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  1. Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

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

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

  2. Europa: Processes and Habitability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pappalardo, Robert T.

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Modeling Europa's dust plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Europa Tide Movie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

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

  5. Geology of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Interior of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

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

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

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

  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. 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.

  9. Ruddy 'Freckles' on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

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

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

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

  10. 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

  11. Investigation of Europa's Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  12. 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).

  13. Habitability Of Europa's Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The ice plumes of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, William

    2014-10-01

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

  18. Europa's Leading Hemisphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

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

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

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Small Craters on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Folds on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

  5. Europa Hemispherical Globes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

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

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Europa's Pwyll Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

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

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

  9. Europa 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Galileo Science Update Europa Unveiled

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

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

  13. The Europa Clipper mission concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert; Lopes, Rosaly

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

  14. Simulation of Europa's water plume .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. Europa Explorer Operational Scenarios Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. A Pragmatic Path to Investigating Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  17. A Pragmatic Path to Investigating Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Europa Jupiter system mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  1. The Europa Jupiter System Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  2. 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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The identification of chaotic terrain on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neish, C.; Prockter, L.; Patterson, G. W.

    2011-10-01

    Chaos is one of the dominant terrain types on Jupiter's moon Europa. However, the determination of its total areal extent has been hindered by the lack of global images of Europa at suitable resolutions and incidence angles. In this work, we determine that high incidence angle (> 75°), not high resolution, is the primary observational requirement for observing chaos in spacecraft imaging data. These recommendations will guide observational strategies for future missions to Europa and other icy bodies, such as Triton and Pluto.

  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.

  9. 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

  10. Europa Clipper: A Multiple Flyby Mission Concept to Explore Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

    Europa is a potentially habitable world that is likely to be geologically and chemically active today. Many well-defined and focused science questions regarding past and present habitability may be addressed by exploring Europa. The National Research Council's 2011 Planetary Decadal Survey placed Europa science among its highest priorities, but noted that the budget profile for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission concept, which was prioritized in the Survey, was incompatible with NASA's projected planetary science budget. Thus, NASA initiated a study to consider more fiscally viable Europa mission scenarios. Among the options considered, a multipleflyby mission concept (now named the "Europa Clipper") was found to have exceptional science merit while also meeting the challenge from NASA and the Decadal Survey for a reduced-scope Europa mission relative to JEO.

  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--Jupiter's Icy Ocean Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowes, L.

    1999-01-01

    Europa is a puzzle. The sixth largest moon in our solar system, Europa confounds and intrigues scientists. Few bodies in the solar system have attracted as much scientific attention as this moon of Jupiter because of its possible subsurface ocean of water. The more we learn about this icy moon, the more questions we have.

  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. Biogeochemical Reactions Under Simulated Europa Ocean Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amashukeli, X.; Connon, S. A.; Gleeson, D. F.; Kowalczyk, R. S.; Pappalardo, R. T.

    2007-12-01

    Galileo data have demonstrated the probable presence of a liquid water ocean on Europa, and existence of salts and carbon dioxide in the satellite's surface ice (e.g., Carr et al., 1998; McCord et al., 1999, Pappalardo et al., 1999; Kivelson et al., 2000). Subsequently, the discovery of chemical signatures of extinct or extant life in Europa's ocean and on its surface became a distinct possibility. Moreover, understanding of Europa's potential habitability is now one of the major goals of the Europa Orbiter Flagship mission. It is likely, that in the early stages of Europa's ocean formation, moderately alkaline oceanic sulfate-carbonate species and a magnetite-silicate mantel could have participated in low-temperature biogeochemical sulfur, iron and carbon cycles facilitated by primitive organisms (Zolotov and Shock, 2004). If periodic supplies of fresh rock and sulfate-carbonate ions are available in Europa's ocean, then an exciting prospect exists that life may be present in Europa's ocean today. In our laboratory, we began the study of the plausible biogeochemical reactions under conditions appropriate to Europa's ocean using barophilic psychrophilic organisms that thrive under anaerobic conditions. In the near absence of abiotic synthetic pathways due to low Europa's temperatures, the biotic synthesis may present a viable opportunity for the formation of the organic and inorganic compounds under these extreme conditions. This work is independent of assumptions regarding hydrothermal vents at Europa's ocean floor or surface-derived oxidant sources. For our studies, we have fabricated a high-pressure (5,000 psi) reaction vessel that simulates aqueous conditions on Europa. We were also successful at reviving barophilic psychrophilic strains of Shewanella bacterium, which serve as test organisms in this investigation. Currently, facultative barophilic psychrophilic stains of Shewanella are grown in the presence of ferric food source; the strains exhibiting iron

  16. Confirmation of Europa's water vapor plume activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roth, Lorenz

    2013-10-01

    STIS spectral UV images of Jupiter's satellite Europa obtained during HST Cycle 20 revealed atomic H and O auroral emissions in intensity ratios which uniquely identify the source as electron impact excitation of water molecules above Europa's south pole and hypothesized to be associated with water vapor plumes as reported in Roth et al., Science, 2014. The plumes were detected when Europa was at apocenter on December 30/31, 2012. Two other sets of STIS observations when Europa was near pericenter did not show plume emission within the sensitivity of STIS. The plume variability is predicted to be correlated with Europa's distance from Jupiter in the observed way. However, the one plume detection at apocenter and the two non-detections near pericenter require confirmation. Therefore we request two visits of 5 orbits each to observe Europa at orbital positions of the predicted maximum plume activity {similar to the December 2012 STIS Europa visit} to provide confirmation of the initial STIS discovery and to consolidate the predicted geophysical variability pattern.

  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. Navigational Challenges for a Europa Flyby Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. Automated Design of the Europa Orbiter Tour

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. New horizons mapping of Europa and Ganymede.

    PubMed

    Grundy, W M; Buratti, B J; Cheng, A F; Emery, J P; Lunsford, A; McKinnon, W B; Moore, J M; Newman, S F; Olkin, C B; Reuter, D C; Schenk, P M; Spencer, J R; Stern, S A; Throop, H B; Weaver, H A

    2007-10-12

    The New Horizons spacecraft observed Jupiter's icy satellites Europa and Ganymede during its flyby in February and March 2007 at visible and infrared wavelengths. Infrared spectral images map H2O ice absorption and hydrated contaminants, bolstering the case for an exogenous source of Europa's "non-ice" surface material and filling large gaps in compositional maps of Ganymede's Jupiter-facing hemisphere. Visual wavelength images of Europa extend knowledge of its global pattern of arcuate troughs and show that its surface scatters light more isotropically than other icy satellites.

  3. 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

  4. MISE: A Search for Organics on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whalen, Kelly; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2017-01-01

    NASA’s planned Europa Flyby Mission will try to assess the habitability of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. One of the selected instruments on the mission is the Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE). MISE is a near-infrared imaging spectrometer that takes spectra in the 0.8-5 micron range, and it will be capable of mapping Europa’s surface chemical composition. A primary goal of the MISE instrument is to determine if Europa is capable of supporting life by searching for amino acid signatures in the infrared spectra. We present spectra of pure amino acid at MISE’s resolution, and we analyze the effect of chirality on these spectra. Lastly, we present model spectra for diluted/mixed amino acids to simulate more realistic concentrations. We show MISE can distinguish between different types of amino acids, such as isoleucine, leucine, and their enantiomers.

  5. 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.

  6. The EJSM Jupiter Europa Orbiter: Planning Payload

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

    In the decade since the first return of Europa data by the Galileo spacecraft, the scientific understanding of Europa has greatly matured leading to the formulation of sophisticated new science objectives to be addressed through the acquisition of new data. The Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) is one component of the proposed multi-spacecraft Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) designed to obtain data in support of these new science objectives. The JEO planning payload, while notional, is used to quantify engineering aspects of the mission and spacecraft design, and operational scenarios required to obtain the data necessary to meet the science objectives. The instruments were defined to understand the viability of an approach to meet the measurement objectives, perform in the radiation environment and meet the planetary protection requirements. The actual instrument suite would ultimately be the result of an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) selection process carried out by NASA.

  7. 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.

  8. Formation of cycloidal features on Europa.

    PubMed

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

    1999-09-17

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

  9. Europa During Voyager 2 Closest Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    This color image of the Jovian moon Europa was acquired by Voyager 2 during its close encounter on Monday morning, July 9. Europa, the size of our moon, is thought to have a crust of ice perhaps 100 kilometers thick which overlies the silicate crust. The complex array of streaks indicate that the crust has been fractured and filled by materials from the interior. The lack of relief, any visible mountains or craters, on its bright limb is consistent with a thick ice crust. In contrast to its icy neighbors, Ganymede and Callisto, Europa has very few impact craters. One possible candidate is the small feature near the center of this image with radiating rays and a bright circular interior. The relative absence of features and low topography suggests the crust is young and warm a few kilometers below the surface. The tidal heating process suggested for Io also may be heating Europa's interior at a lower rate.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Hydrogen peroxide on the surface of Europa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. First Galileo Views of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Bender, K.; Sullivan, R.; Homan, K.; Klemaszewski, J.; Fagents, S.; Belton, M. J. S.; Galileo Imaging Team

    1996-09-01

    In the first Jupiter orbit by Galileo, images of Europa were obtained from 156,000 km at 1.6 km/pixel resolution, including a partial frame in 6 color filters. Observed structural features include triple bands, bright bands, narrow ridges, gray bands, and dark wedge-shaped bands. Increased resolution and image quality over Voyager reveal new aspects of these features. For example, the outer margins of triple bands are diffuse and some dark spots are aligned on narrow bands; these and other characteristics are suggestive of explosive or geyserlike venting. Crosscutting relations show that triple bands become brighter (less prominent) and more narrow as they age. Numerous features of impact or suspected impact origin were imaged, including a newly discovered 30-km crater, and scores of shallow, circular depressions, some of which have raised rims. These features imply more ancient surfaces than previously suggested; however, other areas seen under comparable viewing, lighting, and resolution are devoid of these features suggesting that at least some areas have been resurfaced more recently. Excellent new examples of dark wedge- shaped bands, suggestive of plate rotations, are also seen. These observations are consistent with disruption of a relatively thin icy crust, and ductile ice and/or liquid water at depth in the geological past. Future planned encounters will obtain higher resolution data, assess these preliminary observations, and provide information on the age of the most recent activity.

  19. 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

  20. Low-Radiation Europa Lander Mission Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strange, N. J.; Hand, K. P.; Casani, J. R.; Eisen, H. J.; Elliott, J. O.

    2011-12-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, conducted a mission design study focused on delivering a redundant two-lander mission to the surface of Europa. A mission focused on surface science permits a short lifetime for the prime mission (7 days) and thus enables a low total radiation dose mission to Europa. Lowering the radiation dose retires much of the risk and cost threats associated with Europa missions. Here we describe the science investigations and accompanying payload studied as part of this effort. The science payload allocation for each lander is approximately 40 kilograms. The goal of this mission is to explore Europa to investigate its habitability. Our study of life on Earth has revealed three critical components that comprise a habitable environment and our current understanding of Europa indicates that it may harbor all three. These "keystones" for habitability are liquid water, a suite of essential elements, and chemical or radiation energy to power life. Europa, with its global liquid water ocean, likely in contact with a rocky seafloor, may be habitable today and it may have been habitable for much of the history of the solar system. Europa is thus the premier target in our search for evidence of both past and contemporary habitability. The discovery and exploration of a world that hosts extant, i.e., living, life permits investigations that could revolutionize our understanding of chemistry, biology, the origin of life, and the broader context of whether or not we are alone in the Universe. This mission provides the first steps toward that goal.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. EUROPA Multiple-Flyby Trajectory Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffington, Brent; Campagnola, Stefano; Petropoulos, Anastassios

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Tides and the Biosphere of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, Richard

    2002-01-01

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

  7. Models of dust around Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miljković, K.; Hillier, J. K.; Mason, N. J.; Zarnecki, J. C.

    2012-09-01

    We use numerical models, supported by our laboratory data, to predict the dust densities of ejecta outflux at any altitude within the Hill spheres of Europa and Ganymede. The ejecta are created by micrometeoroid bombardment and five different dust populations are investigated as sources of dust around the moons. The impacting dust flux (influx) causes the ejection of a certain amount of surface material (outflux). The outflux populates the space around the moons, where a part of the ejecta escapes and the rest falls back to the surface. These models were validated against existing Galileo DDS (Dust Detector System) data collected during Europa and Ganymede flybys. Uncertainties of the input parameters and their effects on the model outcome are also included. The results of this model are important for future missions to Europa and Ganymede, such as JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer), recently selected as ESA's next large space mission to be launched in 2022.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Geologic implications of spectrophotometric measurements of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buratti, Bonnie; Golombek, Matthew

    1988-01-01

    Photometric functions and reflectances have been obtained from spectrophotometric measurements of Voyager images of Europa for (1) six mapped geologic terrains, (2) three types of lineaments, and (3) the brown spots. The results thus obtained suggest that Europa's materials fall into two main categories: a comparatively clean ice that constitutes the plains, and a darker and redder, silicate-rich material that makes up the brown spots and the wedge-shaped bands. Reflectance profiles obtained across the wedge-shaped bands and triple bands indicate similar albedo and color changes, implying similar structures for both of these features.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Confirmation of Water Plumes on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, William

    Evidence was found for plumes of water ice venting from the polar regions of Europa (Roth et al 2014a) - FUV detection of off-limb line emission from the dissociation products of water. We find additional evidence for the presence of ice plumes on Europa from HST transit imaging observations (Sparks et al 2016). The evidence for plumes remains marginal, 4-sigma, and there is considerable debate as to their reality. SOFIA can potentially resolve this issue with an unambiguous direct detection of water vapor using EXES. Detection of the fundamental vibrational mode of water vapor at 6 micron, as opposed to the atomic constituents of water, would prove that the plumes exist and inform us of their physical chemistry through quantitative consideration of the balance between water vapor and its dissociation products, hydrogen and oxygen. We propose to obtain spectra of the leading and trailing hemispheres separately, with trailing as the higher priority. These provide two very different physical environments and plausibly different degrees of activity. If the plumes of Europa arise from the deep ocean, we have gained access to probably the most astrobiologically interesting location in the Solar System, and clarify an issue of major strategic importance in NASAs planning for its multi-billion dollar mission to Europa.

  16. Evidence for a subsurface ocean on Europa.

    PubMed

    Carr, M H; Belton, M J; 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

    1998-01-22

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Cryovolcanic emplacement of domes on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

    Here we explore the hypothesis that certain domes on Europa may have been produced by the extrusion of viscous cryolavas. A new mathematical method for the emplacement and relaxation of viscous lava domes is presented and applied to putative cryovolcanic domes on Europa. A similarity solution approach is applied to the governing equation for fluid flow in a cylindrical geometry, and dome relaxation is explored assuming a volume of cryolava has been rapidly emplaced onto the surface. Nonphysical singularities inherent in previous models for dome relaxation have been eliminated, and cryolava cooling is represented by a time-variable viscosity. We find that at the onset of relaxation, bulk kinematic viscosities may lie in the range between 103 and 106 m2/s, while the actual fluid lava viscosity may be much lower. Plausible relaxation times to form the domes, which are linked to bulk cryolava rheology, are found to range from 3.6 days to 7.5 years. We find that cooling of the cryolava, while dominated by conduction through an icy skin, should not prevent fluids from advancing and relaxing to form domes within the timescales considered. Determining the range of emplacement conditions for putative cryolava domes will shed light on Europa's resurfacing history. In addition, the rheologies and compositions of erupted cryolavas have implications for subsurface cryomagma ascent and local surface stress conditions on Europa.

  19. Europa Missions: Generic Materials Test Methodology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willis, Paul B.

    2006-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Cryovolcanic Emplacement of Domes on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Here we explore the hypothesis that certain domes on Europa may have been produced by the extrusion of viscous cryolavas. A new mathematical method for the emplacement and relaxation of viscous lava domes is presented and applied to putative cryovolcanic domes on Europa. A similarity solution approach is applied to the governing equation for fluid flow in a cylindrical geometry, and dome relaxation is explored assuming a volume of cryolava has been rapidly emplaced onto the surface. Nonphysical sin- gularities inherent in previous models for dome relaxation have been eliminated, and cryolava cooling is represented by a time-variable viscosity. We find that at the onset of relaxation, bulk kinematic viscosities may lie in the range between 10(exp 3) and 10(exp 6) sq m/s, while the actual fluid lava viscosity may be much lower. Plausible relaxation times to form the domes, which are linked to bulk cryolava rheology, are found to range from 3.6 days to 7.5 years. We find that cooling of the cryolava, while dominated by conduction through an icy skin, should not prevent fluids from advancing and relaxing to form domes within the timescales considered. Determining the range of emplacement conditions for putative cryolava domes will shed light on Europa's resurfacing history. In addition, the rheologies and compositions of erupted cryolavas have implications for subsurface cryomagma ascent and local surface stress conditions on Europa.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Radiation Environment for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jun, Insoo

    2008-09-01

    One of the major challenges for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission would be that the spacecraft should be designed to survive an intense radiation environment expected at Jupiter and Europa. The proper definition of the radiation environments is the important first step, because it could affect almost every aspects of mission and spacecraft design. These include optimizing the trajectory to minimize radiation exposure, determining mission lifetime, selecting parts, materials, detectors and sensors, shielding design, etc. The radiation environments generated for the 2008 JEO study will be covered, emphasizing the radiation environment mainly responsible for the total ionizing dose (TID) and displacement damage dose (DDD). The latest models developed at JPL will be used to generate the TID and DDD environments. Finally, the major radiation issues will be summarized, and a mitigation plan will be discussed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Geologic Evidence of Internal Activity on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

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

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

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

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

  12. 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.

