. Detectability of thermal signatures associated with active formation of 'chaos terrain' on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abramov, Oleg; Rathbun, Julie A.; Schmidt, Britney E.; Spencer, John R.

    2013-12-01

    A recent study by Schmidt et al. (2011) suggests that Thera Macula, one of the "chaos regions" on Europa, may be actively forming over a large liquid water lens. Such a process could conceivably produce a thermal anomaly detectable by a future Europa orbiter or flyby mission, allowing for a direct verification of this finding. Here, we present a set of models that quantitatively assess the surface and subsurface temperatures associated with an actively resurfacing chaos region using constraints from Thera Macula. The results of this numerical study suggest that the surface temperature over an active chaos region can be as high as ˜200 K. However, low-resolution Galileo Photo-Polarimeter Radiometer (PPR) observations indicate temperatures below 120 K over Thera Macula. This suggests that Thera Macula is not currently active unless an insulating layer of at least a few centimeters in thickness is present, or activity is confined to small regions, reducing the overall intensity of the thermal signature. Alternatively, Thera may have been cooling for at least 10-100 yr and still contain a subsurface lake, which can take ˜300,000 yr to crystallize. According to the present study, a more sensitive instrument capable of detecting anomalies ˜5 K above ambient could detect activity at Thera Macula even if an insulating layer of ˜50 cm is present.

  10. Ultraviolet emissions from the magnetic footprints of Io, Ganymede and Europa on Jupiter.

    PubMed

    Clarke, J T; Ajello, J; Ballester, G; Ben Jaffel, L; Connerney, J; Gérard, J-C; Gladstone, G R; Grodent, D; Pryor, W; Trauger, J; Waite, J H

    2002-02-28

    Io leaves a magnetic footprint on Jupiter's upper atmosphere that appears as a spot of ultraviolet emission that remains fixed underneath Io as Jupiter rotates. The specific physical mechanisms responsible for generating those emissions are not well understood, but in general the spot seems to arise because of an electromagnetic interaction between Jupiter's magnetic field and the plasma surrounding Io, driving currents of around 1 million amperes down through Jupiter's ionosphere. The other galilean satellites may also leave footprints, and the presence or absence of such footprints should illuminate the underlying physical mechanism by revealing the strengths of the currents linking the satellites to Jupiter. Here we report persistent, faint, far-ultraviolet emission from the jovian footprints of Ganymede and Europa. We also show that Io's magnetic footprint extends well beyond the immediate vicinity of Io's flux-tube interaction with Jupiter, and much farther than predicted theoretically; the emission persists for several hours downstream. We infer from these data that Ganymede and Europa have persistent interactions with Jupiter's magnetic field despite their thin atmospheres. PMID:11875560

  11. The San Andreas Fault and a Strike-slip Fault on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The mosaic on the right 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, the size of the California portion of the San Andreas fault on Earth which runs from the California-Mexico border north to the San Francisco Bay.

    The left mosaic shows the portion of the San Andreas fault near California's san Francisco Bay that has been scaled to the same size and resolution as the Europa image. Each covers an area approximately 170 by 193 kilometers(105 by 120 miles). The red line marks the once active central crack of the Europan fault (right) and the line of the San Andreas fault (left).

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

    Bends in the Europan fault have allowed the surface to be pulled apart. This pulling-apart along the fault's bends 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, and in Death Valley and the Dead Sea. In those cases, the pulled apart regions can include upwelled

  12. Constraining the thickness of Europa's water-ice shell: Insights from tidal dissipation and conductive cooling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Marsh, Bruce D.

    2015-06-01

    The time of crystallization of a 100 km thick ocean on Europa is estimated using a Stefan-style solidification solution. This solution is then extended to estimate the present thickness of the ice shell. It is assumed that the shell is initially in a steady-state conductive regime, and the ocean is taken to be an infinite liquid half space cooling from above. We find that in the absence of tidal heating and without the presence of low-eutectic impurities to serve as anti-freezes, a 100 km thick ocean solidifies in about 64 Myr. Conversely, when considering the present thickness of Europa's ice shell, if tidal heating is included at a global dissipation rate of ∼1 TW, the shell is found to be, on average, approximately 28 km thick. However, if this dissipative heating is solely restricted to the shell, the local rate of heating may vary significantly due to crustal compositional heterogeneities and it is shown that this process may, in turn, produce thermal maxima in the crust, which could lead to local melting and structural instabilities, perhaps associated with the formation of chaos regions. Our approach is also extended to Ganymede and Callisto in order to estimate the time of solidification of their putative subsurface oceans and the current thicknesses of their ice-I shells.

  13. Galileo Science Update: Observing Changes on Europa and in Jupiter's System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-08-01

    This NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) video release presents a news briefing from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) featuring video presentations by Dr. Alfred McEwen (Univ. of Arizona, Lunar and Planetary Lab.), Dr. Ronald Greeley (Arizona St. Univ.), Dr. Andrew Ingersoll (California Inst. of Tech.,), and Dr. Diana Blaney (Jet Propulsion Lab.). Discussions center on the atmospheric and surface features of Jupiter and two of its moons, Europa and Io. Possible energy mechanisms that create atmospheric features of Jupiter, such as the Great Red Spot, as well as possible thunderstorm and lightning activity associated with these features are included. Discussions of the craters and fractures on the icy surface of Europa, surface features of Io, two of which are named Loki and Pele, believed to be of volcanic origin, as well infrared observations of volcanism on Io are presented. The individual presentations are followed by a question and answer period with questions posed by scientific journalists from JPL and other NASA centers. The video ends with computer animations, as well as actual footage, of features on Jupiter and its satellites taken from the Galileo spacecraft. Some of these images were seen previously in the individual presentations.

