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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 Ice

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1998-05-08

    This image of Jupiter 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.

  3. Europa Rising

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    New Horizons took this image of the icy moon Europa rising above Jupiter's cloud tops with its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) at 11:48 Universal Time on February 28, 2007, six hours after the spacecraft's closest approach to Jupiter.

    The picture was one of a handful of the Jupiter system that New Horizons took primarily for artistic, rather than scientific, value. This particular scene was suggested by space enthusiast Richard Hendricks of Austin, Texas, in response to an Internet request by New Horizons scientists for evocative, artistic imaging opportunities at Jupiter.

    The spacecraft was 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Jupiter and 3 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Europa when the picture was taken. Europa's diameter is 3,120 kilometers (1,939 miles). The image is centered on Europa coordinates 5 degrees south, 6 degrees west. In keeping with its artistic intent - and to provide a more dramatic perspective - the image has been rotated so south is at the top.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Water Vapor Over Europa

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-12-12

    This graphic shows the location of water vapor detected over Europa south pole in observations taken by NASA Hubble Space Telescope in December 2012. This is the first strong evidence of water plumes erupting off Europa surface.

  7. 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.

  8. Europa Orbiter Exploration Strategies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, T. V.

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Europa Tide Movie

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-12-13

    In this image, 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. Animation available at the Photo

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Sulfuric Acid on Europa

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1999-09-30

    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. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02500

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. REASON for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Europa's Atmosphere: Production & Loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, F.; Cassidy, T. A.; Dols, V.; Crary, F. J.

    2013-12-01

    Europa is embedded not only in the ionized material of the Io plasma torus, but is also surrounded by the material (both ionized and neutral) produced by the interaction of this plasma with the moon's surface and atmosphere. Moreover, there are energetic ions and electrons that diffuse inwards from the outer magnetosphere and interact with the moon and surrounding neutral clouds. The multiple components of Europa's environment are thought to vary on timescales of hours to weeks and to be strongly coupled. Europa's O2 atmosphere is created by ion bombardment of the surface. Earlier studies assumed that the energetic (10s keV) ions were responsible (see review in Smyth and Marconi, 2006). New research (Cassidy et al. 2013) suggests that the 'thermal' ion population of the Io plasma torus produces most of Europa's O2. But this cooler population is easily diverted by currents induced in Europa's ionosphere and prevented from reaching the surface. This feedback has not been adequately explored. Modelers have historically focused on a single piece of the puzzle; plasma modelers assume a static atmosphere and atmosphere modelers assume static plasma. We are now in a position to consider these new sources of atmosphere and determine how the observed system comes about as well as quantify the timescales and causes of its evolution. This begs the question is Europa's atmosphere-magnetosphere interaction self-regulating? We are specifically interested in how the system responds to changes - for example, how does Europa's atmosphere change when the inflowing plasma flux increases or decreases? What is the corresponding change in the electrodynamics and diversion of plasma flow around Europa? How much and on what time scale does the extended neutral cloud respond? And what are the consequences for the influx of energetic particles? We model this coupled system to address how each component responds to changes in the other components.

  19. 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 .

  20. 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 .

  1. Active Cryovolcanism on Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, W. B.; Schmidt, B. E.; McGrath, M. A.; Hand, K. P.; Spencer, J. R.; Cracraft, M.; E Deustua, S.

    2017-04-01

    Evidence for plumes of water on Europa has previously been found using the Hubble Space Telescope using two different observing techniques. Roth et al. found line emission from the dissociation products of water. Sparks et al. found evidence for off-limb continuum absorption as Europa transited Jupiter. Here, we present a new transit observation of Europa that shows a second event at the same location as a previous plume candidate from Sparks et al., raising the possibility of a consistently active source of erupting material on Europa. This conclusion is bolstered by comparison with a nighttime thermal image from the Galileo Photopolarimeter-Radiometer that shows a thermal anomaly at the same location, within the uncertainties. The anomaly has the highest observed brightness temperature on the Europa nightside. If heat flow from a subsurface liquid water reservoir causes the thermal anomaly, its depth is ≈1.8-2 km, under simple modeling assumptions, consistent with scenarios in which a liquid water reservoir has formed within a thick ice shell. Models that favor thin regions within the ice shell that connect directly to the ocean, however, cannot be excluded, nor modifications to surface thermal inertia by subsurface activity. Alternatively, vapor deposition surrounding an active vent could increase the thermal inertia of the surface and cause the thermal anomaly. This candidate plume region may offer a promising location for an initial characterization of Europa’s internal water and ice and for seeking evidence of Europa’s habitability.