  13. Estimation of Europa's exosphere loss rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Reactions in Europa's exosphere are dominated by plasma interactions with neutrals. The cross-sections for these processes are energy dependent and therefore the respective loss rates of the exospheric species depend on the speed distribution of the charged particles relative to the neutrals, as well as the densities of each reactant. In this work we review the average H2O, O2, and H2 loss rates due to plasma-neutral interactions to perform an estimation of the Europa's total exosphere loss. Since the electron density at Europa's orbit varies significantly with the magnetic latitude of the moon in Jupiter's magnetosphere, the dissociation and ionization rates for electron-impact processes are subject to spatial and temporal variations. Therefore, the resulting neutral loss rates determining the actual spatial distribution of the neutral density is not homogeneous. In addition, the ion-neutral interactions have an input to the loss of exospheric species as well as to the modification of the energy distribution of the existing species (for example, the O2 energy distribution is modified through charge-exchange between O2 and O2+). In our calculations, the photoreactions were considered for conditions of quiet and active Sun.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. New Observations of UV Emissions from Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGrath, Melissa; Sparks, William

    2009-01-01

    The recent top prioritization of the Europa Jupiter System Mission for the next outer solar system flagship mission is refocusing attention on Europa and the other Galilean satellites and their contextual environments in the Jupiter system. Surface sputtering by magnetospheric plasma generates a tenuous atmosphere for Europa, dominated by 02 gas. This tenuous gas is in turn excited by plasma electrons, producing ultraviolet and visible emissions. Two sets of imaging observations have been published to date, UV images from the Hubble Space Telescope, and visible eclipse images from Cassini. Three additional sets of HST UV observations were acquired in February 2007, April 2007 and June 2009. The signal to noise ratio in these data are not high, however, given the paucity of data and its increasing importance in terms of planning for EJSM, we have attempted to extract as much new information as possible from these data. This talk will summarize our analysis to date, and discuss them in terms of existing models, which attempt to explain the image morphology either in terms of the underlying source production and loss processes, or in terms of the plasma interaction with the exosphere.

  18. 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.

  19. Surface-bounded oxygen atmosphere of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

    The very tenuous O_2 atmosphere of Europa is a surface-bounded atmosphere (Johnson, 2002). It is produced by the radiolysis of Europa's surface due to exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation and energetic magnetospheric plasma. Earlier we developed a collisional Monte Carlo model of Europa's atmosphere (Shematovich and Johnson, 2001) accounting for adsorption, thermalization and re-emission of condensed O_2, a stable decomposition product of H_2O radiolysis. In this report we discuss a modified collisional Monte Carlo model of Europa's atmosphere in which the sublimation and sputtering sources of H_2O molecules and their molecular fragments are accounted for. Dissociation and ionization of H_2O and O_2 by magnetospheric electron and solar UV-photon impact, and collisional ejection from the atmosphere by the low energy plasma were taken into account. The surface-bounded oxygen atmosphere of Europa origins from a balance between radiolysis of the satellite icy surface by the solar UV radiation and high-energy magnetospheric plasma and the collisional ejection from the near-surface atmosphere by the low-energy plasma. Calculations showed that atmospheric chemical composition is determined by both the water and oxygen photochemistry in the near-surface atmospheric region, escape of suprathermal oxygen and hydroxyl into the Jovian system, and the adsorption- desorption exchange by radiolytic water products with the satellite surface. It was found that to account for the production of oxygen emission observed by HST (Hall et al., 1998) larger surface fluxes of O_2 are required than those assumed in earlier work from measured fluxes of magnetospheric particles (Cooper et al., 2001). The effective yield of O_2 is enhanced because the radiolysis is occurring in a regolith and not on a laboratory surface (Johnson et al., 2003). The model will eventually be expanded to include the effect of the surface catalytic chemistry and the release of trace amounts of SO_2 and CO_2 that

  20. The EJSM Jupiter-Europa Orbiter: Science Objectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

    Europa is believed to shelter an ocean between its geodynamically active icy shell and its rocky mantle, where the conditions for habitability may be fulfilled. With a warm, salty, water ocean and plausible chemical energy sources, Europa is the astrobiological archetype for icy satellite habitability. 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 magnetospheric environments. The Jupiter-Europa Orbiter (JEO) is one component of the proposed multi-spacecraft Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). We focus here on the science objectives and heritage of JEO.

  1. Magnetohydrodynamic Model of Europa's Interaction with Jupiter's Magnetosphere: Influence of Plumes in Europa's Atmosphere on the Plasma Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    We develop a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model to study the influence of plumes in Europa's atmosphere on the interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere and plasma environment. We consider the cases when Europa is located in, above and below the magnetospheric current sheet. Recently, Roth et al. (2014) discovered transient water vapor plumes near Europa's south pole. Here we provide a structured study of the influence of plumes in Europa's atmosphere on the local plasma interaction and the Alfvén wings. In our model we have included an asymmetric atmosphere of Europa, the electromagnetic induction in a subsurface water ocean, the plasma production and loss due to electron impact ionization and dissociative recombination. Additionally, our model takes into account different types of model plumes at the south pole. Our analysis suggests that the plume modifies the global plasma interaction of Europa. The strength of the modification depends on the physical properties of the plume.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Photometric radii of Io and Europa.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, M. J.; Hall, J. S.; Boyce, P. B.; Albrecht, R.

    1971-01-01

    Simultaneous two-color photoelectric photometry of Io and Europa performed during their eclipse by Jupiter on the night of April 5/6, 1971, is reported and discussed. The results are compared with satellite radii obtained using other observational techniques. It is concluded that the eclipse technique can be used to infer satellite radii accurate to plus or minus 10 per cent. In principle the eclipse technique can also be applied to the satellites of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune for early objective determinations of their radii.

  9. Surface Irradiation of Jupiter's Moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, M.; Tenishev, V.; Combi, M. R.; Jia, X.; Hansen, K. C.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2010-12-01

    Jupiter’s moon Europa has a complex and tightly coupled interaction with the Jovian magnetosphere. Neutral gas of the moon’s exosphere is ionized and picked up by the corotating plasma that sweeps past Europa at a relative velocity of almost 100 km/s. This pick-up process alters the magnetic and electric field topology around Europa, which in turn affects the trajectories of the pick-up ions as well as the thermal and hot magnetospheric ions that hit the moon’s icy surface. In turn these surface-impinging ions are the responsible source for the sputtered neutral atmosphere, which itself is again crucial for the exospheric mass loading of the surrounding plasma. We use the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model BATSRUS to model the interaction of Europa with the Jovian magnetosphere. The model accounts for the exospheric mass loading, ion-neutral charge exchange, and ion-electron recombination [Kabin et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 104, A9, 19,983-19,992, 1999)]. The derived magnetic and electric fields are then used in our Test Particle Monte Carlo (TPMC) model to integrate individual particle trajectories under the influence of the Lorentz force. We take the measurements performed by Galileo’s Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) [Williams et al. (Sp. Sci. Rev. 60, 385-412, 1992) and Cooper et al. (Icarus 149, 133-159, 2001)] and the Plasma Analyzer (PLS) [Paterson et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 104, A10, 22,779-22,791, 1999)] as boundary conditions. Using a Monte Carlo technique allows to individually track ions in a wide energy range and to individually calculate their energy deposition on the moon’s surface. The sputtering yield is a function of incident particle type, energy, and mass. We use the measurements performed by Shi et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 100, E12, 26,387-26,395, 1995) to turn the modeled impinging ion flux into a neutral gas production rate at the surface. We will show preliminary results of this work with application to the missions to the Jupiter system

  10. Trajectory Design for the Europa Clipper Mission Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffington, Brent

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-01-01

    Since its discovery in 1610, Europa--one of Jupiter's four large moons--has been an object of interest to astronomers and planetary scientists. Much of this interest stems from observations made by NASA's Voyager and Galileo spacecraft and from Earth-based telescopes indicating that Europa's surface is quite young, with very little evidence of cratering, and made principally of water ice. More recently, theoretical models of the jovian system and Europa have suggested that tidal heating may have resulted in the existence of liquid water, and perhaps an ocean, beneath Europa's surface. NASA's ongoing Galileo mission has profoundly expanded our understanding of Europa and the dynamics of the jovian system, and may allow us to constrain theoretical models of Europa's subsurface structure. Meanwhile, since the time of the Voyagers, there has been a revolution in our understanding of the limits of life on Earth. Life has been detected thriving in environments previously thought to be untenable-around hydrothermal vent systems on the seafloor, deep underground in basaltic rocks, and within polar ice. Elsewhere in the solar system, including on Europa, environments thought to be compatible with life as we know it on Earth are now considered possible, or even probable. Spacecraft missions are being planned that may be capable of proving their existence. Against this background, the Space Studies Board charged its Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) to perform a comprehensive study to assess current knowledge about Europa, outline a strategy for future spacecraft missions to Europa, and identify opportunities for complementary Earth-based studies of Europa. (See the preface for a full statement of the charge.)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Sounding of Europa's interior using multi-frequency electromagnetic induction from a Europa orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khurana, K. K.; Kivelson, M. G.; Russell, C. T.

    2000-12-01

    Magnetic field observations from Galileo have shown that Europa induces a strong response to the varying field of Jupiter's magnetosphere. These observations are consistent with a global conductor located close to the surface. Khurana et al. [1998] and Kivelson et al. [1999] have shown that a moon-wide ocean with a conductivity similar to the Earth's ocean and having a thickness of at least 6 km could produce the observed induction signature. Many other geological and geophysical observations are consistent with this interpretation (See Pappalardo et al. [1999] for further details.). The magnetic induction signature at a single frequency can also be explained with a model in which the conducting layer is thinner (thicker) but has higher (lower) conductivity. The initial work relied on the variations of the time varying field at the synodic rotation period of Jupiter (as seen in the rest frame of the moon) to infer the interior structure of Europa. We have extended the initial analysis by showing that the spectrum of the primary field contains several other important frequencies. We single out one frequency-corresponding to the orbital period of Europa-for further examination. We show that by modeling the induction response at this frequency in addition to the previously used synodic frequency for a range of ocean shell thicknesses and conductivities, the ocean conductivity and the thickness of the ocean at Europa can be determined uniquely. We discuss how the measurements from an orbiting spacecraft can be decomposed into the internal (which is the secondary field) and external (the primary imposed field) components not only for the steady field but also for the varying field.

  2. Plume and surface feature structure and compositional effects on Europa's global exosphere: Preliminary Europa mission predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teolis, B. D.; Wyrick, D. Y.; Bouquet, A.; Magee, B. A.; Waite, J. H.

    2017-03-01

    A Europa plume source, if present, may produce a global exosphere with complex spatial structure and temporal variability in its density and composition. To investigate this interaction we have integrated a water plume source containing multiple organic and nitrile species into a Europan Monte Carlo exosphere model, considering the effect of Europa's gravity in returning plume ejecta to the surface, and the subsequent spreading of adsorbed and exospheric material by thermal desorption and re-sputtering across the entire body. We consider sputtered, radiolytic and potential plume sources, together with surface adsorption, regolith diffusion, polar cold trapping, and re-sputtering of adsorbed materials, and examine the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of the exospheric density and composition. These models provide a predictive basis for telescopic observations (e.g. HST, JWST) and planned missions to the Jovian system by NASA and ESA. We apply spacecraft trajectories to our model to explore possible exospheric compositions which may be encountered along proposed flybys of Europa to inform the spatial and temporal relationship of spacecraft measurements to surface and plume source compositions. For the present preliminary study, we have considered four cases: Case A: an equatorial flyby through a sputtered only exosphere (no plumes), Case B: a flyby over a localized sputtered 'macula' terrain enriched in non-ice species, Case C: a south polar plume with an Enceladus-like composition, equatorial flyby, and Case D: a south polar plume, flyby directly through the plume.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Europa: Perspectives on an Ocean World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, K. N.; McKinnon, W. B.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Khurana, K. K.

    2009-12-01

    Europa possesses an outer icy shell; this much has been clear since Voyager. That Europa’s shell is also floating is now generally accepted as well, thanks to observations by Galileo. The existence of a low density outer “H2O” layer, 80-170 km in thickness, seems well established. Magnetic induction evidence strongly suggests a conducting near-surface layer and/or interior — a saline ocean. Cycloidal ridges, originating as tidally driven cycloidal fractures, apparently formed in a stress regime dominated by diurnal tides, but could not form in a tidally flexing ice shell grounded to the silicate interior — again supporting decoupling by an ocean. These points are not seriously in contention. Beyond this there is less agreement, especially as to the thickness of the shell overlying the ocean, the icy shell’s composition and rheology, and whether the icy shell more-or-less responds passively to tidal strains and heating from Europa’s interior, or whether it plays a more active role by means of solid state convection. Europa poses many important scientific questions, but in short, how have Europa’s icy shell and ocean and rocky interior evolved through geological time, and most fundamentally, what astrobiological potential do the icy shell and ocean below possess? Impact crater counts indicate that Europa’s surface is youthful, with a nominal age of just 40-90 Myr, based on cometary bombardment models. Thus, if geological evidence suggests an ocean at the time Europa’s surface features formed, the ocean is probably still there today. Improvements in modeling of ice rheology, of convection, and of tidal heating now suggest that a convecting ice shell is compatible with an underlying ocean. Thermal models and geological observations (such as pit, uplift and small chaos diameters and depths or heights) both point to an ice shell ~20 km thick, with observational evidence for both a change in tectonic style and a secular decrease in geological activity

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A closer look at Chaos on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The topography of chaos terrain on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, G.; Prockter, L. M.; Schenk, P.

    2010-12-01

    Chaos terrain and lenticulae are commonly observed surface features unique to the Galilean satellite Europa. Chaos terrain occurs as discrete regions of the satellite’s surface 10s to 100s of km in size that are disrupted into isolated plates surrounded by hummocky matrix material. Lenticulae occur as positive- or negative-relief domes km to 10s of km in diameter that can disrupt the original surface in a manner similar to chaos terrain. Evidence suggests that they each form via an endogenic process involving the interaction of a mobile substrate with the brittle surface and it has been proposed that ice shell thinning or surface yielding coupled with brine production represents the most plausible mechanism for the formation of these features. These similarities in morphology and formation mechanism indicate they may represent a continuum process. We explore whether larger chaos terrain represent the coalescence of smaller lenticulae by examining topography within chaos to determine whether it contains domes on length scales similar to lenticulae. Schenk and Pappalardo (2004) alluded to the presence of several prominent domes within Conamara Chaos and we have previously shown that at least 4 and as many as 9 domes with length scales similar to lenticulae are present within and along the margins of the feature. This was accomplished by using Fourier analysis to decompose the topographic signature of Conamara Chaos and the surrounding terrain into discrete wavelength components. A low-pass filter was then used to strip away shorter wavelength components of the topography associated with the region and determine if longer wavelength features were present within the terrain. Here we present new work identifying the presence, size, and distribution of domes within the boundaries of other chaos terrains across the surface of Europa and discuss implications for chaos formation.

  11. 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.

  12. Precision and Accuracy of Topography Measurements on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, R.; Hurford, T. A.; Foley, M. A.; Varland, K.

    2007-03-01

    Reports of the death of the melt-through model for chaotic terrain on Europa have been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase Mark Twain. They are based on topographic maps of insufficient quantitative accuracy and precision.

  13. Bright prospects for radar detection of Europa's ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aglyamov, Yury; Schroeder, Dustin M.; Vance, Steven D.

    2017-01-01

    The surface of Europa has been hypothesized to include an ice regolith layer from hundreds of meters to kilometers in thickness. However, contrary to previous claims, it does not present a significant obstacle to searching for Europa's ocean with radar sounding. This note corrects prior volume scattering loss analyses and expands them to includes observational and thermo-mechanical constraints on pore size and regolith depth. This provides a more physically realistic range of potential ice-regolith volume-scattering losses for radar sounding observations of Europa's ice shell in the HF and VHF frequency bands. We conclude that, for the range of physical processes and material properties observed or hypothesized for Europa, volume scattering losses are not likely to pose a major obstacle to radar penetration.

  14. The Europa Seismic Package (ESP): 2. Meeting the Environmental Challenge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kedar, S.; Pike, W. T.; Standley, I. M.; Calcutt, S. B.; Bowles, N.; Blaes, B.; Irom, F.; Mojarradi, M.; Vance, S. D.; Bills, B. G.

    2016-10-01

    We outline a pathway for adapting the SP microseismometer delivered to InSight to provide a Europa Seismic Package that overcomes the three significant challenges in the environmental conditions, specifically gravity, temperature and radiation.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The Emerging Resurfacing History of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueredo, P.; Greeley, R.

    2002-12-01

    We have completed the geologic mapping and analysis of pole-to-pole transects across the leading and trailing hemispheres of Europa. Our results show that ~50% of the mapped areas has been resurfaced since the period of background ridged plains formation (comprising the last 50-100 Myr.): ~30% by tectonic processes and ~20% by chaotic disruption. Further, the geologic record indicates a transition from tectonic- to cryovolcanic-dominated resurfacing. The style of tectonic processes changed with time, from intensive, closely spaced fracturing and ridge building forming background plains, to infilling of inter-plate gaps forming broad bands, to gradually narrower and farther-spaced ridges and ridge complexes. In both hemispheres, these lineaments rotated with time in senses consistent with nonsynchronous rotation predictions. The lack of lineaments overprinting impact structures (with the exception of Tyre) suggests that the intensity of tectonic resurfacing decreased rapidly after the formation of ridged plains. Units associated with chaotic disruption overprint one another (in areas that broadly match regions where the regional thermal gradient has been raised by tidal dissipation), fragmenting the evidence for early cryovolcanic activity. Old, subdued chaos has been reworked to form younger chaos areas by merging of small patches of disruption; the most recent chaos features appear to be slightly elevated with respect to the surrounding plains. These observations suggest that chaos formed by disruption and emplacement of buoyant material from the subsurface, which became topographically and morphologically subdued with time. One possible interpretation of the mentioned trends and changes is the gradual thickening of Europa's lithosphere throughout the visible geologic history: the degree of fracturing and plate displacements decrease in a thickening shell, while lineaments become narrower and more widely spaced; formation of chaos regions can take place where the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-09-01

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

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. Near-surface oxygen atmosphere at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shematovich, V. I.; Johnson, R. E.

    The bombardment of the surface of Europa by charged particles trapped in the jovian magnetosphere causes sputtering and decomposition of surface materials leading to the production of a tenuous O 2 atmosphere. In this paper we use a direct Monte Carlo simulation of the atmosphere and we account for adsorption, thermalization and re-emission of condensed O 2, dissociation and ionization by magnetospheric electron and photon impact, and collisional ejection by the low energy plasma in the magnetosphere. Since the ion flux to the surface and the O 2 production are not well constrained, we treat the surface source as a variable parameter. To account for the production of atomic O seen by HST (Hall et al., 1995, 1998), we find that larger surface fluxes are required than those predicted (Cooper et al., 2001). This is due primarily to the inclusion of photo-dissociation which leads to loss. The variation of atmospheric O 2 and O from near equilibrium near the surface to highly non-equilibrium is shown and is poorly approximated by the escape atmosphere assumed by Saur et al. (1998).

  13. 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.

  14. Europa Composition Using Visible to Short Wavelength Infrared Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaney, Diana L.; Dalton, J. B.; Green, R. O.; Hibbits, K.; McCord, T.; Murchie, S.; Piccioni, G.; Tosi, F.