  14. 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.

  15. High Spatial Resolution Europa Coverage by the Galileo Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The NIMS instrument on the Galileo spacecraft, which is being used to map the mineral and ice properties over the surfaces of the Jovian moons, produces global spectral images at modest spatial resolution and high resolution spectral images for small selected regions on the satellites. This map illustrates the high resolution coverage of Europa obtained by NIMS through the April 1997 G7 orbit.

    The areas covered are displayed on a Voyager-derived map. A good sampling of the dark trailing-side material (180 to 360 degrees) has been obtained, with less coverage of Europa's leading side.

    The false-color composites use red, green and blue to represent the infrared brightnesses at 0.7, 1.51 and 1.82 microns respectively. Considerable variations are evident and are related to the composition and sizes of the surface grains.

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

    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.

  16. Significance of Near-Surface Ice Fracture for Radio Sounding of Europa's Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aglyamov, Y. S.; Schroeder, D. M.; Haynes, M.; Vance, S.

    2015-12-01

    Ice-penetrating radar sounding is a powerful geophysical technique for directly imaging the near-subsurface structure of icy satellites. Scattering losses from subsurface features such as regolith, faults, or crevasses constrains the performance of radar sounders and can limit their ability to detect radar returns from subsurface features such as a global ocean. We present a systematic assessment of potential scattering loss mechanisms for radar sounding observations of Europa's ice shell. We use a volume scattering model to evaluate losses from the Europan regolith, which is expected to be either impact-generated or tidal. While impact regolith does not extend deep enough to affect the radar signal, tidal regolith (if it exists) may be quite deep, based on thermal conductivity models. However, tidal regolith would only significantly attenuate the radar signal if it contained abundant pores at the decameter to meter scale. We also use a 1-D full-wave multi-layer scattering model to show that faults - regardless of their abundance and orientation- are unlikely to provide sufficient dielectric contrast to attenuate the radar signal. Finally, we use a rough-surface propagation model to show that vacuum-filled crevasses are not expected to have sufficient abundance to introduce significant losses. We conclude that, for the range of physical processes and material properties observed or hypothesized for Europa, scattering losses are unlikely to play a significant role in determining radar signal penetration and performance.

  17. Episodic plate separation and fracture infill on the surface of Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sullivan, R.; Greeley, R.; Homan, K.; Klemaszewski, J.; Belton, M.J.S.; Carr, M.H.; Chapman, C.R.; Tufts, R.; Head, J. W.; Pappalardo, R.; Moore, J.; Thomas, P.

    1998-01-01

    Images obtained by the Voyager spacecraft revealed dark, wedge-shaped bands on Europa that were interpreted as evidence that surface plates, 50- 100 km across, moved and rotated relative to each other. This implied that they may be mechanically decoupled from the interior by a layer of warm ice or liquid water. Here we report similar features seen in higher resolution images (420 metres per pixel) obtained by the Galileo spacecraft that reveal new details of wedge-band formation. In particular, the interior of one dark band shows bilateral symmetry of parallel lineaments and pit complexes which indicates that plate separation occurred in discrete episodes from a central axis. The images also show that this style of tectonic activity involved plates < 10 km across. Although this tectonic style superficially resembles aspects of similar activity on Earth, such as sea-floor spreading and the formation of ice leads in polar seas, there are significant differences in the underlying physical mechanisms: the wedge-shaped bands on Europa most probably formed when lower material (ice or water) rose to fill the fractures that widened in response to regional surface stresses.

  18. Episodic plate separation and fracture infill on the surface of Europa. Galileo Imaging Team.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, R; Greeley, R; Homan, K; Klemaszewski, J; Belton, M J; Carr, M H; Chapman, C R; Tufts, R; Head, J W; Pappalardo, R; Moore, J; Thomas, P

    1998-01-22

    Images obtained by the Voyager spacecraft revealed dark, wedge-shaped bands on Europa that were interpreted as evidence that surface plates, 50-100 km across, moved and rotated relative to each other. This implied that they may be mechanically decoupled from the interior by a layer of warm ice or liquid water. Here we report similar features seen in higher resolution images (420 metres per pixel) obtained by the Galileo spacecraft that reveal new details of wedge-band formation. In particular, the interior of one dark band shows bilateral symmetry of parallel lineaments and pit complexes which indicates that plate separation occurred in discrete episodes from a central axis. The images also show that this style of tectonic activity involved plates < 10 km across. Although this tectonic style superficially resembles aspects of similar activity on Earth, such as sea-floor spreading and the formation of ice leads in polar seas, there are significant differences in the underlying physical mechanisms: the wedge-shaped bands on Europa most probably formed when lower material (ice or water) rose to fill the fractures that widened in response to regional surface stresses. PMID:9450752

  19. Episodic plate separation and fracture infill on the surface of Europa. Galileo Imaging Team.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, R; Greeley, R; Homan, K; Klemaszewski, J; Belton, M J; Carr, M H; Chapman, C R; Tufts, R; Head, J W; Pappalardo, R; Moore, J; Thomas, P