  2. 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.

  3. Ion bombardment of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Europa Active Surface

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-09-07

    On June 27, 1996, during Galileo first orbit around Jupiter, a newly discovered impact crater could be seen just right of the center of this image of Jupiter moon Europa returned by NASA Galileo spacecraft camera. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00294

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Europa Stunning Surface

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-11-21

    The puzzling, fascinating surface of Jupiter icy moon Europa looms large in this newly-reprocessed [sic] color view, made from images taken by NASA Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. This is the color view of Europa from Galileo that shows the largest portion of the moon's surface at the highest resolution. The view was previously released as a mosaic with lower resolution and strongly enhanced color (see PIA02590). To create this new version, the images were assembled into a realistic color view of the surface that approximates how Europa would appear to the human eye. The scene shows the stunning diversity of Europa's surface geology. Long, linear cracks and ridges crisscross the surface, interrupted by regions of disrupted terrain where the surface ice crust has been broken up and re-frozen into new patterns. Color variations across the surface are associated with differences in geologic feature type and location. For example, areas that appear blue or white contain relatively pure water ice, while reddish and brownish areas include non-ice components in higher concentrations. The polar regions, visible at the left and right of this view, are noticeably bluer than the more equatorial latitudes, which look more white. This color variation is thought to be due to differences in ice grain size in the two locations. Images taken through near-infrared, green and violet filters have been combined to produce this view. The images have been corrected for light scattered outside of the image, to provide a color correction that is calibrated by wavelength. Gaps in the images have been filled with simulated color based on the color of nearby surface areas with similar terrain types. This global color view consists of images acquired by the Galileo Solid-State Imaging (SSI) experiment on the spacecraft's first and fourteenth orbits through the Jupiter system, in 1995 and 1998, respectively. Image scale is 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) per pixel. North on Europa is at right

  12. 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

  13. Europa's sodium atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-08-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa is exposed to intense ion and electron flux that erodes the surface, launching atoms and molecules into ballistic trajectories to form a tenuous atmosphere (e.g., Johnson et al., "Jupiter," book, 2004). One component of that atmosphere is neutral atomic sodium, which has been observed many times by Earth-based telescopes (e.g., Leblanc et al., Icarus, 2005). When the Cassini spacecraft viewed Europa during an eclipse by Jupiter its visible camera revealed spatially nonuniform emission (Porco et al., Science, 2003, Supporting Online Material). The Cassini eclipse observations were performed with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) and clear filters (Porco et al., 2003). Clear filters provide sensitivity to the wavelength range 200-1050 nm, with maximum sensitivity at 611 nm (Porco et al., 2004). Within that wavelength range there are a number of lines that might contribute to the observed glow. These include the electron impact-induced excitation of Na (Kim, Phys. Rev. A, 2001), O (Fig. 4 Smyth and Marconi, Icarus, 2006), K, and SO2 (Ajello et al., J. Geophys. Res., 1992). Ions may also make a small contribution to these same processes (e.g., Allen et al., Phys. Rev. A, 1988). Of these, electron excitation of Na D line emission is likely the dominant emission in eclipse. Using an atmospheric model described by Cassidy et al. (2007), we successfully model those emissions by assuming that the Na atoms are ejected preferentially from Europa's trailing hemisphere dark terrain, which may be rich in Na-containing salt hydrates. We will discuss those results and, if available, discuss similar observations by the recent New Horizons Jupiter flyby.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. On the habitability of Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  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. On parking solutions around Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lara, Martin; Russell, Ryan; Villac, Benjamin

    2005-01-01

    The long-term stable trajectories around Europa, one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter, are analyzed for their potential applications in spacecraft trajectory design, such as end of mission desposal options, backup orbits, or intermediary targets for transfer trajectories.