    2010-10-01

    One of the major goals of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) is to understand the chemistry of Europa's inorganic and organic materials. Europa's surface material composition is controlled by the original materials forming Europa and by their differentiation and chemical alterations. Material is probably still being transported to the surface by active processes in the interior. At the surface, the material is exposed to the effects of vacuum and temperature, irradiated by solar UV, and bombarded by material entrained in Jupiter's magnetic field. The materials on the surface and their distributions are evidence of the processes operating, both endogenic and exogenic. These processes include effects of a subsurface liquid ocean and its chemistry; the mechanisms of material emplacement from below; and photolysis and radiolysis. Visible to Short Wavelength Infrared (VSWIR) spectroscopy is a well-understood technique for mapping key inorganic, organic, and volatile compositions on remote surfaces such as Europa. Key spectral absorption features have been detected in both the icy and the non-icy Europa materials and many important constituents of the surface have been identified or proposed (e.g. hydrated salts, sulfuric acid hydrate, organics, CO2, H2O2, SO2). The determination of planetary surface composition from remote infrared spectroscopy depends upon adequate signal-to-noise, spectral resolution, and spatial scale to distinguish the diagnostic spectral features of the compounds of interest. For icy satellites, laboratory reference spectra obtained at the temperatures of the target bodies are also required. We have compared diagnostic spectral features in cryogenic laboratory spectra of hydrated salts relevant to Europa in order to optimize detection of these materials under realistic mission conditions. Effects of spectral resolution, signal to noise ratio, and areal mixtures are explored to determine the impacts on detection. This work was carried out at the Jet

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. An Assessment of Topography Measurements on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, Richard; Hurford, T.; Foley, M.

    2006-09-01

    Many small patches of chaotic terrain on Europa appear to be bulged upward, giving qualitative impressions that chaos might represent "cryovolcanic" and/or convective upwelling. The same bulged appearance is explained by the oceanic melt-through model, as simply the topography expected after refreezing and buoyant equilibrium. Greenberg et al. suggested an observational test to discriminate between these models, based on whether the up-bulged chaos is higher than the typical tectonic terrain in the region (for up-welling) or only higher than its immediate moat-like surroundings (melt-through and refreezing). Several authors have taken up this challenge, presenting topographic maps to refute the melt-through model by showing high elevations for chaos. However, details on the methods (based on combinations of stereo images and photoclinometry) have been sketchy, and without quantitative analyses of precision. For example, near Tyre, topographic maps and profiles reportedly show elevated chaos areas. Yet the elevations differ between published results by much more than the purported 10m precision. Moreover, high-elevation portions of profiles that were labeled as chaos are actually tectonic terrain. Stereo actually shows that major chaos areas are lower than the tectonic terrain in the area. Also, variations in elevation within the tectonic terrain are so great that differences from chaotic terrain are in the noise. Moreover, our error-analyses for both stereo and photoclinometry indicate that uncertainties are greater than reported differences between elevations of chaotic and tectonic terrain. For example, stereo-based models may exaggerate the height of chaos by favoring rafts as tie features, and photoclinometry is sensitive to an uncertain photometric function and to sub-pixel slope variations. To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of the melt-through model have been greatly exaggerated. Any results based on topography should not be accepted until the

  3. Europa Habitability and Extant Life Exploration with Combined Flyby-Lander-Orbiter Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc, M.; Jones, G.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Mimoun, D.; Masters, A.; Kempf, S.; Iess, L.; Martins, Z.; Lorenz, R.; Lasue, J.; Andre, N.; Bills, B. G.; Choblet, G.; Collins, G.; Cremonese, G.; Garnier, P.; Hand, K.; Hartogh, P.; Khurana, K. K.; Stephan, K.; Tosi, F.; Vance, S. D.; van Hoolst, T.; Westall, F.; Wolwerk, M.; Cooper, J. F.; Sittler, E. C.; Brinckerhoff, W.; Hurford, T.; Europa Initiative

    2016-10-01

    The optimal configuration for investigation of habitability and any extant life at Europa would be a combined constellation of flyby, lander, and orbiter spacecraft. The Europa Initiative is designing a small orbiter as part of this constellation.

  4. The Europa Seismic Package (ESP): 1. Selecting a Broadband Microseismometer for Ocean Worlds.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pike, W. T.; Standley, I. M.; Calcutt, S. B.; Kedar, S.; Vance, S. D.; Bills, B. G.

    2016-10-01

    We summarize the requirements that would enable a seismic system to provide a probe of the habitability of Europa and introduce a candidate microseismometer for a Europa Seismic Package, comparing to potential competitor technologies.

  5. The Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS) for the Europa Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    We present the Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS) selected for the Europa Mission. We specifically address how PIMS plasma measurements will improve the accuracy of magnetic sounding of Europa's subsurface ocean.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Energy, chemical disequilibrium, and geological constraints on Europa.

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

    Europa is a prime target for astrobiology. The presence of a global subsurface liquid water ocean and a composition likely to contain a suite of biogenic elements make it a compelling world in the search for a second origin of life. Critical to these factors, however, may be the availability of energy for biological processes on Europa. We have examined the production and availability of oxidants and carbon-containing reductants on Europa to better understand the habitability of the subsurface ocean. Data from the Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer were used to constrain the surface abundance of CO(2) to 0.036% by number relative to water. Laboratory results indicate that radiolytically processed CO(2)-rich ices yield CO and H(2)CO(3); the reductants H(2)CO, CH(3)OH, and CH(4) are at most minor species. We analyzed chemical sources and sinks and concluded that the radiolytically processed surface of Europa could serve to maintain an oxidized ocean even if the surface oxidants (O(2), H(2)O(2), CO(2), SO(2), and SO(4) (2)) are delivered only once every approximately 0.5 Gyr. If delivery periods are comparable to the observed surface age (30-70 Myr), then Europa's ocean could reach O(2) concentrations comparable to those found in terrestrial surface waters, even if approximately 10(9) moles yr(1) of hydrothermally delivered reductants consume most of the oxidant flux. Such an ocean would be energetically hospitable for terrestrial marine macrofauna. The availability of reductants could be the limiting factor for biologically useful chemical energy on Europa.

  14. "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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Sulfuric acid on Europa and the radiolytic sulfur cycle.

    PubMed

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

    1999-10-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Constraints on the Opening Rate of Bands on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

    The opening rates of two bands on Europa, inferred to be sites of spreading of the icy lithosphere, are constrained based on a mid-ocean ridge analog model. Estimates of brittle-ductile transition depth combined with a conductive cooling model limit active band lifetimes to 0.24 - 35 Myr and strain rates of 8.1 x 10(exp -13) - 8.2 x 10(exp -15)/s. These values suggest tensile strengths for ice on Europa of 0.46 - 2.3 MPa, consistent with nonsynchronous rotation as the dominant driving mechanism for band opening.

  1. A Volume Flux Approach to Cryolava Dome Emplacement on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Fagents, Sarah A.; Hurford, Terry A.; Prockter, Louise M.

    2017-01-01

    We previously modeled a subset of domes on Europa with morphologies consistent with emplacement by viscous extrusions of cryolava. These models assumed instantaneous emplacement of a fixed volume of fluid onto the surface, followed by relaxation to form domes. However, this approach only allowed for the investigation of late-stage eruptive processes far from the vent and provided little insight into how cryolavas arrived at the surface. Consideration of dome emplacement as cryolavas erupt at the surface is therefore pertinent. A volume flux approach, in which lava erupts from the vent at a constant rate, was successfully applied to the formation of steep-sided volcanic domes on Venus. These domes are believed to have formed in the same manner as candi-date cryolava domes on Europa. In order to gain a more complete understanding of the potential for the emplacement of Europa domes via extrusive volcanism, we have applied this new volume flux approach to the formation of putative cryovolcanic domes on Europa. Assuming as in that europan cryolavas are briny, aqueous solutions which may or may not contain some ice crystal fraction, we present the results of this modeling and explore theories for the formation of low-albedo moats that surround some domes.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-10-01

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

  9. The Case for a Thick Ice Shell on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, P. M.

    2002-09-01

    As the next great voyage to Europa founders in a chilly sea of programmatic icebergs, the great thick-crust thin-crust debate over the thickness of Europa's putative floating ice shell continues unabated. Completion of stereo and 2-D photoclinometric mapping covering ~20% of the surface of Europa reveals a variety of topographic features. These geophysical data place important constraints on geologic processes and shell thickness. Impact crater topography reveals two abrupt breaks in Europa's depth/Diameter curve, the second of which (at ~30 km diameter) indicates a minimum ice shell thickness of ~20 km (Schenk, Nature, 417, 419, 2001). Matrix material within chaos regions lies at or above the topographic level of surrounding plains. This is more consistent with a diapiric origin of chaos (rather than a melt-through origin). Matrix material is also variable and domical over 10's of km scales. This may reflect the topography of individual diapirs, the spacing of which suggests a thickness ofi >15 km (Schenk & Pappalardo, submitted). The total topographic range on Europa may be ~2 km, much greater than usually assumed. Such relief is more consistent with a thick crust. Maximum positive relief is associated with ~100 oblong plateaus 10-40 km across and up to 1 km high. Negative relief occurs as elliptical pits or elongate troughs 5-10 km across and up to 500 m deep. Irregular depressions appear to be up to 1 km deep. Simple buoyancy arguments indicate that the crust must be 6-8 km thick to preserve such negative relief against melt-through (Schenk & McKinnon, in prep.). Although older ridged plains could have formed in a thinner crust, the topography of most other Europan geologic terrains of various ages is consistent with a thick ice shell has been at least 6-8 km thick and probably on the order of 20 km thick for much of its history.

  10. 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.

  11. Jovian magnetospheric plasma effects at Europa and Ganymede (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, R. E.; Cassidy, T. A.; Hendrix, A. R.; Paranicas, C.; Cipriani, F.; Leblanc, F.; Cooper, J. F.

    2009-12-01

    Europa and Ganymede are imbedded in the Jovian magnetospheric plasma. This plasma alters their surfaces producing tenuous surface boundary-layer atmospheres (Johnson, 2002). That is, the interactions of the desorbed neutrals with the surface determine the composition and morphology of their atmospheres (Cassidy et al. 2009; Cipriani et al. 2009). Those neutrals that escape the satellite remain gravitationally bound to Jupiter in a toroidal-shaped cloud until they are ionized and contribute to the ambient plasma. Since gas-phase species are readily identified, the gravitationally bound and toroidal components are of interest as extensions of the satellite’s surface. If these atmospheres were only populated by thermal desorption, they would have a small subsolar water component (Shematovich et al. 2005) and the trace volatiles would be rapidly depleted. However, Europa and Ganymede orbit in a region of the Jovian magnetosphere in which the trapped plasma density and temperature are relatively high. This plasma and the solar EUV flux chemically alter and erode their surfaces, processes often lumped together as sputtering. Early laboratory results were used to predict the principal atmospheric component, O2, and its average column density (Johnson et al. 1982). Since loss of H2 accompanies the formation and ejection of O2 from ice (Johnson and Quickenden 1997), and, since H2 escapes more readily than the heavier species, hydrogen is a principal species in the neutral torus (Smyth and Marconi 2006) and a primary source of protons for the Jovian magnetosphere. Atmospheric simulations using models for the surface composition, data on the radiation flux, and laboratory data have been used in to interpret the available observations and to suggest which trace species might be detectable by an orbiting spacecraft. Models for the atmospheres of Europa and Ganymede and their relation to the plasma-weathered surfaces will be described in which redistribution and loss to the

  12. 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

  13. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    NASA and ESA are planning the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) to the Jupiter system with specific emphases on Europa and Ganymede from these respective space agencies. The Japanese Space Agency is also planning an orbiter mission to explore Jupiter’s magnetosphere and the Galilean satellites. For NASA’s Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) we are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) with two main goals which can also be applied to the other Galilean moons, 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter’s magnetosphere and 2) infer the 4π surface composition to trace elemental and significant isotopic levels. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa’s sub-surface ocean, while the second gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, and between the moon surfaces and subsurface layers putatively including oceans. The measurement of the interactions for all the Galilean moons can be used to trace the in situ ion measurements of pickup ions back to either Europa’s or Ganymede’s surface from the respectively orbiting spacecraft. The IMS instrument, being developed under NASA’s Astrobiology Instrument Development Program (ASTID), would maximally achieve plasma measurement requirements for JEO and EJSM while moving forward our knowledge of Jupiter system composition and source processes to far higher levels than previously envisaged. The ASTID-supported IMS, applicable to the NASA spacecraft, is designed to operate in a high radiation environment with minor and trace ion detection capability. The latter goal is achieved by measuring pickup ions at spacecraft altitudes and using a 3D hybrid model of the interaction in order to construct 3D global model of the electric and magnetic fields around these bodies. The pickup ion trajectories can then be traced back down to the surface. In the case of Europa we also show that Europa’s ionosphere is

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Current Status of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO): Science and Science Implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Blanc, M.; Clark, K.; Greeley, R.; Hendrix, A. R.; Lebreton, J.; Prockter, L.; JEO Definition Team

    2008-12-01

    The Jupiter-Europa Orbiter (JEO) is one component of the proposed multi-spacecraft Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). The overarching goal of JEO is to explore Europa to investigate its habitability. Europa is believed to shelter an ocean between its geodynamically active icy shell and its rocky mantle, where the conditions for habitability may be fulfilled. With a warm, salty, water ocean and plausible chemical energy sources, Europa is the astrobiological archetype for icy satellite habitability. 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 magnetospheric environments. A mission to Europa has been studied for a decade and has strong links to and recommendations from NASA reports. The conditions at Europa are well-understood, and JEO is prepared for the radiation environment at Europa. Europa science is mature, and hypotheses are well-formed. Five broad investigations have been defined to address the overarching goal: the Ocean, the Ice Shell, Chemistry, Geology and the Jupiter System. Measuring Europa's tides provides a simple and definitive test of the existence of an internal ocean - and the ocean and ice shell can be studied and characterized. Composition and chemistry form the linkages that enable understanding Europa's potential for life and habitability in the context of geologic processes, probe the interior structure, and record the evolution of the surface under the influence of internal and external processes. The search for recent or current geologic activity is important for understanding the origin of landforms, and especially significant for understanding Europa's potential for habitability. Understanding the Jupiter system as a whole is critical for placing Europa in its context as a member of the Jovian satellite system and for understanding the origin and evolution of the system, including

  17. Current Status of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO): Science & Science Implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert T.; Blanc, M.; Clark, K.; Greeley, R.; Hendrix, A.; Lebreton, J.; Prockter, L.; Joint Jupiter Science Definition Team

    2008-09-01

    The Jupiter-Europa Orbiter (JEO) is one component of the proposed multi-spacecraft Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). The overarching goal of JEO is to explore Europa to investigate its habitability. Europa is believed to shelter an ocean between its geodynamically active icy shell and its rocky mantle, where the conditions for habitability may be fulfilled. With a warm, salty, water ocean and plausible chemical energy sources, Europa is the astrobiological archetype for icy satellite habitability. 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 magnetospheric environments. A mission to Europa has been studied for a decade and has strong links to and recommendations from NASA reports. The conditions at Europa are well-understood, and JEO is prepared for the radiation environment at Europa. Europa science is mature, and hypotheses are well-formed. Five broad investigations have been defined to address the overarching goal: the Ocean, the Ice Shell, Chemistry, Geology and the Jupiter System. Measuring Europa's tides provides a simple and definitive test of the existence of an internal ocean - and the ocean and ice shell can be studied and characterized. Composition and chemistry form the linkages that enable understanding Europa's potential for life and habitability in the context of geologic processes, probe the interior structure, and record the evolution of the surface under the influence of internal and external processes. The search for recent or current geologic activity is important for understanding the origin of landforms, and especially significant for understanding Europa's potential for habitability. Understanding the Jupiter system as a whole is critical for placing Europa in its context as a member of the Jovian satellite system and for understanding the origin and evolution of the system, including

  18. Formation of lenticulae on Europa by saucer-shaped sills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manga, Michael; Michaut, Chloé

    2017-04-01

    Europa's surface contains numerous quasi-elliptical features called pits, domes, spots and small chaos. We propose that these features, collectively referred to as lenticulae, are the surface expression of saucer-shaped sills of liquid water in Europa's ice shell. In particular, the inclined sheets of water that surround a horizontal inner sill limit the lateral extent of intrusion, setting the lateral dimension of lenticulae. Furthermore, the inclined sheets disrupt the ice above the intrusion allowing the inner sill to thicken to produce the observed relief of lenticulae and to fracture the crust to form small chaos. Scaling relationships between sill depth and lateral extent imply that the hypothesized intrusions are, or were, 1-5 km below the surface. Liquid water is predicted to exist presently under pits and for a finite time under chaos and domes.

  19. Water generation and transport below Europa's strike-slip faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalousová, Klára; Souček, Ondřej; Tobie, Gabriel; Choblet, Gaël.; Čadek, Ondřej

    2016-12-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa has a very young surface with the abundance of unique terrains that indicate recent endogenic activity. Morphological models as well as spectral observations suggest that it might possess shallow lenses of liquid water within its outer ice shell. Here we investigate the generation and possible accumulation of liquid water below the tidally activated strike-slip faults using a numerical model of two-phase ice-water mixture in two-dimensional Cartesian geometry. Our results suggest that generation of shallow partially molten regions underneath Europa's active strike-slip faults is possible, but their lifetime is constrained by the formation of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities due to the negative buoyancy of the melt. Once formed, typically within a few million years, these instabilities efficiently transport the meltwater through the shell. Consequently, the maximum water content in the partially molten regions never exceeds 10% which challenges their possible detection by future exploration mission.

  20. 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.

  1. Patterns of fracture and tidal stresses on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helfenstein, P.; Parmentier, E. M.

    1983-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Numerical Implementation of Ice Rheology for Europa's Shell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

    We present a discussion of approximations to the temperature dependent part of the rheology of ice. We have constructed deformation maps using the superplastic rheology of Goldsby & Kohlstedt and find that the rheologies that control convective flow in the Europa's are likely grain boundary sliding and basal slip for a range of grain sizes 0.1 mm < d < 1 cm. We compare the relative merits of two different approximations to the temperature dependence of viscosity and argue that for temperature ranges appropriate to Europa, implementing the non-Newtonian, lab-derived flow law directly is required to accurately judge the onset of convection in the ice shell and temperature gradient in the near-surface ice.

  4. Domes on Europa: The Role of Thermally Induced Compositional Diapirism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

    The surface of 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, we suggest that diapirs may initiate by thermal convection that induces compositional segregation within Europa's ice shell. This double-diffusive convection scenario allows sufficient buoyancy for icy plumes to create the observed surface topography, if the ice shell has a very small effective elastic thickness (approximately 0.1 to 0.5 km) and contains low-eutectic-point impurities at the percent level. Thermal buoyancy, compositional buoyancy and double-diffusive convection are discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcewen, A. S.