    1998-01-22

    Images obtained by the Voyager spacecraft revealed dark, wedge-shaped bands on Europa that were interpreted as evidence that surface plates, 50-100 km across, moved and rotated relative to each other. This implied that they may be mechanically decoupled from the interior by a layer of warm ice or liquid water. Here we report similar features seen in higher resolution images (420 metres per pixel) obtained by the Galileo spacecraft that reveal new details of wedge-band formation. In particular, the interior of one dark band shows bilateral symmetry of parallel lineaments and pit complexes which indicates that plate separation occurred in discrete episodes from a central axis. The images also show that this style of tectonic activity involved plates < 10 km across. Although this tectonic style superficially resembles aspects of similar activity on Earth, such as sea-floor spreading and the formation of ice leads in polar seas, there are significant differences in the underlying physical mechanisms: the wedge-shaped bands on Europa most probably formed when lower material (ice or water) rose to fill the fractures that widened in response to regional surface stresses.

  20. Effects of pressure on aqueous chemical equilibria at subzero temperatures with applications to Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marion, G.M.; Kargel, J.S.; Catling, D.C.; Jakubowski, S.D.

    2005-01-01

    Pressure plays a critical role in controlling aqueous geochemical processes in deep oceans and deep ice. The putative ocean of Europa could have pressures of 1200 bars or higher on the seafloor, a pressure not dissimilar to the deepest ocean basin on Earth (the Mariana Trench at 1100 bars of pressure). At such high pressures, chemical thermodynamic relations need to explicitly consider pressure. A number of papers have addressed the role of pressure on equilibrium constants, activity coefficients, and the activity of water. None of these models deal, however, with processes at subzero temperatures, which may be important in cold environments on Earth and other planetary bodies. The objectives of this work were to (1) incorporate a pressure dependence into an existing geochemical model parameterized for subzero temperatures (FREZCHEM), (2) validate the model, and (3) simulate pressure-dependent processes on Europa. As part of objective 1, we examined two models for quantifying the volumetric properties of liquid water at subzero temperatures: one model is based on the measured properties of supercooled water, and the other model is based on the properties of liquid water in equilibrium with ice. The relative effect of pressure on solution properties falls in the order: equilibrium constants(K) > activity coefficients (??) > activity of water (aw). The errors (%) in our model associated with these properties, however, fall in the order: ?? > K > aw. The transposition between K and ?? is due to a more accurate model for estimating K than for estimating ??. Only activity coefficients are likely to be significantly in error. However, even in this case, the errors are likely to be only in the range of 2 to 5% up to 1000 bars of pressure. Evidence based on the pressure/temperature melting of ice and salt solution densities argue in favor of the equilibrium water model, which depends on extrapolations, for characterizing the properties of liquid water in electrolyte

  1. Design of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to Calibrate the Europa Clipper Ice-Penetrating Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, W.; Siegel, V.; Kimball, P.; Richmond, K.; Flesher, C.; Hogan, B.; Lelievre, S.

    2013-12-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa has been prioritized as the target for the Europa Clipper flyby mission. A key science objective for the mission is to remotely characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange. This objective is a critical component of the mission's overarching goal of assessing the habitability of Europa. The instrument targeted for addressing key aspects of this goal is an ice-penetrating radar (IPR). As a primary goal of our work, we will tightly couple airborne IPR studies of the Ross Ice Shelf by the Europa Clipper radar team with ground-truth data to be obtained from sub-glacial sonar and bio-geochemical mapping of the corresponding ice-water and water-rock interfaces using an advanced autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The ARTEMIS vehicle - a heavily morphed long-range, low drag variant of the highly successful 4-degree-of-freedom hovering sub-ice ENDURANCE bot -- will be deployed from a sea-ice drill hole adjacent the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) and will perform three classes of missions. The first includes original exploration and high definition mapping of both the ice-water interface and the benthic interface on a length scale (approximately 10 kilometers under-ice penetration radius) that will definitively tie it to the synchronous airborne IPR over-flights. These exploration and mapping missions will be conducted at up to 10 different locations along the MIS in order to capture varying ice thickness and seawater intrusion into the ice shelf. Following initial mapping characterization, the vehicle will conduct astrobiology-relevant proximity operations using bio-assay sensors (custom-designed UV fluorescence and machine-vision-processed optical imagery) followed by point-targeted studies at regions of interest. Sample returns from the ice-water interface will be triggered autonomously using real-time-processed instrument data and onboard decision-to-collect algorithms

  2. The rotation and fracture history of Europa from modeling of tidal-tectonic processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoden, Alyssa Rose

    Europa's surface displays a complex history of tectonic activity, much of which has been linked to tidal stress caused by Europa's eccentric orbit and possibly non-synchronous rotation of the ice shell. Cycloids are arcuate features thought to have formed in response to tidal normal stress while strike-slip motion along preexisting faults has been attributed to tidal shear stress. Tectonic features thus provide constraints on the rotational parameters that govern tidal stress, and can help us develop an understanding of the tidal-tectonic processes operating on ice covered ocean moons. In the first part of this work (Chapter 3), I test tidal models that include obliquity, fast precession, stress due to non-synchronous rotation (NSR), and physical libration by comparing how well each model reproduces observed cycloids. To do this, I have designed and implemented an automated parameter-searching algorithm that relies on a quantitative measure of fit quality to identify the best fits to observed cycloids. I apply statistical techniques to determine the tidal model best supported by the data and constrain the values of Europa's rotational parameters. Cycloids indicate a time-varying obliquity of about 1° and a physical libration in phase with the eccentricity libration, with amplitude >1°. To obtain good fits, cycloids must be translated in longitude, which implies non-synchronous rotation of the icy shell. However, stress from NSR is not well-supported, indicating that the rotation rate is slow enough that these stresses relax. I build upon the results of cycloid modeling in the second section by applying calculations of tidal stress that include obliquity to the formation of strike-slip faults. I predict the slip directions of faults with the standard formation model---tidal walking (Chapter 5)---and with a new mechanical model I have developed, called shell tectonics (Chapter 6). The shell tectonics model incorporates linear elasticity to determine slip and stress