  4. Io and Europa Meet Again

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-10-16

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Europa's Atmosphere: Production & Loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, Fran; Cassidy, T.; Dols, V.; Crary, F.

    2013-10-01

    Europa is embedded not only in the ionized material of the Io plasma torus, but is also surrounded by the material (both ionized and neutral) produced by the interaction of this plasma with the moon’s surface and atmosphere - as illustrated in the schematic below. Moreover, there are energetic ions and electrons that diffuse inwards from the outer magnetosphere and interact with the moon and surrounding neutral clouds. The multiple components of Europa’s environment are thought to vary on timescales of hours to weeks and to be strongly coupled. Europa’s O2 atmosphere is created by ion bombardment of the surface. Earlier studies assumed that the energetic (10s keV) ions were responsible (see review in Smyth and Marconi, 2006). New research (Cassidy et al. 2013) suggests that the “thermal” ion population of the Io plasma torus produces most of Europa’s O2. But this cooler population is easily diverted by currents induced in Europa’s ionosphere and prevented from reaching the surface. This feedback has not been adequately explored. Modelers have historically focused on a single piece of the puzzle; plasma modelers assume a static atmosphere and atmosphere modelers assume static plasma. We are now in a position to consider these new sources of atmosphere and determine how the observed system comes about as well as quantify the timescales and causes of its evolution. This begs the question is Europa’s atmosphere-magnetosphere interaction self-regulating? We are specifically interested in how the system responds to changes - for example, how does Europa’s atmosphere change when the inflowing plasma flux increases or decreases? What is the corresponding change in the electrodynamics and diversion of plasma flow around Europa? How much and on what time scale does the extended neutral cloud respond? And what are the consequences for the influx of energetic particles? We model this coupled system to address how each component responds to changes in the

  9. 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.

  10. Ridges on Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

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

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

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

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

  11. Europa Plumes Located near Warm Spot on Europa

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-04-13

    These images of the surface of the Jovian moon Europa, taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, focus on a "region of interest" on the icy moon. The image at left traces the location of the erupting plumes of material, observed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 2014 and again in 2016. The plumes are located inside the area surrounded by the green oval. The green oval also corresponds to a warm region on Europa's surface, as identified by the temperature map at right. The map is based on observations by the Galileo spacecraft. The warmest area is colored bright red. Researchers speculate these data offer circumstantial evidence for unusual activity that may be related to a subsurface ocean on Europa. The dark circle just below center in both images is a crater and is not thought to be related to the warm spot or the plume activity. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21444

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Jupiter’s moon Europa

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-01-24

    This composite image shows suspected plumes of water vapor erupting at the 7 o’clock position off the limb of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The plumes, photographed by NASA’s Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, were seen in silhouette as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. Hubble’s ultraviolet sensitivity allowed for the features -- rising over 100 miles (160 kilometers) above Europa’s icy surface -- to be discerned. The water is believed to come from a subsurface ocean on Europa. The Hubble data were taken on January 26, 2014. The image of Europa, superimposed on the Hubble data, is assembled from data from the Galileo and Voyager missions.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Galileo NIMS Observations of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. Exogenic and endogenic Europa minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maynard-Casely, H. E.; Brand, H. E. A.; Wilson, S. A.