    1986-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

  8. 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).

  9. The EJSM Jupiter-Europa Orbiter: Planning Payload

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    In the decade since the first return of Europa data by the Galileo spacecraft, the scientific understanding of Europa has greatly matured leading to the formulation of sophisticated new science objectives to be addressed through the acquisition of new data. The Jupiter-Europa Orbiter (JEO) is one component of the proposed multi-spacecraft Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) designed to obtain data in support of these new science objectives. The JEO planning payload, while notional, is used to quantify engineering aspects of the mission and spacecraft design, and operational scenarios required to obtain the data necessary to meet the science objectives. The instruments were defined to demonstrate the viability of meeting the measurement objectives, performing while in the background radiation environment, and the ability to meet stringent planetary protection requirements. The actual instrument suite would ultimately be the result of an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) selection process carried out by NASA. The JEO planning payload consists of a notional set of remote sensing instruments, fields-and-plasma instruments, and both X-band and Ka band telecommunications systems which provide Doppler and range data for accurate orbit reconstruction. For JEO, the sensor portions of the instruments are located on the nadir facing deck of the spacecraft while a shared chassis houses the electronics portion of the instruments making optimal use of radiation shielding mass. A spacecraft supplied 10 meter boom is deployed for use by the JEO Magnetometer. All instruments are co-aligned and nominally nadir pointing for simplification of spacecraft operations. Instrument articulation required for target motion compensation, limb viewing or other purposes will be implemented within the instrument. Spacecraft telemetry and telecommand interfaces are nominally Spacewire for high-bandwidth instruments and Mil-Std-1553 for low-bandwidth instruments. Instrument power is provided by a

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. Modeling the Interaction of Europa with the Jovian Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, M.; Combi, M. R.; Daldorff, L.; Gombosi, T. I.; Hansen, K. C.; Jia, X.; Kivelson, M. G.; Tenishev, V.

    2011-12-01

    The interaction of Jupiter's corotating magnetosphere with Europa's subsurface water ocean is responsible for the observed induced dipolar magnetic field. Furthermore the pick-up process of newly ionized particles from Europa's neutral atmosphere alters the magnetic and electric field topology around the moon. We use the Block-Adaptive-Tree-Solarwind-Roe-Upwind-Scheme (BATS-R-US) of the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) to model the interaction of Europa with the Jovian magnetosphere. The BATS-R-US code solves the governing equations of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) in a fully 3D adaptive mesh. In our approach we solve the equations for one single ion species, starting from the work by Kabin et al. (J. Geophys. Res., 104, A9, 19983-19992, 1999) accounting for the exospheric mass loading, ion-neutral charge exchange, and ion-electron recombination. We continue by separately solving the electron pressure equation and furthermore extend the magnetic induction equation by the resistive and Hall terms. The resistive term accounts for the finite electron diffusivity and thus allows a more adequate description of the effect of magnetic diffusion due to collisions [Ledvina et al., Sp. Sci. Rev., 139:143-189, 2008]. For this purpose we use ion-electron and electron-neutral collision rates presented by Schunk and Nagy (Ionospheres, Cambridge University Press, 2000). The Hall term allows ions and electrons to move at different velocities while the magnetic field remains frozen to the electrons. The assumed charge neutrality of the ion-electron plasma is maintained everywhere at all times. The model is run at different phases of Jupiter's rotation reflecting the different locations of Europa with respect to the center of the plasma sheet and is compared to measurements obtained by the Galileo magnetometer [Kivelson et al., J. Geophys. Res., 104:4609-4626, 1999]. The resulting influence on the induced magnetic dipolar field is studied and compared to the results from the

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. On the Persistence of an Ocean on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travis, B.; Palguta, J.; Schubert, G.

    2008-12-01

    Data from the Galileo mission indicate that Europa possesses a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell. However, the thickness of the outer ice shell and the depth of the ocean remain uncertain. The past state of the outer H2O layer is even less constrained. We present results of a computational model of the thermal evolution of Europa's interior, that suggest an ocean could have existed beneath an ice shell throughout most of Europa's history, maintained in part by pore water convection in the silicate mantle. Our numerical simulator predicts a thermal history by solving the time-dependent governing equations of mass, momentum and energy conservation in spherical coordinates. The various processes included in the simulations are hydrothermal convection (through silicate mantle pores), thermal diffusion, salt transport, phase changes, radiogenic heating, parameterized convection in the ocean and ice layers, and tidal dissipative heating (tdh) in an ice shell. The vigor of hydrothermal convection is characterized by the Rayleigh number, which depends on the product, kH, where k is mantle permeability and H is the thickness of the convecting layer. Studies of terrestrial permeabilities are used to constrain the permeability of Europa's silicate mantle. Significant permeability has been found on Earth at depths up to 25 km. Accounting for differing gravity, this scales to about 200 km on Europa. There is considerable uncertainty as to when tidal dissipative heating may have commenced in Europa; we adopt Yoder's analysis in which the Laplace resonance among Io, Europa, and Ganymede formed about 500 Myr ago. Despite the 4 Gyr period in our model without tdh, we find that an ocean layer can be maintained by pore water convection in the mantle. This ocean layer, not as thick as when tdh is active, varies in depth with latitude, and thins slowly over time. Concurrently, parameterized convection in the ice shell occurs, and is non-uniform in space and time. Water heated in the

  3. 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.

  4. Convectively Driven Heat Flux Heterogeneity in Europa's Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travis, Bryan; Schubert, G.; Palguta, J.

    2006-09-01

    Features on the surface of Europa may reflect non-uniform heating in an underlying ocean due to variations in heat flux at the mantle surface. Pore water convection can generate a spatially heterogeneous heat flux in a fractured, permeable mantle, as illustrated in 2-D computer simulations of the thermal evolution of Europa. The model uses three layers - core, silicate mantle, and H2O (liquid and frozen). Processes active in the model include radiogenic heating, tidal dissipative heating (TDH), thermal diffusion, latent heat of melting and pore water convection. Starting from a cold Europa, radiogenic heating and TDH produce a temperature profile ranging from a peak near 1150 oC in the deep interior to 15 oC at the mantle surface, overlain by an 80 km deep ocean layer at 3 oC, capped by an ice shell approximately 20 km thick. This structure provides initial conditions for our pore water convection simulation. Mantle permeability is based on Earth values. An initial, very strong flow gives way to a weaker quasi-steady pattern of convection in the mantle's porosity. Plumes rise from the mantle at a roughly 10o spacing, through the ocean layer up to the base of the ice. These are typically 50 - 100 km wide at the base of the ice. Plume heat flux is 10-12 W/m2 during the initial transient, but later drops to about 0.5 - 1.5 W/m2. Heating at the base of the ice shell is spatially heterogeneous, but only strong enough to produce significant melt-through during the initial transient. However, strong spatial heterogeneity of basal heating of the ice shell could significantly influence convection in the ice phase. This work was supported by a grant from the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory and by the NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program.

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Compositional Mapping of the Surfaces of Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-05-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finarelli, Margaret G.

    2004-04-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Halophilic habitats: earth analogs to study Mars and Europa's habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez-Gomez, F.; Fernandez-Remolar, D.; Gomez-Elvira, J.; Rodriguez, N.; Amils, R.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.

    The necessity of the Europa surface exploration comes from the idea of a water ocean existence in its interior. Europa surface presents evidence of an active geology showing many tectonic features that seems to be connected with some liquid interior reservoir. 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. Data from Galileo Spacecraft reported spectra that fit with salty composition of the Europas surface on this potential connected areas to the interior. Several high salinity related analogs ecosystems have been analysed on Earth. Different microorganisms have been isolated from these ecosystems with a wide diversity of methabolisms. From chemolithotrophy to heterotrophy, life is able of gaining energy for development from inorganic to organic material (under oxic or anoxic conditions). The neutral composition of Tirez Lake brines fit well with the spectra of salty terrains of the Europa surface depending on the crystallization path of the liquid from the interior reservoir. Related high salinity but acidic ecosystem is Rio Tinto. Recent results from orbiters around Mars reported the possible existence of permafrost in some areas of the equator (Murray, 2005) and North Pole (Titus, 2001) of the red planet. An interesting Mars analog is permafrost on Earth. Data from a campaign to Alaskan permafrost are reported on this paper. Geophysical analyses and a bore hole were developed on Bearing Land Bridge National Preserve (Alaska) in order to permafrost study. A third example of extreme habitat microbiology characterization is Rio Tinto. An acidic river with high concentration of heavy metals on solution located at South-West Spain. Recently, a drilling campaign was developed in collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center in order to identify and characterize subsurface life (M.A.R.T.E. project). The second objective of the project was to simulate

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Folds on Europa: implications for crustal cycling and accommodation of extension.

    PubMed

    Prockter, L M; Pappalardo, R T

    2000-08-11

    Regional-scale undulations with associated small-scale secondary structures are inferred to be folds on Jupiter's moon Europa. Formation is consistent with stresses from tidal deformation, potentially triggering compressional instability of a region of locally high thermal gradient. Folds may compensate for extension elsewhere on Europa and then relax away over time.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, Robert

    2016-03-01

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

  2. Fault Offsets and Lateral Crustal Movement on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, P. M.

    1985-01-01

    Structural evidence is presented for tension cracking associated with strike slip faulting and crustal movement in the bright ice covered Galilean satellite Europa. The structure and morphology of wedge shaped bands argues that they formed as a result of the rotation and lateral displacement of crustal units bounded by near vertical faults penetrating through the brittle crustal layer. The significant rotation and lateral motion of crustal blocks near the anti-jove point on Europa, without graben formation, also argues that the lithosphere in the fractured area is mechanically decoupled from the solid silicate interior, by either warm ice at depth or liquid water. Ice at depth and at a large fraction of its melting temperature is expected to behave as a fluid over geologically short time intervals due to its extremely low viscosity relative to the cold, brittle ice near the surface. One proposed convection mechanism is thus considered unlikely as it would be difficult to transmit internal stress through a decoupling layer to the surface.

  3. 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.

  4. Designing capture trajectories to unstable periodic orbits around Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, Ryan P.; Lam, Try

    2006-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Topographic variations in chaos on Europa: Implications for diapiric formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, Paul M.; Pappalardo, Robert T.

    2004-08-01

    Disrupted terrain, or chaos, on Europa, might have formed through melting of a floating ice shell from a subsurface ocean [Carr et al., 1998; Greenberg et al., 1999], or breakup by diapirs rising from the warm lower portion of the ice shell [Head and Pappalardo, 1999; Collins et al., 2000]. Each model makes specific and testable predictions for topographic expression within chaos and relative to surrounding terrains on local and regional scales. High-resolution stereo-controlled photoclinometric topography indicates that chaos topography, including the archetypal Conamara Chaos region, is uneven and commonly higher than surrounding plains by up to 250 m. Elevated and undulating topography is more consistent with diapiric uplift of deep material in a relatively thick ice shell, rather than melt-through and refreezing of regionally or globally thin ice by a subsurface ocean. Vertical and horizontal scales of topographic doming in Conamara Chaos are consistent with a total ice shell thickness >15 km. Contact between Europa's ocean and surface may most likely be indirectly via diapirism or convection.

  7. Examining topographic variability within chaos terrain on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, G. W.; Prockter, L. M.; Schenk, P.

    2008-12-01

    Chaos terrain is a unique and prevalent surface feature on the Galilean satellite Europa that forms as a result of the disruption of subcircular regions of the satellite's surface. Evidence suggests that these features are endogenic and that they form via processes involving the interaction of a mobile substrate with a brittle surface. Based on the morphology and relative topography of prominent and well-imaged examples of chaos terrain, models have been proposed suggesting that the mobile substrate could be either liquid water or ductile ice. Using a digital elevation model (DEM) of Conamara Chaos, Schenk and Pappalardo (2004) alluded to the presence of several prominent domes within the margins of the feature. They concluded that this was best described by a formation mechanism for chaos involving the diapiric upwelling of a ductile ice substrate, with the coalescence of several individual diapirs in the shallow subsurface. To explore this result in more detail, we use Fourier analysis to examine the long-wavelength components of the topography of several regions of chaos utilizing DEMs of Europa's surface produced utilizing stereo-controlled photoclinometry. Through this analysis, we identify the presence, size, and distribution of domes within the boundaries of chaos terrain and, with this information, examine how topographic variability within chaos terrain can be used to constrain proposed formation mechanisms for this unique feature-type.

  8. Topographic variations in chaos on Europa: Implications for diapiric formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul M.; Pappalardo, Robert T.

    2004-01-01

    Disrupted terrain, or chaos, on Europa, might have formed through melting of a floating ice shell from a subsurface ocean [Cam et al., 1998; Greenberg et al., 19991, or breakup by diapirs rising from the warm lower portion of the ice shell [Head and Pappalardo, 1999; Collins et al., 20001. Each model makes specific and testable predictions for topographic expression within chaos and relative to surrounding terrains on local and regional scales. High-resolution stereo-controlled photoclinometric topography indicates that chaos topography, including the archetypal Conamara Chaos region, is uneven and commonly higher than surrounding plains by up to 250 m. Elevated and undulating topography is more consistent with diapiric uplift of deep material in a relatively thick ice shell, rather than melt-through and refreezing of regionally or globally thin ice by a subsurface ocean. Vertical and horizontal scales of topographic doming in Conamara Chaos are consistent with a total ice shell thickness >15 km. Contact between Europa's ocean and surface may most likely be indirectly via diapirism or convection.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

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

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

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

  11. Observational and Theoretical Constraints on Plume Activity at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nimmo, F.; Pappalardo, R.; Cuzzi, J.

    2007-12-01

    The recently-detected plume activity on Enceladus [1] has raised the question of whether Europa, too, might be active. The few Galileo images devoted to searches for plumes yielded no detections; comparisons between Voyager and Galileo images suggest that less than ~1mm of resurfacing has happened in the past 20 years over lengthscales of a few km [2]. Cassini observations of Europa's oxygen torus [3] suggest a column abundance and loss rate roughly consistent with modelled O sputtering rates [4,5]. However, the tenuous atmosphere does appear to be spatially non- uniform [6]. The observations suggest that plumes or other non-sputtering sources produce vapour at rates less than roughly 10~kg/s, or less than 10% of the Enceladus plume rate [1]. One possible source of vapour on Europa is shear heating [7,8]. For nominal Europa parameters the predicted rate of vapour production is roughly 1~kg/s per km of fault and the vapour exit velocity is ~450~m/s, much less than Europa's escape velocity. These results suggest that the bulk of the vapour will reimpact the surface after forming a plume approximately 70~km high. The resulting thermal anomaly due to vapour recondensation is ~2~K. To generate a total vapour production rate of 10~kg/s requires roughly 10~km of active faults. If there is a single plume, the local resurfacing rate is ~0.05~mm/yr, compatible with the observational resurfacing constraints [2]. Using a global lineament map [9] and assuming equi-spaced active faults, areas predicted to show most intense shear heating are two regions near the S pole (at ~90° and ~270° longitude) and one smaller patch near the N pole at ~270°. Shear heating, in addition to vapour production, may also cause elevated surface temperatures resulting in thermal segregation of ice [10]. These predictions may be compared with existing observations from Galileo, Cassini, and Earth-based telescopes [e.g. 6], and may assist in the planning of potential future spacecraft missions. [1

  12. 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

  13. Kinetic modeling of the composition and dynamics of volatile's distribution in Europa's exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The surface-bound Europa's exosphere is tightly connected to both the Jovian magnetosphere as well as to Europa's icy surface. The neutral species in the exosphere are mostly produced by the Jovian magnetospheric ion sputtering of the water ice surface and direct ejection from Europa's plume. Here, we present results of our model study of the distribution of the neutral species in Europa's exosphere, their escape and migration over the moon's surface. The work is a part of a more global effort aimed at fully coupled understanding of the interaction between Europa's exosphere and Jovian magnetosphere. The modeled neutral species are produced via sputtering (O2 and H2O), directly ejected into the plume (H2O), or produced via photolytic or electron impact reactions (OH, O2, O, H). The computational domain extends to altitudes up to ~10 RE, which exceeds the radius of Europa's Hill sphere (~8.5 RE, Miljkovic et al., 2012). Jupiter's and Europa's gravity are taken into consideration. The modeling is performed using our kinetic Adaptive Mesh Particle Simulator (Tenishev et al., 2013), where the exospheric species are represented by a large set of the model particles governed by the same physical laws as those of the real exosphere. The calculated HI and OI brightness synthetic images are compared with those obtained with Hubble Space Telescope (Roth et al., 2014).

  14. 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.

  15. New Observations of Europa's Surface Composition: Discovery of an Anti-Jovian Salty Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Patrick D.; Brown, Michael E.; Hand, Kevin P.

    2014-11-01

    The surface composition of Europa is the best means available to probe its global chemical cycle and constrain the composition of its ocean. New observations of Europa's near-infrared reflectance spectra were obtained with the OSIRIS instrument on the Keck II telescope. Previous investigations of Europa's surface composition have mostly relied on Galileo NIMS infrared spectra; though NIMS measurements have high spatial resolution, they lack spectral resolution and span a limited spatial extent. Conversely, our observations comprise a near-global spectral map of Europa in the infrared H and K bands. At ~ 1 nm spectral resolution and ~ 100 km spatial resolution, these data reveal global distributions of key spectral features, enabling a more complete characterization of Europa's surface composition than previously possible. Simple linear spectral modelling of these data reproduces the global abundance distributions of water ice and sulfuric acid hydrate. In addition, this modelling reveals a suggestively "salty" region on Europa's anti-Jovian hemisphere. This region is spectrally distinct from both the trailing hemisphere bullseye and the spectrum of pure water ice, and shows a direct spatial correlation to an anti-Jovian chaos unit. Similar chaos regions show enhancements of saltier spectra as well, though to a lesser degree. We report three spectral end member regions on Europa's surface, represented by the trailing hemisphere bullseye, the leading hemisphere north polar "icy" region, and the anti-Jovian "salty" chaos unit. We present global compositional maps, and discuss the potential compositions of the three end member regions.

  16. Thermal Model of Europa: Calculating the Effects of Surface Topography and Radiation from Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Kristen; Paige, D.; Hayne, P.; Greenhagen, B.; Schenk, P.