  3. Analysis of Preferred Directions in Phase Space for Tidal Measurements at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boone, D.; Scheeres, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    The NASA Jupiter Europa Orbiter mission requires a circular, near-polar orbit to measure Europa's Love numbers, geophysical coefficients which give insight into whether a liquid ocean exists. This type of orbit about planetary satellites is known to be unstable. The effects of Jupiter's tidal gravity are seen in changes in Europa's gravity field and surface deformation, which are sensed through doppler tracking over time and altimetry measurements respectively. These two measurement types separately determine the h and k Love numbers, a combination of which bounds how thick the ice shell of Europa is and whether liquid water is present. This work shows how the properties of an unstable periodic orbit about Europa generate preferred measurement directions in position and velocity phase space for the orbit determination process. We generate an error covariance over seven days for the orbiter state and science parameters using a periodic orbit and then disperse the orbit initial conditions in a Monte Carlo simulation according to this covariance. The dispersed orbits are shown to have a bias toward longer lifetimes and we discuss this as an effect of the stable and unstable manifolds of the periodic orbit. Using an epoch formulation of a square-root information filter, measurements aligned with the unstable manifold mapped back in time add more information to the orbit determination process than measurements aligned with the stable manifold. This corresponds to a contraction in the uncertainty of the estimate of the desired parameters, including the Love numbers. We demonstrate this mapping mathematically using a representation of the State Transition Matrix involving its eigenvectors and eigenvalues. Then using the properties of left and right eigenvectors, we show how measurements in the orbit determination process are mapped in time leading to a concentration of information at epoch. We present examples of measurements taken on different time schedules to show the

  4. pH and salinity evolution of Europa's brines: Raman spectroscopy study of fractional precipitation at 1 and 300 bar.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Iglesias, Victoria; Bonales, Laura J; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga

    2013-08-01

    Several lines of evidence indicate the existence of salty liquid water below the icy surface of the satellite Europa. Depending on the chemical composition of the original interior brines, minerals that precipitate will be varied as will be the resulting physicochemical parameters of the evolving solutions such as pH and salinity. These parameters are determinants apropos to the study of the possible habitability of the satellite. In this work, experiments of fractional precipitation by cooling of several brines with different chemical composition (acid, alkaline, and neutral) were performed at 1 and 300 bar. The gradual decrease in temperature leads to mineral precipitation and changes in salinity and pH values. During the experiment, Raman spectroscopy was used to analyze quantitatively the variation of the salt concentration in the aqueous solutions. The obtained laboratory data indicate the manner in which cryomagma differentiation might occur on Europa. These endogenous processes of differentiation require planetary energy, which seems to have been plentiful during Europa's geological history. Ultimately, the dissipation of part of that energy is translated to a higher complexity of the cryopetrology in Europa's crust. From the results, we conclude that fractional differentiation processes of briny cryomagmas produce several types of igneous salty mineral suites on icy moons.

  5. Chemistry of Frozen NaCl and MgSO4 Brines - Implications for Surface Expression of Europa's Ocean Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, P. V.; Hodyss, R. P.; Choukroun, M.; Vu, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    The composition of Europa's subsurface ocean is a critical determinant of its habitability, but current analysis of the ocean composition is limited to its expression on the Europan surface. While there is observational evidence indicating that ocean materials make their way to the surface, our understanding of the chemical processes that can alter this material under Europan surface conditions is limited. We present experimental data on the chemistry of mixed solutions of NaCl and MgSO4 as they are frozen to 100 K, replicating the conditions that may occur when subsurface ocean fluids are emplaced onto Europa's surface. Confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy is used to study the formation of salts during the freezing process, and the interaction of ions in the frozen brines. Our data indicate that mixed aqueous solutions of NaCl and MgSO4 form Na2SO4 and MgCl2 preferentially when frozen, rather than making NaCl and MgSO4 precipitates. The detection of epsomite (MgSO4Ÿ•7H2O) on Europa's surface may therefore imply an ocean composition relatively low in sodium, unless radiolytic chemistry converts MgCl2 to MgSO4 as suggested by Hand and Brown 2013 (ApJ 145 110). These results have important implications for the interpretation of remote sensing data of Europa's surface.

  6. pH and salinity evolution of Europa's brines: Raman spectroscopy study of fractional precipitation at 1 and 300 bar.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Iglesias, Victoria; Bonales, Laura J; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga

    2013-08-01

    Several lines of evidence indicate the existence of salty liquid water below the icy surface of the satellite Europa. Depending on the chemical composition of the original interior brines, minerals that precipitate will be varied as will be the resulting physicochemical parameters of the evolving solutions such as pH and salinity. These parameters are determinants apropos to the study of the possible habitability of the satellite. In this work, experiments of fractional precipitation by cooling of several brines with different chemical composition (acid, alkaline, and neutral) were performed at 1 and 300 bar. The gradual decrease in temperature leads to mineral precipitation and changes in salinity and pH values. During the experiment, Raman spectroscopy was used to analyze quantitatively the variation of the salt concentration in the aqueous solutions. The obtained laboratory data indicate the manner in which cryomagma differentiation might occur on Europa. These endogenous processes of differentiation require planetary energy, which seems to have been plentiful during Europa's geological history. Ultimately, the dissipation of part of that energy is translated to a higher complexity of the cryopetrology in Europa's crust. From the results, we conclude that fractional differentiation processes of briny cryomagmas produce several types of igneous salty mineral suites on icy moons. PMID:23944292

  7. Domes, pits and small chaos on Europa produced by water sills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaut, C.; Manga, M.

    2013-12-01

    The surface of Europa is littered with quasi-circular features a few to a few tens of kilometers in diameter. They may be uplifted (domes) or depressed (pits) relative to the surroundings. In some cases, they also show evidence of resurfacing and disruption of the crust (small chaos), requiring liquid water to be present at depth. Here we examine if injection of horizontal bodies of liquid water, or sills, into Europa's ice shell and their subsequent evolution can induce successive surface deformations similar to the morphologies and characteristics of pits, domes and small chaos. We study the dynamics of water spreading within the elastic part of the ice shell and show that the mechanical properties of ice exerts a strong control on the sill morphology. At shallow depth, water makes room for itself by lifting the layer of ice above the sill, the 'roof'; the pressure due to water weight promotes spreading and the sill cannot reach large thicknesses, not more than a few m. In contrast, if emplaced deep into the elastic part of the ice shell, the sill bends the underlying elastic layer and the pressure due to water weight does not affect sill spreading. In that case the sill may reach large thicknesses of the order of a kilometer for diameters of a few km to a few tens of kilometers, depending on the intrusion depth. For such large water volumes, topographic relaxation at the bottom of the ice shell, and compensation of water weight might happen faster than sill solidification and would induce large topographic depressions at the surface, of the order of ~ 100 m. Eventual water solidification would cause expansion of the initial sill volume and result in an uplifted topography of ~100 m as well. Furthermore, stresses caused by compensation and/or solidification can be large enough to overcome the tensile strength of ice and explain ice disruption. Deep sill emplacement not only creates thick sills and thus large topographic variations, both positive and negative, at

  8. Hydrothermal Systems in Europa and Possibility of Water on Similar Bodies as a Biological Precursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganapathy, Rohan M.; Radhakrishnan, Arun

    One of the most important precursors to extraterrestrial life is the presence of water in a planet and as such most of the inter-solar remote sensing data centers around testing conditions for water on other planets and natural bodies. In this paper, we examine means for driving hydrothermal activity in extraterrestrial oceans on planets and on satellites that have less than one Earth mass, with implications for sustaining a low level of biological activity over geological timescales. Assuming ocean planets have olivine-dominated lithospheres, a model for cooling-induced thermal cracking shows how variation in planet size and internal thermal energy may drive variation in the dominant type of hydrothermal system for example, high or low temperature system or chemically driven system. As radiogenic heating diminishes over time, progressive exposure of new rock continues to the current epoch. Where fluid-rock interactions propagate slowly into a deep brittle layer, thermal energy from serpentinization may be the primary cause of hydrothermal activity in small ocean planets. We show that the time-varying hydro-static head of a tidally forced ice shell may drive hydrothermal fluid flow through the sea floor, which can generate moderate but potentially important heat through viscous interaction with the matrix of porous sea floor rock. Considering all presently known potential ocean planets|Mars, a number of icy satellites, Pluto, and other trans-neptunian object and applying Earth-like material properties and cooling rates, we nd depths of circulation are more than an order of magnitude greater than in Earth. In Europa and Enceladus, tidal flexing may drive hydrothermal circulation and, in Europa, it may generate heat on the same order as present-day radiogenic heat flux at Earth's surface. In all objects, progressive serpentinization generates heat on a globally averaged basis at a fraction of a percent of present-day radiogenic heating and hydrogen is produced at

  9. Thermal state and complex geology of a heterogeneous salty crust of Jupiter's satellite, Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Kargel, J.S.

    2005-01-01

    The complex geology of Europa is evidenced by many tectonic and cryomagmatic resurfacing structures, some of which are "painted" into a more visible expression by exogenic alteration processes acting on the principal endogenic cryopetrology. The surface materials emplaced and affected by this activity are mainly composed of water ice in some areas, but in other places there are other minerals involved. Non-ice minerals are visually recognized by their low albedo and reddish color either when first emplaced or, more likely, after alteration by Europan weathering processes, especially sublimation and alteration by ionizing radiation. While red chromophoric material could be due to endogenic production of solid sulfur allotropes or other compounds, most likely the red substance is an impurity produced by radiation alteration of hydrated sulfate salts or sulphuric acid of mainly internal origin. If the non-ice red materials or their precursors have a source in the satellite interior, and if they are not merely trace contaminants, then they can play an important role in the evolution of the icy crust, including structural differentiation and the internal dynamics. Here we assume that these substances are major components of Europa's cryo/hydrosphere, as some models have predicted they should be. If this is an accurate assumption, then these substances should not be neglected in physical, chemical, and biological models of Europa, even if major uncertainties remain as to the exact identity, abundance, and distribution of the non-ice materials. The physical chemical properties of the ice-associated materials will contribute to the physical state of the crust today and in the geological past. In order to model the influence of them on the thermal state and the geology, we have determined the thermal properties of the hydrated salts. Our new lab data reveal very low thermal conductivities for hydrated salts compared to water ice. Lower conductivities of salty ice would