    2010-10-01

    Europa's surface temperature distribution results from global effects such as insolation and heat flow, as well as local topography and possibly active tectonic processes. Accurate surface temperature models will greatly benefit future orbital investigations searching for global-scale variations in heat flow and local thermal anomalies resulting from frictional heating on faults or diapirs (Paige et al, this meeting). At the global scale, a major challenge for such models is the strong influence of Jupiter on the solar and infrared flux at Europa's surface. At the local scale, the thermal signature is dominated by complex topography. In order to address these two problems, we developed a model that modifies the Digital Moon program created by D. Paige and S. Meeker (2009) that uses a 3-dimensional geodesic gridding scheme to calculate the surface temperature of a body due to multiple scatterings of radiation and heat flow. We can account for Jupiter's influence on Europa by including data on Jupiter's solar and infrared radiation (which accounts for roughly 30% of the radiation at Europa), and on Europa's orbit (as Europa spends several minutes out of its 3.55 day orbital period in Jupiter's shadow). To address the issue of Europa's complicated terrain, we have simulated the effects of local heat flow as well as added topography and surface roughness to the thermal model by using digital elevation models produced by Schenk and Pappalardo (2004) that show altitude changes of several hundred meters and tectonic features that may produce regions of anomalously high heat flow.

  17. Measurements of the spin states of Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, G. C.

    2011-12-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Magnetospheric ion bombardment profiles of satellites - Europa and Dione

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pospieszalska, M. K.; Johnson, R. E.

    1989-01-01

    Bombardment profiles generated by tracking ions in magnetospheric plasmas onto the surface of a satellite with a suitable description of the ion motion are used to calculate the spatial dependence across a satellite surface of the ion bombardment/implantation rate for satellites embedded in planetary magnetospheric plasmas. Attention is given to the results of a parameter study; a general dependency on ion gyroradius and pitch angle is noted, together with a strong dependence of access to the leading hemisphere on pitch-angle distribution. Gyromotion is found to cause differences in the bombardment of the inner and outer hemisphere. Reasonable speed and pitch-angle distributions are used to calculate profiles for sulfur ions incident on Europa and oxygen ones incident on Dione.

  4. Fractal analysis of Conamara Chaos' fracture systems, Europa (Jupiter)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez Lopez, R.; Rodriguez Pascua, M. A.; Prieto Ballesteros, O.; Kargel, J. S.

    2003-04-01

    Fractal analysis of the fracture pattern of Conamara Chaos area (8oN, 274oW) of Europa satellite has been made. We have used the tectonic interpretation in Rodriguez Pascua et al. 2003, which shows two recognizable tectonic phases besides a relic background. Fractal dimensions for these two systems are 1.41 (ancient fault system) and 1.77 (active fault system). This means that the second phase reactivated some of the fractures of the first stage. Fracture density maps are in agreement with the conventional tectonic analysis, pointing out the same stress field tensor. Minimum density values for the blocky terrain on the active system map indicate a different behaviour of the matrix material than the brittle of the surrounding area.

  5. Alternative energy sources could support life on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Irwin, Louis N.

    Energy pervades the solar system in a variety of forms, including electromagnetic and particle radiation, magnetism, heat, kinetic motion, and gravitational interactions. Life on Earth is sustained by the conversion of light and chemical energy into proton gradients across membranes that drive the phosphorylation of high-energy intermediate metabolites.The use of light and reduced chemical bonds as energy sources is not surprising on Earth, where the intensity of light is strong and an oxidizing atmosphere favors energy-yielding chemical reactions. However, any naturally occurring energy gradient that generates charge separation across boundary layers could theoretically yield the free energy needed to sustain life. Using specific, plausible examples from Jupiter's ice-covered satellite Europa, we propose that alternative energy sources could sustain life where neither light nor an oxidizing atmosphere is available.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Biosignature detection at an Arctic analog to Europa.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Salt-Enhanced Hydrothermal Convection in Europa's Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travis, B. J.; Schubert, G.; Palguta, J.

    2006-12-01

    Features on the surface of Europa may reflect non-uniform heating in an underlying ocean due to variations in mantle heat flux. Pore water convection can generate a spatially heterogeneous heat flux, as illustrated in two dimensional computer simulations of the thermal evolution of Europa. The Europan ocean and mantle are likely to contain significant amounts of salts, which may influence hydrothermal convection. Our model uses three layers: core, silicate mantle, and H2O. Processes active in the model include radiogenic heating, tidal dissipative heating (TDH), thermal diffusion, latent heat of melting, pore water convection and salt transport. Starting from a cold uniform body, radiogenic heating and TDH produce a temperature profile ranging from a peak near 1150 oC in the deep interior to 15 oC at the mantle surface, overlain by an 80 km deep ocean layer at 3 oC, capped by an ice shell approximately 20 km thick. This structure provides initial conditions for our pore water convection simulation. For no-salt conditions, an initial, very strong flow gives way to a weaker quasi-steady pattern of convection in the mantle's porosity. Plumes rise from the mantle at a roughly 10o spacing, through the ocean layer up to the base of the ice. These are typically 50 to 100 km wide at the base of the ice. Plume heat flux is 10-12 W/m2 during the initial transient, but later drops to about 1.0 W/m2. Heating at the base of the ice shell is spatially heterogeneous, but only strong enough to produce significant melt-through during the initial transient. The addition of salt produces an enduring time- dependent convective pattern, with episodic bursts of heat flux. This work was supported by a grant from the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory and by the NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program.

  12. 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].

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

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

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

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

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

  17. 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.

  18. Photochemistry-emission coupled model for Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cessateur, Gaël; Barthelemy, Mathieu; Peinke, Isabel

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  20. 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.

  1. A Dynamical Systems Approach to the Design of the Science Orbit Around Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gomez, Gerard; Lara, Martin; Russell, Ryan P.

    2006-01-01

    The science orbit for a future mission to Europa requires low eccentricity, low altitude, and high inclination. However, high inclination orbits around planetary satellites are unstable due to third-body perturbations. Without control, the orbiter impacts Europa after few weeks. To minimize control, a tour over the stable-unstable, averaged manifolds of unstable frozen orbits has been suggested. We proceed with the unaveraged equations and study the manifolds of unstable orbits that are periodic in a rotating frame attached to Europa. Massive numerical computation helps in understanding the unstable dynamics close to Europa, and, thus, in selecting long lifetime high inclination orbits. A final test of a selected set of initial conditions on a high fidelity, ephemeris model, validate the results.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores Martinez, C. L.

    2014-02-01

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

  3. Towards an Astrobiological Vision for the Outer Solar System: The Europa and Enceladus Explorer Mission Designs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konstantinidis, K.; Flores Martinez, C. L.; Hildebrandt, M.; Förstner, R.

    2014-02-01

    Two DLR funded projects to develop a submersible for Europa and a melting probe for Enceladus are presented. A lander mission concept is given. Instruments are proposed, assuming analogous traits for both biospheres.

  4. 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.

  5. Impact Features on Europa: Rheological and Thermal States of the Icy Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mevel, L.; Grasset, O.; Mercier, E.

    2001-03-01

    Rheological and thermal characteristics of Europa icy crust are studied in the two impact features Tyre and Callanish. The importance of grain size, composition, and deformation rates, on the rheological structure of the icy crust are investigated.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Plans and Combined Operations of the Flight Elements of the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erd, Christian; Clark, K.; Ejsm System Teams

    2010-05-01

    The Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) is a joint NASA-ESA mission candidate, where ESA would provide the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) and NASA would provide the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO). Both spacecraft are foreseen to be launched in 2020, allowing for a joint exploration of the Jovian system, and the Galilean moons. The planning of the development, implementation and combined science phase will be described in the poster.

  11. The sulphur dilemma: are there biosignatures on Europa's icy and patchy surface?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chela-Flores, J.

    2006-07-01

    We discuss whether sulphur traces on Jupiter's moon Europa could be of biogenic origin. The compounds detected by the Galileo mission have been conjectured to be endogenic, most likely of cryovolcanic origin, due to their non-uniform distribution in patches. The Galileo space probe first detected the sulphur compounds, as well as revealing that this moon almost certainly has a volcanically heated and potentially habitable ocean hiding beneath a surface layer of ice. In planning future exploration of Europa there are options for sorting out the source of the surficial sulphur. For instance, one possibility is searching for the sulphur source in the context of the study of the Europa Microprobe In Situ Explorer (EMPIE), which has been framed within the Jovian Minisat Explorer Technology Reference Study (ESA). It is conceivable that sulphur may have come from the nearby moon Io, where sulphur and other volcanic elements are abundant. Secondly, volcanic eruptions in Europa's seafloor may have brought sulphur to the surface. Can waste products rising from bacterial colonies beneath the icy surface be a third alternative significant factor in the sulphur patches on the Europan surface? Provided that microorganisms on Europa have the same biochemical pathways as those on Earth, over geologic time it is possible that autochthonous microbes can add substantially to the sulphur deposits on the surface of Europa. We discuss possible interpretations of the non-water-ice elements (especially the sulphur compound mercaptan) in the context of the studies for future missions. To achieve reliable biosignatures it seems essential to go back to Europa. Our work highlights the type of biogenic signatures that can be searched for when probing Europa's icy and patchy surface.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The search for life on Europa: limiting environmental factors, potential habitats, and Earth analogues.

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

    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 a(H2O) = 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

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

    PubMed

    Reynolds, R T; McKay, C P; Kasting, J 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. In our own solar system, Europa, one of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, could have a liquid ocean which may occasionally receive sunlight through cracks in the overlying ice shell. In such 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 Aeons and in which life could perhaps evolve. We define a zone around a giant planet 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 our solar system, this radiatively-heated habitable zone contains the Earth.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuthe, M.

    2014-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    NASA and ESA have embarked on a joint study of a mission to Europa and the Jupiter system with orbiters developed by NASA, ESA, and possibly JAXA. An international Joint Jupiter Science Definition Team (JJSDT) is defining the science content for the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission study run by NASA and for the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) mission study run by ESA. Engineering teams for both missions are working closely with the JJSDT to define mission concepts that optimize science, cost, and risk. The NASA-led JEO mission addresses a scientifically rich subset of the complete EJSM science goals and is designed to stand alone or in conjunction with the ESA-led JGO. This paper focuses on the NASA-led JEO mission and will describe the concept in the context of a standalone mission. An orbital mission to Europa is driven by the desire to investigate an astrobiological archetype for icy satellite habitability, with a putative warm, salty, water ocean with plausible energy sources. Additionally, JEO will explore the Jupiter system to better understand how Europa's possible habitability is related to the formation scenario of the other Jovian satellites. The JEO mission will perform 2.5-3 years of Jupiter system science, including encounters with Io, Ganymede and Callisto, before insertion into orbit around Europa for a comprehensive set of science campaigns lasting for up to one year. This paper will highlight the JEO mission design and implementation concept. The work reported was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  13. Current Status of the EJSM Jupiter Europa Orbiter: Mission Design and Architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

    NASA and ESA have embarked on a joint study of a mission to Europa and the Jupiter system with orbiters developed by NASA, ESA, and possibly JAXA. An international Jupiter Joint Science Definition Team (JJSDT) is defining the science content for the Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission study run by NASA and for the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) mission study run by ESA. Engineering teams for both missions are working closely with the JJSDT to define mission concepts that optimize science, cost, and risk. The NASA-led JEO mission addresses a scientifically rich subset of the complete EJSM science goals and is designed to stand alone or in conjunction with the ESA-led JGO. This paper focuses on the NASA-led JEO mission and will describe the concept in the context of a standalone mission. An orbital mission to Europa is driven by the desire to investigate an astrobiological archetype for icy satellite habitability, with a warm, salty, water ocean with plausible energy sources. Additionally, JEO will explore the Jupiter system to better understand how Europa's possible habitability is related to the formation scenario of the other Jovian satellites. The JEO mission will perform 2.5 to 3 years of Jupiter system science, including encounters with Io, Ganymede and Callisto, before insertion into orbit around Europa for a comprehensive set of science campaigns lasting for up to one year. This paper will highlight the JEO mission design and implementation concept. The work reported was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  14. Active formation of 'chaos terrain' over shallow subsurface water on Europa.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-16

    Europa, the innermost icy satellite of Jupiter, has a tortured young surface and sustains a liquid water ocean below an ice shell of highly debated thickness. Quasi-circular areas of ice disruption called chaos terrains are unique to Europa, and both their formation and the ice-shell thickness depend on Europa's thermal state. No model so far has been able to explain why features such as Conamara Chaos stand above surrounding terrain and contain matrix domes. Melt-through of a thin (few-kilometre) shell is thermodynamically improbable and cannot raise the ice. The buoyancy of material rising as either plumes of warm, pure ice called diapirs or convective cells in a thick (>10 kilometres) shell is insufficient to produce the observed chaos heights, and no single plume can create matrix domes. Here we report an analysis of archival data from Europa, guided by processes observed within Earth's subglacial volcanoes and ice shelves. The data suggest that chaos terrains form above liquid water lenses perched within the ice shell as shallow as 3 kilometres. Our results suggest that ice-water interactions and freeze-out give rise to the diverse morphologies and topography of chaos terrains. The sunken topography of Thera Macula indicates that Europa is actively resurfacing over a lens comparable in volume to the Great Lakes in North America.

  15. Trade space evaluation of multi-mission architectures for the exploration of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alibay, F.; Strange, N. J.

    Recent cuts to NASA's planetary exploration budget have precipitated a debate in the community on whether large flagship missions to planetary bodies in the outer solar system or sequences of smaller missions as part of a long-term exploration program would be more beneficial. The work presented explores the trade between these two approaches as applied to the exploration of Europa and concentrates on identifying combinations of flyby, orbiter and/or lander missions that achieve high value at a lower cost than the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) flagship mission concept. The effects of the value attributed to the four main science objectives for Europa, which can be broadly classified as investigating the ocean, ice-shell, composition and geology, are demonstrated. The current approach proposed to complete the ocean exploration objective is shown to have conflicting requirements with the other three objectives. For missions that fully address all the science objectives, such as JEO, the ocean goal is therefore found to be the main cost driver. Instrument combinations for low-cost flyby missions are also presented, and simple lander designs able to achieve a wide range of objectives at a low additional cost are identified. Finally, the current designs for the Europa Habitability Mission (EHM) are compared to others in the trade space, based on the prioritization given to the science goals for the exploration of Europa. The current EHM flyby mission (Clipper) is found to be highly promising in terms of providing very high potential science value at a low cost.

  16. A New Map of the Tyre Impact Region of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, H. M.; Prockter, L. M.

    2013-12-01

    Images of the Tyre feature obtained by the Galileo spacecraft's Solid State Imager (SSI) at ~170 m/pixel show concentric graben and multiple secondary craters surrounding a central rough-textured circular region, indicating an impact origin. Only crosscut by two double ridges and a large fracture, the crater is young relative to the surrounding terrain. The crater and its surroundings were mapped by Kadel et al. (2000), who also interpreted the geological history of the region. We have remapped the Tyre area for the specific purpose of creating a product that can be used for detailed comparison with 6 km/pixel Galileo Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) data. The combined SSI and NIMS product will be used to determine variations in composition among different units using linear mixture modeling employing cryogenic laboratory reference spectra, a technique that has been successfully implemented elsewhere on Europa by e.g., Shirley et al. (2010). The major difference between our mapping results and those of Kadel et al. is that we subdivide some of the units, in order to better compare them with NIMS pixels in the next (future) phase of the study. We use an orthographic projection centered at 34 N, 146 W, and construct a geologic map that extends from 25 N to 42 N and 153 W to 133 W. We identify a number of units, subunits and structural features on the basis of relative albedo and morphology. The units are grouped into six categories: Crater materials, chaos, ridges, bands, pre-impact background terrains, and indeterminate features. Many of these units are consistent with those found in the Kadel et al. study, but we find a number of bands and chaos-related materials in the background ridged plains, that have not been mapped elsewhere. These are of a sufficient size to be relevant to our future compositional analysis. We find three types of chaos (compared to two from the previous study), which are primarily concentrated in the south of the study region. Type

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Multi-Ring Basins on Europa: Implications for Subsurface Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turtle, E. P.; Phillips, C. B.

    1997-07-01

    Two of the most circular Europan maculae are surrounded by multiple rings (e.g., Moore et al, LPSC XXVIII, 1997, Thomas, LPSC XXVIII, 1997) Although debate still exists as to whether these features are exogenic or endogenic in origin (Moore et al, LPSC XXVIII, 1997), in this study we have assumed that they are analogous to multi-ring impact basins seen elsewhere in the solar system. The rings around these structures are thought to be formed as a result of inward flow in a fluid soft ice or water layer located beneath the rigid icy crust (McKinnon and Melosh, Icarus 44, 1980). This flow occurs as the crater relaxes and induces radial tension, which is relieved by the formation of concentric normal faults around the crater (Allemand and Thomas, JGR 96, 1991). We are currently using finite-element methods to model the formation of multi-ring basins. Three candidate multi-ring basin systems exist on Europa: Tyre Macula (34 N, 146 W); the provisionally-named Callanish Macula (16 S, 334 W); and the much smaller crater Taliesin (23 S, 137 W). An interesting fourth data point is the relatively young crater Pwyll (Greeley et al., LPSC XXVIII, 1997) which has no visible concentric rings. Preliminary results from our modeling indicate that relaxation of an impact basin emplaced in a layered surface, with a thin ( ~ 10 km) liquid water layer sandwiched between a thin rigid upper crust of comparable thickness and a thick rigid lower layer, induces sufficient stresses to cause fracturing of the overlying ice (5-10 bars, Parmerter and Coon, JGR 77, 1972). For thicker rigid surface or liquid water layers, the radial extent of the zone of sufficient extensional stress is inconsistent with the observed fractures around Callanish. We are currently varying the thicknesses of the rigid and liquid layers, as well as the transient crater size, to constrain the crustal structure necessary for the formation of the observed craters.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. System concepts and enabling technologies for an ESA low-cost mission to Jupiter / Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renard, P.; Koeck, C.; Kemble, Steve; Atzei, Alessandro; Falkner, Peter

    2004-11-01

    The European Space Agency is currently studying the Jovian Minisat Explorer (JME), as part of its Technology Reference Studies (TRS), used for its development plan of technologies enabling future scientific missions. The JME focuses on the exploration of the Jovian system and particularly of Europa. The Jupiter Minisat Orbiter (JMO) study concerns the first mission phase of JME that counts up to three missions using pairs of minisats. The scientific objectives are the investigation of Europa's global topography, the composition of its (sub)surface and the demonstration of existence of a subsurface ocean below its icy crust. The present paper describes the candidate JMO system concept, based on a Europa Orbiter (JEO) supported by a communications relay satellite (JRS), and its associated technology development plan. It summarizes an analysis performed in 2004 jointly by ESA and the EADS-Astrium Company in the frame of an industrial technical assistance to ESA.

  3. Multi-Body Capture to Low-altitude Circular Orbits at Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grebow, Daniel J.; Petropoulos, Anastassios E.; Finlayson, Paul A.

    2011-01-01

    For capture to a 200-km circular orbit around Europa, millions of different points along the orbit are simulated in the Jupiter-Europa Restricted 3-Body Problem. The transfers exist as members of families of trajectories, where certain families consistently outperform the others. The trajectories are not sensitive to changes in inclination for the final circular orbit. The top performing trajectories appear to follow the invariant manifolds of L2 Lyapunov orbits for capture into a retrograde orbit, and in some cases saving up to 40% of the from the patched 2-body problem. Transfers are attached to the current nominal mission for NASA's Jupiter-Europa Orbiter, where the total cost is roughly 100 m/s less than the baseline mission.

  4. 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.

  5. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa and the Other Galilean Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sittler, Edward; Cooper, John; Hartle, Richard; Lipatov, Alexander; Mahaffy, Paul; Paterson, William; Pachalidis, Nick; Coplan, Mike; Cassidy, Tim

    2010-05-01

    NASA and ESA are planning the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) to the Jupiter system with specific emphasis to Europa and Ganymede, respectively. The Japanese Space Agency is also planning an orbiter mission to explore Jupiter's magnetosphere and the Galilean satellites. For NASA's Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) we are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) with two main goals which can also be applied to the other Galilean moons, 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter's magnetosphere and 2) infer the 4? surface composition to trace elemental [1] and significant isotopic levels. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, and between the moon surfaces and subsurface layers putatively including oceans. The measurement of the interactions for all the Galilean moons can be used to trace the in situ ion measurements of pickup ions back to either Europa's or Ganymede's surface from the respectively orbiting spacecraft. The IMS instrument, being developed under NASA's Astrobiology Instrument Development Program, would maximally achieve plasma measurement requirements for JEO and EJSM while moving forward our knowledge of Jupiter system composition and source processes to far higher levels than previously envisaged. The composition of the global surfaces of Europa and Ganymede can be inferred from the measurement of ejected neutrals and pick-up ions using at minimum an in situ payload including MAG and IMS also fully capable of meeting Level 1 mission requirements for ocean detection and survey. Elemental and isotopic analysis of potentially extruded oceanic materials at the moon surfaces would further support the ocean objectives. These measurements should be made from a polar orbiting spacecraft about Europa or Ganymede at height ~ 100 km. The ejecta produced by

  6. Chronology: An Important (and Potentially Accessible) Parameter in Understanding Europa Surface-Subsurface Material Interchange, Burial, and Resurfacing Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swindle, T. D.

    2001-01-01

    Time is an important parameter in understanding the interaction of the surface and subsurface of Europa. It should be possible to determine potassium-argon and cosmic ray exposure ages in situ on the surface of Europa. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa, Ganymede, and the Jovian Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    NASA and ESA are now planning a reduced version of the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), potentially including a radically descoped Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) but still with magnetometer and plasma instruments. Similar field and plasma instrumentation would also reside on ESA's Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO), which conceivably could carry out multiple flybys of Europa before entering orbit at Ganymede. We are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) designed to measure both major and minor ion species within the high radiation environment of Jupiter s magnetosphere and the icy Galilean moons. The IMS covers the energy range from 10 eV to 30 keV, wide field-ofview (FOV) capability and 10-60 sec time resolution for major ions. This instrument has two main goals: 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter s magnetosphere and 2) infer the global surface composition to trace elemental and significant isotopic levels; these goals are also applicable for in-situ measurements at Ganymede and Callisto, and remotely everywhere via the iogenic plasma for Io. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second goal gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, e.g. mainly from Io to the other moons, and further allows detection of oceanic materials emergent to the moon surfaces from subsurface layers putatively including salt water oceans. Outgassed exospheric materials are probed by the IMS by measuring pickup ions accelerated up to spacecraft altitudes of approximately 100-200 km in electric fields extending through the local magnetospheric environment and moon exosphere to the surface. Our 3D hybrid kinetic model of the moon-magnetosphere interaction is used to construct a global model of electric and magnetic fields for tracing of pickup ion trajectories back to the sources at approximate surface resolution of 100 km. We

  11. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa, Ganymede, and the Jovian System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sittler, E. C., Jr.; Cooper, J. F.; Hartle, R. E.; Paterson, W. R.; Christian, E. R.; Lipatov, A. S.; Mahaffy, P R.; Paschalidis, N.; Sarantos, M.; Coplan, M. A.; Cassidy, T. A.; Wurz, P.

    2011-01-01

    NASA and ESA are now planning a reduced version of the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), potentially including a radically descoped Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) but still with magnetometer and plasma instruments. Similar field and plasma instrumentation would also reside on ESA's Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO), which conceivably could carry out multiple flybys of Europa before entering orbit at Ganymede. We are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) designed to measure both major and minor ion species within the high radiation environment of Jupiter's magnetosphere and the icy Galilean moons. The IMS covers the energy range from 10 eV to 30 keY, wide field-of-view (FOV) capability and 10-60 sec time resolution for major ions. This instrument has two main goals: 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter's magnetosphere and 2) infer the global surface composition to trace elemental and significant isotopic levels; these goals are also applicable for in-situ measurements at Ganymede and Callisto, and remotely everywhere via the iogenic plasma for 10. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second goal gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, e.g. mainly from 10 to the other moons, and further allows detection of oceanic materials emergent to the moon surfaces from subsurface layers putatively including salt water oceans. Outgassed exospheric materials are probed by the IMS by measuring pickup ions accelerated up to spacecraft altitudes of approximately 100-200 km in electric fields extending through the local magnetospheric environment and moon exosphere to the surface. Our 3D hybrid kinetic model of the moon-magnetosphere interaction is used to construct a global model of electric and magnetic fields for tracing of pickup ion trajectories back to the sources at approximate surface resolution of 100 km. We

  12. Patterns of fracture and tidal stresses due to nonsynchronous rotation: Implications for fracturing on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parmentier, E. M.; Helfenstein, P.

    1985-04-01

    Global lineaments on Europa were interpreted as fractures in an icy crust. A variety of lineament types were identified, which appear to form a systematic pattern on the surface. For a synchronously rotating body, the patterns of fractures observed could be produced by a combination of stresses due to orbital recession, orbital eccentricity, and internal contraction. However, it was recently suggested that the forced eccentricity of Europa's orbit may result in nonsynchronous rotation. The hypothesis that fractures in a thin icy crust may have formed in response to stresses resulting from nonsynchronous rotation is studied.

  13. Stress Field Above an Ice Cauldron on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, S.; Montesi, L.

    2014-12-01

    Chaos and Macula are geological features on Europa where the pre-existing surface material has been broken into discrete blocks surrounded by matrix materials and stand above the surrounding terrain with a dome like topography. Schmidt et al. (2011) recently proposed that Maculae and Chaos are analogue to terrestrial ice cauldron. A melt body would form in the ice shelf above an ascending warm ice diapir, with briny water erupting along the resulting cracks, and doming a result of crystallization. We study here the deformation and stress fields generated by plume ascent, ice melting, and subsequent crystallization to test whether the ice cauldron analogy can explain the morphology of cracks and the topographic signature of maculae. We consider an axisymmetric finite element model of an ice shell built with ABAQUS. Ice is regarded as an non-associated elastic-plastic solid with Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion. We determine the stress field and in the ice shell and discuss the resulting topography and ice failure mode. Uplift is initiated by reducing the weight of a predefined diapir at the base of the crust. Melting is implemented by increasing in density and reducing the shear strength of a predefined underground lens. The material inside the lens remains solid but its modified material properties are more fluid-like. The stress fields generated in our models give a first indication of the failure mode and direction of cracks in the ice. To explain the observation of impure ice in the matrix of maculae, tensile cracks must propagate from the melt lens to the surface and allow extraction of brine from the subsurface water body. However, compressive stresses dominate in our models, even under the combined effect of diapiric uplift and melting, so that shear failure is common but tensile cracks propagating from the melt lens unlikely. Expansion of the ice when the lens crystallizes has little effect beyond negating stresses generated by melting. However, plastic strain

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Plasma IMS Composition Measurements for Europa and the Other Galilean Moons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sittler, Edward; Cooper, John; Hartle, Richard; Lipatov, Alexander; Mahaffy, Paul; Paterson, William; Pachalidis, Nick; Coplan, Mike; Cassidy, Tim

    2010-01-01

    NASA and ESA are planning the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) to the Jupiter system with specific emphasis to Europa and Ganymede, respectively. The Japanese Space Agency is also planning an orbiter mission to explore Jupiter's magnetosphere and the Galilean satellites. For NASA's Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) we are developing the 3D Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) with two main goals which can also be applied to the other Galilean moons, 1) measure the plasma interaction between Europa and Jupiter's magnetosphere and 2) infer the 4 pi surface composition to trace elemental and significant isotopic levels. The first goal supports the magnetometer (MAG) measurements, primarily directed at detection of Europa's sub-surface ocean, while the second gives information about transfer of material between the Galilean moons, and between the moon surfaces and subsurface layers putatively including oceans. The measurement of the interactions for all the Galilean moons can be used to trace the in situ ion measurements of pickup ions back to either Europa's or Ganymede's surface from the respectively orbiting spacecraft. The IMS instrument, being developed under NASA's Astrobiology Instrument Development Program, would maximally achieve plasma measurement requirements for JEO and EJSM while moving forward our knowledge of Jupiter system composition and source processes to far higher levels than previously envisaged. The composition of the global surfaces of Europa and Ganymede can be inferred from the measurement of ejected neutrals and pick-up ions using at minimum an in situ payload including MAG and IMS also fully capable of meeting Level 1 mission requirements for ocean detection and survey. Elemental and isotopic analysis of potentially extruded oceanic materials at the moon surfaces would further support the ocean objectives. These measurements should be made from a polar orbiting spacecraft about Europa or Ganymede at height 100 km. The ejecta produced by

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Exploration Pathways for Europa After Initial In Situ Analyses for Biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hand, K. P.; Murray, A. E.; Garvin, J.; Horst, S.; Brinkerhoff, W.; Edgett, K.; Hoehler, T.; Russell, M.; Rhoden, A.; Yingst, A.; German, C.; Schmidt, B.; Paranicas, C.; Smith, D.; Willis, P.; Hayes, A.; Ehlmann, B.; Lunine, J.; Templeton, A.; Nealson, K.; Cable, M.; Craft, K.; Pappalardo, B.; Phillips, C.

    2017-02-01

    The 2016 Europa Lander Science Definition Team has recently completed its report on the science goals, objectives, and investigations to be conducted by a robotic lander on Europa’s surface. We will present this mission in the context of 2050.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Modeling the Neutral Gas and Plasma Environment of Jupiter's Moon Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, Martin; Tenishev, Valeriy; Hansen, Kenneth; Jia, Xianzhe; Combi, Michael; Gombosi, Tamas

    Jupiter's moon Europa has a thin gravitationally bound neutral atmosphere, which is mostly created through sputtering of high-energy ions impacting on its icy surface. The interaction of Europa with the Jovian magnetosphere is simulated using the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) model BATSRUS. We start from the model by Kabin et al. [JGR, Vol. 104, No. A9, (1999)], which accounts for the exospheric mass loading, ion-neutral charge exchange, and ion-electron recombination. The derived magnetic field topology and plasma speeds are used to calculate the Lorentz force for our test particle Monte Carlo model. We use this model to simulate Europa's plasma and neutral environment by tracking particles created on the moon's surface by sputtering or sublimation, through dissociation and/or ionization in the atmosphere, or entering the system from Jupiter's magnetosphere as high energy ions. Neutral particle trajectories are followed by solving the equation of motion in Europa's gravity field whereas the ion population is additionally subject to the Lorentz force. We will show preliminary results of this work with application to the missions to the Jupiter system currently under consideration by NASA (JEO) and ESA (JGO).

  3. Energetic neutral atoms from a trans-Europa gas torus at Jupiter.

    PubMed

    Mauk, B H; Mitchell, D G; Krimigis, S M; Roelof, E C; Paranicas, C P

    2003-02-27

    The space environments--or magnetospheres--of magnetized planets emit copious quantities of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) at energies between tens of electron volts to hundreds of kiloelectron volts (keV). These energetic atoms result from charge exchange between magnetically trapped energetic ions and cold neutral atoms, and they carry significant amounts of energy and mass from the magnetospheres. Imaging their distribution allows us to investigate the structure of planetary magnetospheres. Here we report the analysis of 50-80 keV ENA images of Jupiter's magnetosphere, where two distinct emission regions dominate: the upper atmosphere of Jupiter itself, and a torus of emission residing just outside the orbit of Jupiter's satellite Europa. The trans-Europa component shows that, unexpectedly, Europa generates a gas cloud comparable in gas content to that associated with the volcanic moon Io. The quantity of gas found indicates that Europa has a much greater impact than hitherto believed on the structure of, and the energy flow within, Jupiter's magnetosphere.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Induced magnetic fields as evidence for subsurface oceans in Europa and Callisto.

    PubMed

    Khurana, K K; Kivelson, M G; Stevenson, D J; Schubert, G; Russell, C T; Walker, R J; Polanskey, C

    1998-10-22

    The Galileo spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter since 7 December 1995, and encounters one of the four galilean satellites-Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto-on each orbit. Initial results from the spacecraft's magnetometer have indicated that neither Europa nor Callisto have an appreciable internal magnetic field, in contrast to Ganymede and possibly Io. Here we report perturbations of the external magnetic fields (associated with Jupiter's inner magnetosphere) in the vicinity of both Europa and Callisto. We interpret these perturbations as arising from induced magnetic fields, generated by the moons in response to the periodically varying plasma environment. Electromagnetic induction requires eddy currents to flow within the moons, and our calculations show that the most probable explanation is that there are layers of significant electrical conductivity just beneath the surfaces of both moons. We argue that these conducting layers may best be explained by the presence of salty liquid-water oceans, for which there is already indirect geological evidence in the case of Europa.

  7. Update on the Model Based Systems Engineering on the Europa Mission Concept Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayer, T.; Chung, Seung; Cole, B.; Cooke, B.; Dekens, F.; Delp, C.; Gontijo, I.; Wagner, D.

    In May 2012 the Europa study team delivered to NASA the final reports on three distinct concepts for exploring Europa on a limited budget. The depth and quality of these reports have been widely praised by independent reviewers as well as by our sponsor. The application of Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) techniques is credited with enabling the team to study three quite different mission concepts for the resources normally sufficient to study only one or two. The Europa MBSE infusion itself has been awarded the NASA Systems Engineering Excellence Award in 2012. The Europa team is now preparing for its Mission Concept Review and has reaffirmed and strengthened the MBSE application. Significant new capabilities have been completed, most importantly the Powered Equipment List (PEL) and the computation of scenario-based power and energy margins. This paper provides an update on the continued successful application of MBSE in the dynamic environment of early mission formulation, the significant new results produced and several additional lessons learned in the process.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Sulfate Content of Europa's Ocean and Shell: Geological and Astrobiological Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, W. B.

    2002-09-01

    A prominent model for the formation of Europa's water+ice layer argues for a hypersaline sulfate composition (Kargel et al. 2001). The model is based on a plausible compositional affinity between the bulk of Europa and the most volatile rich meteorite class, CI carbonaceous chondrites. These meteorites are extensively aqueously altered, with abundant Mg and Ca sulfates. The central tenet is that a Europa accreted from similar materials essentially matches Europa's bulk density, and whether the sulfates form in precursor satellitesimals or by aqueous alteration within Europa, early heating causes sulfate (principally epsomite) to melt incongruently to from a buoyant hypersaline brine that erupts to the surface. Later additions of sulfate-poor waters from the breakdown of, e.g., gypsum and serpentine, lead to a variety of compositional and structural paths for the icy layer, but the emphasis is on hypersaline compositions. This scenario needs to be reconsidered: (1) sulfates, especially magnesium sulfates, require very oxidizing conditions to form, and such conditions have not been shown to arise naturally in models of meteorite aqueous alteration; (2) magnesium sulfate veins in CI chondrites (e.g., Orgueil) have been shown to most likely be the result of terrestrial exposure, e.g., from corrosion of meteoritic sulfides (Gounelle and Zolensky 2001); 3) Tagish Lake, possibly the most primitive carbonaceous chondrite, has been hypothesized to be a sample of a D-type asteroid. D asteroids predominate in the Trojan groups, and are arguably a better compositional analogue for the volatile-rich Galilean satellites; sulfides but no sulfates have been reported for this meteorite. The implication is that the early melting of ices and rock-ice differentiation on Europa is unlikely to have released highly oxidized, sulfate-rich water to the satellite's surface. If anhydrous minerals and free metal were originally incorporated (a possibility in recent satellite formation models

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Europa's Ocean Can Be Sustained By Hydrothermal Plumes and Salt Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travis, B. J.; Palguta, J.; Schubert, G.

    2011-12-01

    Data returned by the Galileo spacecraft provide considerable evidence that Jupiter's satellite Europa possesses a liquid ocean beneath its solid, icy outer shell. However, it is not known if that ocean has existed throughout Europa's history. Previous thermal evolution models of Europa suggest that without active tidal dissipative heating (TDH), a global liquid ocean layer would eventually freeze long before the present. However, previous models have not coupled all the various thermal and flow processes that may be operating in Europa. Recently, we have developed a whole-moon numerical model for Europa. This model couples radiogenic heating, thermal diffusion, hydrothermal convection and salt transport in mantle pore water, hydrothermal flow and transport in an ocean layer, parameterized convection in the ice shell, and change of phase between ice and liquid water. Application of our model suggests that, even without TDH active until recently, hydrothermal convection in a salty, rocky mantle can sustain flow in an ocean layer throughout Europa's post-differentiation history. The model thermal history covers three phases: (i) an initial, roughly 0.5 Gyr-long period of radiogenic heating and differentiation, (ii) a long period from 0.5 Gyr to 4 Gyr with continuing radiogenic heating but no TDH (following Yoder, Nature 279: 767-770, 1979), and (iii) a final period covering the last 0.5 Gyr until present day, during which TDH is active. In our model, hydrothermal plumes develop throughout phases II and III, transporting heat and salt from Europa's silicate mantle to its ocean. The outer ice shell thickens over time, growing to about 75 km in depth. When TDH becomes active, the ice shell melts quickly to a thickness of about 10 km, and then stabilizes at roughly 20 to 25 km thickness, leaving an ocean 80 km deep. Parameterized convection in the ice shell is spatially non-uniform and changes over time, reflecting its ties to the evolving deeper ocean-mantle dynamics. A

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The Hydrostatic Shape of Europa and Implications for the Satellite's Libration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hoolst, T.; Rambaux, N.; Karatekin, O.