  10. Hydrothermal synthesis of hydrocarbons at low temperature. Implications for sustaining a biosphere in Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Montoya, Lilia; Davis, Wanda; McKay, Chris

    Observational evidence from Earth-borne systems and space missions as well as theoretical arguments suggest that Jupiter's satellite Europa could be geologically active today and may possess an ocean of liquid water of about 100 km deep underneath the icy surface about 10 km thickness. The existence of an aqueous ocean is an important requirement for life, as we know it. However, a biosphere also depends of an adequate energy source to drive the most fundamental biological processes such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, etc. Methanogenesis associated with hydrothermal vents may potentially drive a biosphere in an European ocean. We report here on the production of a large variety of hydrocarbons in hydrothermal systems at low temperatures (150° C). The chemical composition of the hydrothermal vent gases was derived from a thermochemical model that assumes that Europa had a cometary (solar, less H) abundance at high temperatures characteristic of a vent. Specifically the following gas mixture was used: 45% CO2 , 45% CH4, and 10 % N2 . A 500 ml stainless steel reactor was filled with 200 ml triply distilled water and the gas mixture at 1 bar at 25° C. In some experiments 3 g of pyrite were added into the reaction vessel. The system was heated for 24 hrs in the temperature range from 100 to 375° C. At the completion of the experiment, the reaction was quenched to 25° C and the gas mixture was analyzed by GC-FTIR-MS techniques. In the absence of pyrite, methane is oxidized to carbon dioxide with the possible production of hydrogen. In contrast in the presence of pyrite, methane is converted into a suite of hydrocarbons from C2 to C7 containing all possible isomers. The production of these compounds was found at temperatures as low as 150° C. In order to get a better understanding of the chemical mechanism involved in the synthesis of hydrocarbons and explore the effect on the initial oxidation state of the carbon used, we performed additional experiments in

  11. Constraints on dissipation in the deep interiors of Ganymede and Europa from tidal phase-lags

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussmann, Hauke; Shoji, Daigo; Steinbrügge, Gregor; Stark, Alexander; Sohl, Frank

    2016-11-01

    Jupiter's satellites are subject to strong tidal forces which result in variations of the gravitational potential and deformations of the satellites' surfaces on the diurnal tidal cycle. Such variations are described by the Love numbers k_2 and h_2 for the tide-induced potential variation due to internal mass redistribution and the radial surface displacement, respectively. The phase-lags φ _{k_2} and φ _{h_2} of these complex numbers contain information about the rheological and dissipative states of the satellites. Starting from interior structure models and assuming a Maxwell rheology to compute the tidal deformation, we calculate the phase-lags in application to Ganymede and Europa. For both satellites we assume a decoupling of the outer ice-shell from the deep interior by a liquid subsurface water ocean. We show that, in this case, the phase-lag difference Δ φ = φ _{k_2}- φ _{h_2} can provide information on the rheological and thermal state of the deep interiors if the viscosities of the deeper layers are small. In case of Ganymede, phase-lag differences can reach values of a few degrees for high-pressure ice viscosities {<}10^{14} Pa s and would indicate a highly dissipative state of the deep interior. In this case Δ φ is dominated by dissipation in the high-pressure ice layer rather than dissipation within the ice-I shell. These phase lags would be detectable from spacecraft in orbit around the satellite. For Europa Δ φ could reach values exceeding 20° and phase-lag measurements could help distinguish between (1) a hot dissipative silicate mantle which would in thermal equilibrium correspond to a very thin outer ice-I shell and (2) a cold deep interior implying that dissipation would mainly occur in a thick (several tens of km) outer ice-I shell. These measurements are highly relevant for ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) and NASA's Europa Multiple Flyby Mission, both targeted for the Jupiter system.

  12. Deep Rotary-Ultrasonic Core Drill for Exploration of Europa and Enceladus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulsen, G. L.; Zacny, K.; Bar-Cohen, Y.; Beegle, L. W.; Corsetti, F. A.; Mellerowicz, B.; Badescu, M.; Sherrit, S.; Ibarra, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Since water is an important requisite for life as we know it, likely exobiologic exploration targets in our Solar System include Mars, Europa, and Enceladus, where water/ice is known to exist. Because of oxidizing nature of Mars atmosphere, as well as increased radiation at the surfaces of Mars, Europa and Enceladus, samples must be acquired from the subsurface at greater depths, presenting a great challenge to off-world drilling design. For the past 3 years, we have been developing a prototype wireline coring drill, called the Auto-Gopher, for the capability to acquire samples from hundreds of meters depth. The drill is capable of penetrating both rock and ice. However, because of large geological uncertainty on Mars and issues related to borehole collapse, we specifically target ice formations present on Europa and Enceladus. The main feature of the Auto-Gopher is its wireline operation. The drill is essentially suspended on a tether and the 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 (plus core) is retracted from the borehole by a pulley system (the pulley system can be either on the surface or integrated into a top part of the drill itself). Once on the surface, the core is deposited into a sample transfer system, and the drill is lowered back into the hole in order to drill the next segment. Each segment is typically 10 cm long. Wireline operation sidesteps one of the major drawbacks of traditional continuous drill string systems by obviating the need for multiple drill sections. With traditional continuous drill string systems (the major competition to the Autor-Gopher), new drill sections need to be added to the string as the drill gets deeper. This of course requires multiple drill sections, which add significantly to the mass of the system very quickly, and requires

  13. Is clathrate hydrate dissociation responsible for chaotic terrains on Earth, Mars, Europa, and Triton?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Tanaka, K. L.