    2007-12-01

    As a result of rotation and tides, Europa takes a triaxial ellipsoidal form with the longest axis in the direction to Jupiter and the rotation axis as the shortest axis. The solid interior, subsurface ocean, and shell have different polar and equatorial flattenings. In the hydrostatic approximation, the internal flattening profile can be determined from the density profile of the interior structure by using Clairaut theory. We calculated interior structure models of Europa and the shape of the internal layers by using the mass, radius, and mean moment of inertia as constraints. To obtain the moment of inertia, we extended the classical Radau equation, which relates the rotational flattening of the surface to the mean moment of inertia, to include also tidal deformation. Because of the equatorial flattening of the icy shell and the solid interior, misalignment of the principal axes of the icy shell and the solid interior due to differential rotation results in gravitational coupling between both layers. We derived an analytical expression for the strength of this coupling by using an approach that has been developed for the gravitational coupling between the mantle and the solid inner core of the Earth. The shell-interior gravitational coupling implies that rotation variations (librations) of the surface of Europa cannot be studied separately from the librations of the interior. We calculated the coupled librations of the shell and solid interior for a set of models of the interior structure of Europa. The presence of an ocean is shown to increase the amplitude of libration by about 7%, depending mainly on the thickness of the icy shell. Therefore, libration observations offer the possibility of detection of a subsurface ocean in Europa and estimation of the thickness of its overlying icy shell. For very thin shells of about 1 km, our results show that the shell libration is resonantly amplified.

  2. Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM): Exploration Of The Jovian System And Its Icy Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasset, Olivier; Pappalardo, R.; Greeley, R.; Blanc, M.; Dougherty, M.; Bunce, E.; Lebreton, J.; Prockter, L.; Senske, D.; EJSM Joint Science Definition Team

    2009-09-01

    The Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) would be an international mission with the overall theme of investigating the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants. Its goals are to (1) Determine whether the Jupiter system harbors habitable worlds and (2) Characterize the processes that are operating within the Jupiter system. NASA and ESA have concluded a detailed joint study of a mission to Europa, Ganymede, and the Jupiter system with orbiters developed by NASA and ESA (future contributions by JAXA and Russia are also possible). The baseline EJSM architecture consists of two primary elements operating in the Jovian system: the NASA-led Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), and the ESA-led Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). JEO and JGO would execute an intricately choreographed exploration of the Jupiter System before settling into orbit around Europa and Ganymede, respectively. EJSM would directly address themes concerning the origin and evolution of satellite systems and water-rich environments in icy satellites. The potential habitability of the ocean-bearing moons Europa and Ganymede would be investigated, by characterizing the geophysical, compositional, geological, and external processes that affect these icy worlds. EJSM would also investigate Io and Callisto, Jupiter's atmosphere, and the Jovian magnetosphere. By understanding the Jupiter system and unraveling its history, the formation and evolution of gas giant planets and their satellites would be better known. Most important, EJSM would shed new light on the potential for the emergence of life in the celestial neighborhood and beyond. The EJSM architecture provides opportunities for coordinated synergistic observations by JEO and JGO of the Jupiter and Ganymede magnetospheres, the volcanoes and torus of Io, the atmosphere of Jupiter, and comparative planetology of icy satellites. Each spacecraft would conduct both synergistic dual-spacecraft investigations and "stand-alone” measurements.

  3. Improving Tidal Measurements about Europa Using the Properties of Unstable Periodic Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boone, Dylan; Scheeres, D. J.

    2012-10-01

    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 the orbit determination process for estimating science parameters. We generate an error covariance over seven days for the orbiter state and science parameters 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. The stable manifold represents contraction forward in time and the unstable manifold represents expansion forward in time. However, 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. Low altitude, near-polar periodic orbits with these characteristics are discussed along with the estimation results for the Love numbers, orbiter state, and orbit lifetime. These results are applicable to other measurements and planetary satellites since the mathematical model is the same.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Science of the Joint ESA-NASA Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc, Michel; Greeley, Ron

    2010-05-01

    The Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), an international joint mission under study by NASA and ESA, has the overarching theme to investigate the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants. Jupiter's diverse Galilean satellites—three of which are believed to harbor internal oceans—are the key to understanding the habitability of icy worlds. To this end, the reference mission architecture consists of the NASA-led Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) and the ESA-led Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). JEO and JGO will execute a coordinated exploration of the Jupiter System before settling into orbit around Europa and Ganymede, respectively. JEO and JGO carry sets of complementary instruments, to monitor dynamic phenomena (such as Io's volcanoes and Jupiter's atmosphere), map the Jovian magnetosphere and its interactions with the Galilean satellites, and characterize water oceans beneath the ice shells of Europa and Ganymede. Encompassed within the overall mission theme are two science goals, (1) Determine whether the Jupiter System harbors habitable worlds and (2) Characterize the processes within the Jupiter System. The science objectives addressed by the first goal are to: i) characterize and determine the extent of subsurface oceans and their relations to the deeper interior, ii) characterize the ice shells and any subsurface water, including the heterogeneity of the ice, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; iii) characterize the deep internal structure, differentiation history, and (for Ganymede) the intrinsic magnetic field; iv) compare the exospheres, plasma environments, and magnetospheric interactions; v) determine global surface composition and chemistry, especially as related to habitability; vi) understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and identify and characterize candidate sites for future in situ exploration. The science objectives for addressed by the second goal are to: i) understand the

  8. 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

  9. Europa Sample Return Mission Utilizing High Specific Impulse Propulsion Refueled with Indigenous Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paniagua, J.; Powell, J. R.; Maise, G.

    2002-01-01

    We have conducted studies of a revolutionary new concept for conducting a Europa Sample Return Mission. Robotic spacecraft exploration of the Solar System has been severely constrained by the large energy requirements of interplanetary trajectories and the inherent delta V limitations of chemical rockets. Current missions use gravitational assists from intermediate planets to achieve these high-energy trajectories restricting payload size and increasing flight times. We propose a 6-year Europa Sample Return mission with very modest launch requirements enabled by MITEE. A new nuclear thermal propulsion engine design, termed MITEE (MIniature reacTor EnginE), has over twice the delta V capability of H2/O2 rockets (and much greater when refueled with H2 propellant from indigenous extraterrestrial resources) enabling unique missions that are not feasible with chemical propulsion. The MITEE engine is a compact, ultra-lightweight, thermal nuclear rocket that uses hydrogen as the propellant. MITEE, with its small size (50 cm O.D.), low mass (200 kg), and high specific impulse (~1000 sec), can provide a quantum leap in the capability for space science and exploration missions. The Robotic Europa Explorer (REE) spacecraft has a two-year outbound direct trajectory and lands on the satellite surface for an approximate 9 month stay. During this time, the vehicle is refueled with H2 propellant derived from Europa ice by the Autonomous Propellant Producer (APP), while collecting samples and searching for life. A small nuclear-heated submarine probe, the Autonomous Submarine Vehicle (ASV), based on MITEE technology, would melt through the ice and explore the undersea realm. The spacecraft has approximately a three year return to Earth after departure from Europa with samples onboard. Spacecraft payload is 430 kg at the start of the mission and can be launched with a single, conventional medium-sized Delta III booster. The spacecraft can bring back 25 kg of samples from Europa

  10. Origin and Evolution of Castalia Macula, An Anomalous Young Depression on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prockter, L.; Schenk, P.

    2004-12-01

    The Castalia Macula region on Europa was comprehensively imaged by the Galileo spacecraft on several orbits, at both local and regional resolutions and with different illumination geometries. Using the various data sets in combination allows us to map the geology, topography, and color of this area in greater detail than perhaps any other site on Europa. Castalia Macula consists of unusually dark and reddish material, most of which is confined to a broad topographic depression 350 m deep. This depression is located between two large uplifted domes 900 and 750 m high, to the north and south, respectively. The dome to the north of Castalia Macula has the highest elevation of any features yet studied on Europa. The Castalia Macula dark plains deposit covers a region about 600 km^2,$ forming a heart-shaped feature approximately~30 km in diameter. The preservation of ridges at the bottom of Castalia Macula indicates that the dark material may be less than a few tens of meters thick. However, it must initially have been fluid and deep enough to flood ridged plains and some double ridges in the middle and at the edges of the Castalia depression. It appears that dark material initially filled the depression to a certain depth but most of this material was subsequently removed via drainage, resulting in a dark stain up to the old equipotential surface. A small area of chaos existed before the formation of Castalia Macula and the domes, implying at least two episodes of deformation in this area. Superposition and topographic relationships indicate that the Castalia Macula dark plains deposit predates both the southern and northern domes, and secondary craters show that the Macula was emplaced before the impact that formed the very young crater Pwyll. Although older than Pwyll, it nevertheless appears that Castalia Macula and the domes are comparatively young, on the basis of relative albedo, color, and lack of crosscutting features. Thus Castalia Macula could provide an

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Large Impact Features on Europa: Results of the Galileo Nominal Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.; Tufts, B. Randy; Head, James W.; Pappalardo, Robert T.; Jones, Kevin B.; Chapman, Clark R.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Kirk, Randolph L.; Morrison, David

    1998-09-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Cassini ENA Observations of an Asymmetric Europa Torus with Indications of Magnetospheric Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Pontus; Westlake, Joseph; Mauk, Barry; Mitchell, Donald

    2014-05-01

    From about December 2000 to January 2001 the Ion Neutral Camera (INCA) on board the Cassini spacecraft imaged Jupiter in Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) that are created when singly charged ions charge exchange with neutral gas atoms or molecules. The INCA observations were obtained from a distance of about 137-250 Jovian planetary radii (RJ) over an energy range from about 10 to 300 keV. These observations have been demonstrated to be consistent with a neutral gas torus encircling Jupiter at Europa's orbit (Mauk et al., 2004). Here, we present a new, detailed analysis of the ENA images implying an asymmetric Europa neutral gas torus with indications of magnetospheric dynamics. The analysis uses images with a minimum integration time and background. A forward model using a parametric energetic ion model and a neutral gas model simulates ENA images through the instrument response function of INCA in order to determine the spatial distribution of the neutral gas.

  20. Cassini ENA Observations of an Asymmetric Europa Torus with Indications of Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, P. C.; Westlake, J. H.; Mitchell, D. G.; Mauk, B.; Smith, H. T.

    2014-12-01

    From about December 2000 to January 2001 the Ion Neutral Camera (INCA) on board the Cassini spacecraft imaged Jupiter in Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENA) that are created when singly charged ions charge exchange with neutral gas atoms or molecules. The INCA observations were obtained from a distance of about 137-250 Jovian planetary radii (RJ) over an energy range from about 10 to 300 keV. These observations have been demonstrated to be consistent with a neutral gas torus encircling Jupiter at Europa's orbit (Mauk et al., 2004). Here, we present a new, detailed analysis of the ENA images implying an asymmetric Europa neutral gas torus with indications of magnetospheric dynamics. The analysis uses images with a minimum integration time and background. A forward model using a parametric energetic ion model and a neutral gas model simulates ENA images through the instrument response function of INCA in order to determine the spatial distribution of the neutral gas.

  1. Europa's ultraviolet absorption band (260 to 320 nm) - Temporal and spatial evidence from IUE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ockert, Maureen E.; Nelson, Robert M.; Lane, Arthur L.; Matson, Dennis L.

    1987-01-01

    An analysis of 33 IUE UV spectra of Europa, obtained from 1978 to 1982 for orbital phase angles of 21 to 343 deg, confirms that the Lane et al. (1981) absorption feature, centered at 280 nm, is most clearly revealed when 223-333 deg orbital phase angle spectra are ratioed to those nearest 90 deg. The feature's strength is noted to have persisted over the 5-year period studied, suggesting that no large endogenically or exogenically generated changes in surface sulfur dioxide concentration have occurred. These results further substantiate the Lane et al. hypothesis that the feature is due to the implantation of Io plasma torus-derived sulfur ions on the Europa trailing side's water-ice surface.

  2. Investigation of the atmospheres of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto with PEP/JUICE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

    The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) is a planned ESA mission to the Jovian system. The mission's goal is to investigate in detail Jupiter and its system, with focus on the three Galilean moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The Neutral Ion Mass Spectrometer (NIM), one of the sensors making up the Particle Environment Package (PEP), will contribute to this goal by conducting the first-ever direct sampling of the exospheres of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Since the composition of these exospheres is largely unknown we calculated the expected density profiles. Our results show that NIM's sensitivity, mass resolution and mass range will be sufficient for NIM to detect most of the known and expected species in the icy moons' atmospheres.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Subsurface Oceans on Europa and Callisto: Constraints from Galileo Magnetometer Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmer, Christophe; Khurana, Krishan K.; Kivelson, Margaret G.

    2000-01-01

    Galileo measured the magnetic field perturbations of Europa and Callisto, which are consistent with dipole fields created by temporal variations of the surrounding jovian magnetospheric field. These fields almost match those expected for perfectly conducting moons. Using a simple shell model, we analyze the implications of these observations for the electrical structure for the interiors of the moons. It is discovered that Europa and Callisto must possess areas where the conductivity exceeds 0.06 and 0.02 S/m at a depth of no more than 200 and 300 km below the surface, respectively. This conductivity is not attainable in ice or silicates, unless large temperature gradients can be maintained below the ice or the ice layer is at least partially molten. A cloud of pick-up ions or an ionosphere are probably insufficiently conductive. Global Earth-like oceans under the surface of both moons could explain the observations if they are at least a few kilometers thick.

  6. 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. Infrared spectra and radiation stability of H2O2 ices relevant to Europa.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Reggie L; Moore, Marla H

    2006-06-01

    In this paper we present spectra of H2O2-containing ices in the near- and mid-infrared (IR) regions. Spectral changes on warming are shown, as is a comparison of near-IR bands of H2O and H2O2-containing ices. An estimate of the A-value (absolute intensity) for the largest near- IR feature of H2O2 is given. Radiation-decay half-lives are reported for 19 K and 80 K, and are related to the surface radiation doses on Europa. The radiation data show that H2O2 destruction is slower at 80 K than 19 K, and are consistent with the claim that icy material in the outermost micrometer of Europa's surface has been heavily processed by radiation.

  8. Early Formulation Model-centric Engineering on NASA's Europa Mission Concept Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayer, Todd; Chung, Seung; Cole, Bjorn; Cooke, Brian; Dekens, Frank; Delp, Chris; Gontijo, Ivair; Lewis, Kari; Moshir, Mehrdad; Rasmussen, Robert; Wagner, David

    2012-01-01

    The proposed Jupiter Europa Orbiter and Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter missions were formulated using current state-of-the-art MBSE facilities: - JPL's TeamX, Rapid Mission Architecting - ESA's Concurrent Design Facility - APL's ACE Concurrent Engineering Facility. When JEO became an official "pre-project" in Sep 2010, we had already developed a strong partnership with JPL's Integrated Model Centric Engineering (IMCE) initiative; decided to apply Architecting and SysML-based MBSE from the beginning, begun laying these foundations to support work in Phase A. Release of Planetary Science Decadal Survey and FY12 President's Budget in March 2011 changed the landscape. JEO reverted to being a pre-phase A study. A conscious choice was made to continue application of MBSE on the Europa Study, refocused for early formulation. This presentation describes the approach, results, and lessons.

  9. Gas Hydrate Stability at Low Temperatures and High Pressures with Applications to Mars and Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

    Gas hydrates are implicated in the geochemical evolution of both Mars and Europa [1- 3]. Most models developed for gas hydrate chemistry are based on the statistical thermodynamic model of van der Waals and Platteeuw [4] with subsequent modifications [5-8]. None of these models are, however, state-of-the-art with respect to gas hydrate/electrolyte interactions, which is particularly important for planetary applications where solution chemistry may be very different from terrestrial seawater. The objectives of this work were to add gas (carbon dioxide and methane) hydrate chemistries into an electrolyte model parameterized for low temperatures and high pressures (the FREZCHEM model) and use the model to examine controls on gas hydrate chemistries for Mars and Europa.

  10. Probing the atmosphere of a transiting ocean world: are there ice fountains on Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, William

    2013-10-01

    It is of extreme interest to NASA and the scientific community to confirm the presence of plumes of water ice venting from the polar regions of Europa. Roth et al 2014 presented evidence, based on line emission imaging of the dissociation products of water, that such plumes exist. We were awarded three orbits in Cycle 21 to pursue a completely independent approach to imaging the Europa exosphere, including a search for Enceladus-like plumes. In the FUV, Jupiter provides a uniformly illuminating backlight screen against which absorption by Europa's exosphere can be imaged as it transits Jupiter. The spatial resolution of HST is high in the FUV and molecular cross-sections are high. We request six additional STIS orbits, and two WFC3 orbits to provide sensitive limits on the absorbing column density and on entrained dusty particulates. Roth et al seek line emission at apoapsis and periapsis. We will span a range between these limits, closer to apoapsis where plumes are predicted. With the additional orbits we double our S/N and gain a factor of two in detectable column density, seek the scientific gold standard of reproducibility with multiple datasets, and provide a completely independent, contemporaneous {crucial when probing a transient phenomenon} validation of the line-emission approach. Our observations so far provide fascinating hints, but require confirmation through repeats and improved S/N. With a concerted effort, we have the opportunity to conclusively and unequivocally establish the presence of ice fountains on Europa. If they arise from the deep ocean, we have gained access to probably the most astrobiologically interesting location in the Solar System.

  11. The effect of magnetospheric ion bombardment on the reflectance of Europa's surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sack, N. J.; Johnson, R. E.; Boring, J. W.; Baragiola, R. A.

    1992-01-01

    Laboratory investigations have been conducted to ascertain the role of sulphur ion implantation on differences in the reflectivity of the leading and trailing atmospheres of Europa in the visible and UV ranges. Under the laboratory conditions tested, neither S-implantation nor SO2 deposition can account for the general 'reddening' of the trailing hemisphere in the UV, relative to the leading hemisphere; this feature has been shown to be producible by fast penetrating ions.

  12. The Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter : An ESA Contribution to the Europa-Jupiter System Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drossart, Pierre; Blanc, M.; Lebreton, J. P.; Pappalardo, R. T.; Greeley, R.; Fujimoto, M.; EJSM/Jupiter Science Definition Team

    2008-09-01

    In the framework of an outer planets mission, under study after the NASA-Juno mission, the Europa-Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) would combine a fleet of up to three satellites in order to investigate in depth many questions related to the Jupiter System. These investigations are essential for our understanding of the emergence and evolution of habitable worlds, not only within the Solar System, but also for extrasolar planets investigations. Scientific targets of EJSM will focus on Europa and Ganymede as a key pair of Galilean satellites, to address the questions on their habitability, formation, and internal structure, as well as the coupling with the whole Jovian system : Jupiter's atmosphere and interior, magnetosphere and magnetodisk. .In combination with a Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO likely provided by NASA) and a Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter (JMO likely provided by JAXA), ESA is studying a Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO). The mission scenario includes a direct launch in 2020 with a transfer time to Jupiter of 6 years. After the orbit insertion around Jupiter, a first phase ( 2 years) will be devoted to Jupiter system and Callisto studies, with multiple flybys of Callisto planned at low altitude ( 200 km), followed by a Ganymede orbit insertion and extensive study of Ganymede ( 1 year). In-depth comparative study of inner (Io and Europa) and outer (Ganymede and Callisto) satellites with combined payload of JEO and JGO will address the question of the relative geological evolution of the satellites. On JGO, the transport phenomena in the magnetosphere of Jupiter will be studied in combination with JMO, and the Ganymede magnetosphere will be observed in situ. Jupiter atmosphere investigations on JGO will focus on coupling phenomena between troposphere, stratosphere and mesosphere, the stratospheric composition and the question of thermospheric heating.

  13. Shell tectonics: A mechanical model for strike-slip displacement on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoden, A.; Wurman, G.; Manga, M.; Hurford, T. A.

    2010-12-01

    We introduce a new model for producing strike-slip displacement on Europa, which we call shell tectonics. We invoke general principles of stress and failure along faults and include the influence of Europa’s elastic shell when determining the response of faults to periodic tidal stress. We apply a Coulomb failure criterion to determine when and if failure will occur and adopt a linear elastic model for slip and stress release to determine the direction of net offsets along pre-existing faults. Our model reproduces the global-scale strike-slip fault pattern observed on Europa in which left-lateral faults dominate far north of the equator, right-lateral faults do so in the far south, and near-equatorial regions display a mixture of both types of faults. One of the most compelling attributes of the tidal walking model for strike-slip formation on Europa (Hoppa et al., 1999) is its ability to generate this global pattern. The shell tectonics model includes a more physical treatment of fault mechanics than tidal walking and makes a prediction of slip direction along faults by computing the net slip over several orbits. Also, several assumptions made in the tidal walking model are incorporated explicitly in the shell tectonics model. A strike-slip formation model with application to Enceladus has also been proposed (Smith-Konter & Pappalardo, 2008) that includes a mechanical treatment of faults but does not incorporate the effects of the elastic shell. Since this model should be equally applicable to Europa, we present predictions made using this plate-tectonics model along with our shell tectonics predictions. We find that a model neglecting the elastic shell effects does not agree as well with the observations. In addition to global predictions of slip direction, shell tectonics provides an estimate of the relative growth rates of faults and implications for seismicity and heating along faults.

  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. 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.

  17. NEMO: A Mission to Explore and Return Samples from Europa's Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, James R.; Paniagua, John C.; Maise, George

    2004-02-01

    The NEMO [Nuclear Europa Mobile Ocean] mission would explore and return samples and possible life forms from Europa's sub-surface oceans to Earth. The NEMO spacecraft would land on Europa two years after leaving Earth, using a compact bi-modal NTP engine. NEMO'S small nuclear reactor melt probe would then melt a channel through the multi-km ice sheet to the ocean, which a small robotic submarine would explore, transmitting data by sonic link and optical fiber to the spacecraft for relay to Earth. After its exploration, the submarine would rejoin the melt probe for return to the NEMO spacecraft. Using electricity from the bi-modal MITEE engine, fresh H2 propellant would be manufactured by electrolysis of melt water from surface ice. NEMO would then hop to a new site, exploring ten sites in a year before returning with samples and life forms to Earth, six years after it left. The design and performance of the NEMO spacecraft, MITEE engine, melt probe, and submarine are described. The probe and submarine use existing reactor technology. A NEMO mission could launch shortly after 2013 AD.

  18. NEMO: A mission to search for and return to Earth possible life forms on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, Jesse; Powell, James; Maise, George; Paniagua, John

    2005-07-01

    The Nuclear Europa Mobile Ocean (NEMO) mission would land on the surface of Europa, and deploy a small, lightweight melt probe powered by a compact nuclear reactor to melt down through the multi-kilometer ice sheet. After reaching the sub-surface ocean, a small nuclear Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) would deploy to explore the sub-ice ocean. After exploration and sample collection, the AUV would return to the probe and melt back to the lander. The lander would have replenished its H2 propellant by electrolysis of H2O ice, and then hop to a new site on Europa to repeat the probe/AUV process. After completing the mission, the NEMO spacecraft would return to Earth with its collected samples. The NEMO melt probe and AUV utilize enriched U-235 fuel and conventional water reactor technology. The lander utilizes a compact nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) engine based on the 710tungsten/UO2 cermet fuel and high-temperature H2 propellant. The compact nuclear reactors in both the NEMO melt probe and AUV drive a steam power cycle, generating over 10 kW(e) for use in each. Each nuclear reactor's operating lifetime is several years. With its high-mobility and long-duration mission, NEMO provides an ideal platform for life detection experiments.

  19. Considerations for a Radar System to Detect an Ocean Underneath the Icy Shell of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, Thorsten; Gogineni, Prasad; Green, James; Cooper, John; Fung, Shing; Taylor, William; Benson, Robert; Reinisch, Bodo; Song, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The detection of an ocean underneath Europa is one of the primary objectives of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission. An orbiting surface penetrating radar has the potential of providing that measurement thus yielding information regarding the possibility of life support on Europa. Radars in the MHz range have successfully monitored the kilometer-deep ice shelves of Greenland and Antarctica, including the detection of Lake Vostok (and others) below an ice sheet thickness of about 4 km. The performance of a radar system orbiting Europa will be subject to several potential complications and unknowns. Besides ionospheric dispersion and the actual depth of the ocean, which is estimated between 2 and 30 km, major unknowns affecting radar performance are the temperature profile, the amount of salt and other impurities within the ice crust as well as the surface roughness. These impurities can in part be produced at the highly irradiated surface by magnetospheric interactions and transported downward into the ice crust by geologic processes. The ionospheric interference must also be modeled from effects of these interactions on production of the thin neutral atmosphere and subsequent ionization of the neutrals. We investigated these uncertainties through radar simulations using different surface and ice characteristics over a frequency range from 10 to 50 MHz. The talk will present results from these simulations discussing potential limitations.

  20. 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.

  1. The Inchworm Deep Drilling System for Kilometer Scale Subsurface Exploration of Europa (IDDS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafeek, S.; Gorevan, S. P.; Bartlett, P. W.; Kong, K. Y.

    2001-01-01

    The Inchworm Deep Drilling System (IDDS) is a compact subsurface transport system capable of accessing regions of astrobiological interest deep below the surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa. The IDDS answers Focus Investigation Area 1 as an innovative concept for implementing subsurface exploration of Europa. The concept is being developed at Honeybee Robotics to reach depths on the order of one kilometer with no tether or umbilical of any kind. The device's unique, inchworm-burrowing method appears capable of achieving this near-term depth goal and it is foreseeable that the IDDS will be capable of autonomously drilling to tens of kilometers below the surface. Logical applications of the concept also include accessing the proposed subsurface oceans on Ganymede and Callisto, subsurface water ice on Mars, and Lake Vostok on Earth. The conference presentation will communicate the IDDS concept and how it can enable the search for prebiotic and biotic chemical processes on Europa by bringing proper instrumentation to the subsurface ocean for in-situ investigation and/or returning samples to the surface. Currently, a proposal for breadboarding the IDDS is pending for the Research Opportunities for Space Science's Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development NRA. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  2. Europa DONNA, the European Breast Cancer Coalition: lobbying at European and local levels.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Mary; O'Connell, Deirdre; Mosconi, Paola

    2004-01-01

    Breast cancer is a serious medical and social problem, and the ultimate goal should be to promote accessible and financially sustainable high standard healthcare interventions and develop patient-oriented strategies for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. EUROPA DONNA, a nonprofit organization, is a European women's movement against breast cancer. It provides a focus for the exchange of information and experience between members and serves as a moving force for combined actions. EUROPA DONNA represents the concerns and interests of European women to local and national authorities and governments, drawing attention to the need for improvement in or introduction of essential programs and services in the fight against breast cancer. It is a coalition of individual women and associations involved in the fight against breast cancer, active in 32 European countries, each organized as a national independent forum. Lobbying is one of the most important activities of EUROPA DONNA. In fact, only by involving institutions both on a local and a national level is it possible to achieve results that can benefit a large number of women.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. The Astounding Symmetry of Worlds: Polar Wander on Enceladus, Europa and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, P.

    2008-12-01

    The Space Age has produced an amazing string of surprises in our Solar System. The most recent of these is the dawning realization that rotational stability of planets is not what it was once thought. Evidence is mounting that true polar wander (TPW: the slow shifting of planetary bodies [or their outer zones] with respect to their rotational axes) is a common process. Reorientation events have been proposed for Mars, Miranda, Enceladus, and Europa. Theoretical considerations indicate that many of the icy satellites can be reoriented under the influence of a significant mass anomaly (such as a large impact depression). The physical evidence of such events is not always obvious. The prime evidence for TPW on Enceladus is the location of volcanic activity at the south pole. Reorientation fracture patterns have not yet been identified, but the distribution of ancient cratered terrains is remarkably symmetric about the rotation pole, while crater density is symmetric about the equator, leaving an ambiguous record wrt TPW. The origin of these patterns is unclear but indicate that resurfacing geography is controlled in some manner. In contrast, a startling global symmetry of Europa's global scale lineaments and geologic units (vaguely hinted at by Voyager maps) is clear if TPW is invoked. Europa may be the most dramatic example of TPW known to date.

  9. Spectral Behavior of Hydrated Sulfate Salts: Implications for Europa Mission Spectrometer Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, James Bradley

    2003-12-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Proton radiation testing of laser optical components for NASA Jupiter Europa Orbiter Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomes, W. Joe, Jr.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Ott, Melanie N.

    2011-09-01

    The Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) is NASA's element of the joint Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM). Based on current trajectories, the spacecraft will spend a significant amount of time in the Jovian radiation belts. Therefore, research endeavors are underway to study the radiation effects on the various parts and components needed to implement the instruments. Data from these studies will be used for component selection and system design to ensure reliable operation throughout the mission duration. The radiation environment en route to Jupiter is nothing new for NASA designed systems, however, the long durations orbiting Jupiter and Europa present new challenges for radiation exposure. High-energy trapped electrons and protons at Jupiter dominate the expected radiation environment. Therefore, most of the initial component level radiation testing is being conducted with proton exposure. In this paper we will present in-situ monitoring of the optical transmission of various laser optical components during proton irradiation. Radiation induced optical attenuation of some components is less than would be expected, based on the authors experiences, and is attributed to the interaction of the protons with the materials. The results are an encouraging first step in screening these optical materials for spaceflight in a high radiation environment.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Spectral behavior of hydrated sulfate salts: implications for Europa mission spectrometer design.

    PubMed

    Dalton, James Bradley

    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. Numerical Simulations of Non-Newtonian Convection in Ice: Application to Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

    Numerical simulations of solid state convection in Europa's ice shell have so far been limited to consideration of Newtonian flow laws, where the viscosity of ice is strongly dependent upon temperature, predicting that a stagnant lid should form at the top (10-40%) of a convecting ice shell. Such large thicknesses seem to contradict estimates of the effective elastic thickness of Europa s ice shell during its geologically active period. Recent laboratory experiments characterize the rheology of ice as the sum of contributions from several temperature and strain rate-dependent creep mechanisms. We present the results of numerical simulations of convection within Europa s ice shell using the finite-element model Citcom, applying the non-Newtonian rheology of grain boundry sliding. Our calculations suggest a shallower brittle/ductile transition and larger interior convective velocities compared to Newtonian rheology. The flow field is time-dependent, with small, localized upwellings and downwellings at the thermal boundary layers that have minimal topographic expression at the surface.

  18. An experimental estimate of Europa's ``ocean'' composition-independent of Galileo orbital remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fanale, F. P.; Li, Y.-H.; De Carlo, E.; Farley, C.; Sharma, S. K.; Horton, K.; Granahan, J. C.

    2001-07-01

    We have conducted a series of experiments designed to simulate, in the laboratory, the development of any subsurface aqueous phase on Europa. In our theoretical-experimental approach we select a single natural sample (a CM meteorite) that based on cosmochemical considerations, we consider to approximately represent the bulk material that accreted to form Europa. We then subject the sample to a hot water leaching procedure designed to simulate low- to moderate-temperature aqueous alteration. The resulting leach solution was then subjected to a series of sequential fractional crystallization steps producing a series of ices and residual brines. Then all this brines and ices are multiply analyzed for Na, Ca, Mg, Sr, Ba, Fe, Mn, K, Cl, and SO4. Results were found to be remarkably consistent between brines and ices in the same stages of crystallization and also between stages. We found that any putative aqueous phase below Europa's ice crust is probably a brine with cations: Na~Mg>Ca, K>Fe and anions: SO4>>Cl. Our results are in harmony with inferences drawn from one of the two main current interpretations of the orbital spectral data but cannot definitively rule out inferences drawn from the alternative interpretation. This is so because the mineralogy of the top 200 μm may not reflect the chemical composition of bodies of brine below the solid surface owing to extensive alteration caused by magnetospheric bombardment.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Can the biogenicity of Europa's surfical sulfur be tested simultaneously with penetrators and ion traps?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chela-Flores, J.; Bhattacherjee, A. B.; Dudeja, S.; Kumar, N.; Seckbach, J.

    2009-04-01

    We suggest a biogenic interpretation of the sulfur patches on the Europan icy surface. This hypothesis is testable by LAPLACE, or a later mission, in which the instrumentation on board are penetrators, or ion traps, with component selection including miniaturized mass spectrometry. The argument in favor of such instrumentation and component selection is as follows: Extreme environments with microbes can act as models for extraterrestrial life (Seckbach et al., 2008). Suggestions have ranged from Venusian environments (Sagan, 1967, Seckbach and Libby, 1970) to Mars (Grilli Caiola and Billi, 2007). Active photosynthetic microbial communities are found on Antarctica, both in and on ice, in fresh water, in saline lakes and streams and within rocks. In the dry valley lakes of Antarctica close to the McMurdo Base, microbial mats are known to selectively remove a huge quantity of sulfur (Parker et al., 1982). Lake Vostok in Antarctica possesses a perennially thick (3 to 4 km) ice-cover that precludes photosynthesis, thus making this subglacial environment a good model system for determining how a potential Europan biota might emerge, evolve and distribute itself. Jupiter's moon Europa may harbor a subsurface water ocean, which lies beneath an ice layer that might be too thick to allow photosynthesis, just as in Lake Vostok. However, disequilibrium chemistry driven by charged particles from Jupiter's magnetosphere could produce sufficient organic and oxidant molecules for an Europan biosphere (Chyba, 2000). We restrict our attention to microbial mats that could still be thriving in spite of the extreme conditions of radiation on Europa. We are especially concerned with sulfur patches discovered by the Galileo mission. In the near future there are technologies available to settle the question of habitability on Europa, such as penetrators that are currently being developed for preliminary trials nearer to the Earth—the Moon-Lite mission (Smith et al., 2008). If analogies

  3. Application of Geologic Mapping Techniques and Autonomous Feature Detection to Future Exploration of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunte, M. K.; Tanaka, K. L.; Doggett, T.; Figueredo, P. H.; Lin, Y.; Greeley, R.; Saripalli, S.; Bell, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    Europa's extremely young surface age, evidence for extensive resurfacing, and indications of a sub-surface ocean elevate its astrobiological potential for habitable environments and make it a compelling focus for study. Knowledge of the global distribution and timing of Europan geologic units is a key step in understanding the history of the satellite and for identifying areas relevant for exploration. I have produced a 1:15M scale global geologic map of Europa which represents a proportionate distribution of four unit types and associated features: plains, linea, chaos, and crater materials. Mapping techniques differ somewhat from other planetary maps but do provide a method to establish stratigraphic markers and to illustrate the surface history through four periods of formation as a function of framework lineament cross-cutting relationships. Correlations of observed features on Europa with Earth analogs enforce a multi-process theory for formation rather than the typical reliance on the principle of parsimony. Lenticulae and microchaos are genetically similar and most likely form by diapirism. Platy and blocky chaos units, endmembers of archetypical chaos, are best explained by brine mobilization. Ridges account for the majority of lineaments and may form by a number of methods indicative of local conditions; most form by either tidal pumping or shear heating. The variety of morphologies exhibited by bands indicates that multiple formation mechanisms apply once fracturing of the brittle surface over a ductile subsurface is initiated. Mapping results support the interpretation that Europa's shell has thickened over time resulting in changes in the style and intensity of deformation. Mapping serves as an index for change detection and classification, aids in pre-encounter targeting, and supports the selection of potential landing sites. Highest priority target areas are those which indicate geophysical activity by the presence of volcanic plumes, outgassing, or

  4. Europa's Atmosphere and Aurora: Recent Advances from HST-STIS and Plans for Plume Searches with JUICE-UVS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retherford, K. D.; Gladstone, R.; Roth, L.; McGrath, M. A.; Saur, J.; Feldman, P. D.; Steffl, A. J.; Strobel, D. F.; Greathouse, T. K.; Spencer, J. R.; Bagenal, F.; Fletcher, L. N.; Eterno, J. S.

    2013-12-01

    Space Telescope Imaging System (STIS) images of Europa's neutral oxygen 130.4 nm and 135.6 nm emissions contain a wealth of information about the molecular oxygen atmosphere, discovered using previous Hubble far-UV observations. Europa's magnetospheric plasma interaction generates auroral emissions, which exhibit a morphology that has been difficult to interpret. Recent observations in Nov. & Dec. 2012 allow a new understanding of how Jupiter's magnetic field orientation and relation to the plasma sheet control the emission variability, yet explanations for this general behavior, including the likely role of ocean-induced magnetic fields and possible local atmospheric density enhancements, remain incomplete (cf. Roth et al. this meeting). NASA's Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS) instrument contribution to the ESA-led Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission will obtain excellent imaging of these atmospheric and auroral emissions from Europa during two flybys currently planned, with the objective of investigating these and other unanswered questions. UVS's stellar occultation technique will be used to characterize Europa's atmosphere structure and composition and to also search for local enhancements created by plumes. This stellar occultation technique, demonstrated by Cassini-UVIS at Enceladus, has the benefit of being useful at relatively large distances (several 10's of Jupiter radii) as well as during the Europa flyby sequences (several 10's of Europa radii). A robust search for plumes is planned in JUICE's first year at Jupiter to provide a roughly 30-degree grid of global coverage, followed by focused targeting of likely plumes/active-regions during early and late stages of the flyby sequences. High spatial resolution limb imaging is also planned near closest approaches, which could directly image plume gases in a manner analogous with plume aurora imaging of Io. A UV spectrograph on the planned Europa Clipper mission could perform an even more robust search

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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