    2003-04-01

    be more important on other planets, particularly counterparts on Mars. It has been proposed that mud diapirism, mud volcanism, and (on scales drastically greater than the Blake Ridge features) collapse and flow features may all be related to volume changes, fluidization, and degassing related to CO_2-clathrate dissociation (e.g., K.L. Tanaka et al. 2001, Geology 29, 427-430). It is plausible also that chaos on Europa is similarly related. If Europa's rocky mantle vents SO_2, as does Io, SO_2-clathrate could form in its ocean and may be a major constituent of Europa's icy shell and ocean deposits. Some other icy bodies also have chaotic terrains. Ariel and Triton are notable, where clathrates may be dominantly of N_2, CO, and CH_4. Dissociation of clathrates is a possible cause of the plumes on Triton.

  14. The Effect of Incidence Angle on Stereo DTM Quality: Simulations in Support of Europa Clipper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirk, R. L.; Howington-Kraus, E.; Hare, T. M.; Jorda, L.

    2014-12-01

    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 to range. DTM resolution can be no better than a few times this pixel scale. Even vertical precision is a known function of the pixel scale and convergence angle, providedthe image quality is high enough 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 especially critical for the Europa Clipper mission profile. Clipper would obtain a radar sounding profile on each Europa flyby. Stereo images collected simultaneously would be used to produce a DTM 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 produced a 210 m/post DTM of the Castalia Macula region of Europa from 6 Galileo images by photoclinometry. A low-incidence image was used to correct for albedo variations before photoclinometry. We are using the image simulation software OASIS to generate synthetic stereopairs of the region at a full range of incidence angles. These images will be realistic in terms of image resolution, noise, photometry including albedo variations (based on the low incidence image), and cast shadows. The pairs will then be analyzed with the commercial stereomapping software SOCET SET (® BAE Systems), which we have used for a wide variety of planetary mapping projects. Comparing the stereo-derived DTMs to the input ("truth") DTM will allow us to quantify the dependence of true DTM resolution and vertical precision on illumination, and to

  15. High spatial and spectral resolution near-infrared mapping of Europa with ESO/VLT/ SINFONI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligier, Nicolas; Carter, John; Poulet, François; Langevin, Yves; Dumas, Christophe; Gourgeot, Florian

    2014-11-01

    Europa is a major exobiological target of interest owing to the possibility of a sub-surface briny ocean deeply buried under a water ice dominated crust several km thick (Dalton et al., 2010). The upcoming ESA L-class mission JUICE to the Jupiter system and its ambitious payload will address this question, in particular through compositional remote sensing in the near-infrared (MAJIS) and visible (MAJIS and JANUS) wavelength range.In order to improve our knowledge mainly acquired by the instrument NIMS on the Galileo spacecraft, we have started a compositional mapping campaign of the icy moons using adaptive optics on ground-based observations from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Thanks to five nights of observation on the integral field spectrograph SINFONI, we have obtained spatially resolved spectra of nearly the entire surface of Europa, with a spectral resolution of 0.5 nm in the wavelength range 1.48-2.42 μm for a pixel scale of 12.5 by 25 m.a.s, equivalent to 35 by 70 km on Europa’s surface.In this wavelength range, the spectra are generally dominated by crystalline and amorphous water-ice absorption features, but the distorted and asymmetric aspect of the 2.0 μm water-ice band on Europa’s leading side confirms the presence of non-ice minerals such as sulfuric acid hydrate (Carlson et al., 2005) and magnesium sulfates such as epsomite (MgSO4 - 7H2O) (Brown et al., 2013).Our first analysis reveals that the maps of the ice-water bands at 1.65 μm and 2.0 μm are, as expected, dominated by the leading/trailing effect, but also well correlated to well-identified geological structures as Pwyll Crater and Tara Regio. Global maps of relevant spectral parameters will be presented so as to showcase the spectral inhomogeneity of the surface of Europa for both major and minor signatures. No narrow signature, which could indicate the presence of material of exobiological interest, has been so far detected in this complex data set. By the time of the

  16. Hydrogeological studies in high mountains karst environment: the example of Picos de Europa (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meléndez, Mónica; Ballesteros, Daniel; Jiménez-Sanchez, Montserrat; García-Sansegundo, Joaquín

    2015-04-01

    Karst aquifers are very vulnerable to contamination due their high infiltration coefficient, elevated hydraulic conductivity, high speed of circulation, and very low self-purification capacities. The functioning of that type of aquifer is quite complicated by the high heterogeneity and anisotropy of the karst and the presence of three different types of porosity. It is necessary to understand the functioning of a karst aquifer in order to protect and manage them properly. Therefore, it is necessary to develop working methods to establish the aquifer hydrodynamics, especially in high mountain areas with many methodological constrains (e. g. difficulty to access). The Picos de Europa karst aquifer, located in theNational Park of Picos de Europa (North Spain), presents a high environmental, geomorphological and hydrogeological value; it is included in the "Spanish geological contexts with global relevance" by the Law of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity of Spain, being considered as a Global Geosite by the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain. In addition, the karst massif is included in several figures of environmental protection, both at global and national levels. Hydrogeological and geomorphological research is developed together in this area under the GEOCAVE project (MAGRAMA-580/12 OAPN) and the "Investigación hidrogeológica en las masas de agua subterránea 012.014 Picos de Europa-Panes y 012.018 Alto Deva-Alto Cares. (IGME-73.3.00.41.00/2013)". The aim of this study is to characterize the hydrodynamics of the karst aquifer, considering the snow as an important component of the aquifer recharge. The proposed methodology includes the installation of an integrated pressure sensor and data logger for level and temperature measurement in two karst spring related to two groundwater bodies (GWB) with 86 and 14 km2 extension. The store of data to regular intervals with punctual values of discharge measures has provided, at least, an annual series of data in

  17. Depth Profile Of Radiolytic Fluence On Europa: Implications for Remote Sensing and In-Situ Analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, R. W.

    2003-05-01

    Europa's surface is bombarded by high fluxes of ionizing radiation (primarily high-energy electrons and protons) that destroy existing molecules and produce new species. The depth of direct radiolysis is ˜ 1 mm, but the upper surface is being continuously overturned by micrometeroid impact ``gardening," burying exposed material and bringing material from depth to the surface. Continual exposure and redistribution produces a thick layer of radiolyzed matter whose composition is different than that of the unexposed, pristine material (Carlson et al., Science, 283, 2062, 1999; 286, 97, 1999). Biomarker molecules that could indicate biotic processes on Europa would be degraded and become less diagnostic. The cumulative energy deposition (fluence) and its variation with depth indicates the extent of radiolytic decomposition and the sampling depth that is necessary to obtain unmodified samples. The fluence profile was computed using fluxes compiled by Cooper et al. (Icarus 149, 133, 2001), with the electron deposition concentrated on the trailing hemisphere (Paranicas et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 28, 672, 2001)) and uniform proton irradiation. Two gardening models were used (Cooper et al. and Phillips and Chyba, LPSC 2001) and both synchronous and asynchronous rotations were considered. A surface age of 10 My was assumed, with the crust composed of fresh, unexposed material 10 My ago. The time development of the fluence in the optical layer was also computed. The depth of significant fluence is ˜ 1 meter, and the exposure is sufficient to destroy even the most radiation resistant molecules many times over (Carlson et al., Icarus 157, 456, 2002). The molecules within the upper meter will be in radiolytic equilibrium and different from the original parent mixture. The fluence levels are about 107 Mrad; a level of ˜ 10 Mrad is fatal to Deinococcus radiodurans. Remote-sensing observations will sense radiolytically altered material except where very recent impacts have

  18. Radar attenuation in Europa's ice shell: obstacles and opportunities for constraining shell thickness and thermal structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalousova, Klara; Schroeder, Dustin M.; Soderlund, Krista M.; Sotin, Christophe

    2016-10-01

    With its strikingly young surface and possibly recent endogenic activity, Europa is one of the most exciting bodies within our Solar System and a primary target for spacecraft exploration. Future missions to Europa are expected to carry ice penetrating radar instruments which are powerful tools to investigate the subsurface thermophysical structure of its ice shell.Several authors have addressed the 'penetration depth' of radar sounders at icy moons, however, the concept and calculation of a single value penetration depth is a potentially misleading simplification since it ignores the thermal and attenuation structure complexity of a realistic ice shell. Here we move beyond the concept of a single penetration depth by exploring the variation in two-way radar attenuation for a variety of potential thermal structures of Europa's ice shell as well as for a low loss and high loss temperature-dependent attenuation model. The possibility to detect brines is also investigated.Our results indicate that: (i) for all ice shell thicknesses investigated (5-30 km), a nominal satellite-borne radar sounder will penetrate between 15% and 100% of the total thickness, (ii) the maximum penetration depth strongly varies laterally with the deepest penetration possible through the cold downwellings, (iii) the direct detection of the ice/ocean interface might be possible for shells of up to 15 km if the radar signal travels through the cold downwelling, (iv) even if the ice/ocean interface is not detected, the penetration through most of the shell could constrain the deep shell structure through the loss of signal, and (v) for all plausible ice shells the two-way attenuation to the eutectic point is ≤30 dB which shows a robust potential for longitudinal investigation of the ice shell's shallow structure.Part of this work has been performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA. K.K. acknowledges support by the Grant Agency of the

  19. The deglaciation in Picos de Europa (area of Enol Glacier) based on geomorphological and sedimentological studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Fernández, Jesus; Oliva, Marc; García, Cristina

    2013-04-01

    The chronology for the deglaciation in the Cantabrian Range is still poorly understood. Several papers have proposed a maximum advance well before the LGM (Jiménez and Farias, 2002; Moreno et al. 2010; Serrano et al. 2012). The Western massif of Picos de Europa held a ice field of 50 km2. In this communication we present two cores collected in two glacial depressions in the frontal area of Enol Glacier that allow reconstructing the environment since the deglaciation of the massif. The first core (5.6 m long) was collected in the kame terrace of Belbin. This terrace was dammed by a lateral moraine corresponding to the phase of maximum expansion of Enol Glacier. Three clear layers are observed: the basal 2.5 m consists of grey clay with small gravel limestones; the second is 2 m thick and is composed of grey clays; the upper 1.1 m show