    2016-12-01

    The Galileo Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) identified a significant `non-ice' component upon the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. Current explanations invoke both endogenic and exogenic origins for this material. It has long been suggested that magnesium and sodium sulfate minerals could have leached from the rock below a putative ocean (endogenic) 1 and that sulfuric acid hydrate minerals could have been radiologically produced from ionised sulfur originally from Io's volcanoes (exogenic) 2. However, a more recent theory proposes that the `non-ice' component could be radiation damaged NaCl leached from Europa's speculative ocean 3. What if the minerals are actually from combination of both endogenic and exogenic sources? To investigate this possibility we have focused on discovering new minerals that might form in the combination of the latter two cases, that is a mixture of leached sulfates hydrates with radiologically produced sulfuric acid. To this end we have explored a number of solutions in the MgSO4-H2SO4-H2O and Na2SO4-H2SO4-H2O systems, between 80 and 280 K with synchrotron x-ray powder diffraction. We report a number of new materials formed in this these ternary systems. This suggests that it should be considered that the `non-ice' component of the Europa's surface could be a material derived from endogenic and exogenic components. 1 Kargel, J. S. Brine volcanism and the interior structures of asteroids and icy satellites. Icarus 94, 368-390 (1991). 2 Carlson, R. W., Anderson, M. S., Mehlman, R. & Johnson, R. E. Distribution of hydrate on Europa: Further evidence for sulfuric acid hydrate. Icarus 177, 461-471, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2005.03.026 (2005). 3 Hand, K. P. & Carlson, R. W. Europa's surface color suggests an ocean rich with sodium chloride. Geophysical Research Letters, 2015GL063559, doi:10.1002/2015gl063559 (2015).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Jupiter with Satellites Io and Europa

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-01-29

    NASA's Voyager 1 took this photo of Jupiter and two of its satellites Io, left, and Europa on Feb. 13, 1979. Io is above Jupiter Great Red Spot; Europa is above Jupiter clouds. The poles are dark and reddish. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00144

  10. Europa Orbiter: Mass Memory Requirements and Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arens, Wayne; Daud, Taher; Karmon, Dan; Nicholson, Alan; Strauss, Karl

    2001-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives an overview of the Europa Orbiter's mass memory requirements and status. Details are given on the challenge of the mission to Europa, baseline size requirements, implementations considered, candidate technologies, prime technologies and methodology, and a proposed solution and implementation. Flash and non-volatile memory technologies are described.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Europa's Gas Tori and Magnetospheric Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, W. H.; Marconi, M. L.

    2005-08-01

    The existence of substantial circumplanetary neutral clouds (or gas tori) of undetermined gas species has been inferred for Europa from energetic ion data from the Galileo Energetic Particle Detector (Lagg et al., GRL 30, 1556, doi:10.1029/2003GL017214, 2003) and from copious energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) imaged by the Cassini Ion Neutral Camera (Mauk et al., Nature 421, 920, 2003). We have recently undertaken two-dimensional kinetic model calculations (Smyth and Marconi, BAAS 36, 1083, 2004) for the water-group species in Europa's atmosphere and determined that the most important gas tori in the vicinity of Europa's orbit are for H2 followed by O. Neutral cloud model calculations have therefore been performed to explore their abundances, spatial distributions, and ability to impact the energetic and thermal plasma. These model calculations show that the neutral population of Europa's atmosphere resides almost entirely in its gas tori, not in its gravitationally-bound satellite atmosphere. The densities for Europa's gas tori are peaked about the satellite's position, asymmetrically distributed about Jupiter, and extend radially inward to Io's orbit. The neutral population of Europa's H2 gas torus is larger than that for Io's combined O and S gas tori while the neutral population for Europa's O gas torus is comparable to that for Io's S gas torus. In the vicinity of Europa's orbit, the H2 gas torus population is adequate to alter significantly the energetic ion populations and pitch-angle distributions and to create a large source of ENAs as measured by the Galileo and Cassini spacecrafts. Europa's gas tori will impact the thermal plasma and outward radial transport by introducing sinks for Iogenic plasma and by creating a substantial secondary peak in the pickup ion production rate at Europa's orbit that dominates that for Io beyond the plasma torus ramp region. Model calculations illustrating these results will be presented.

  14. Near Surface Water on Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, B. E.; Gooch, B. T.; Patterson, G.; Blankenship, D. D.

    2016-12-01

    Europa's chaos terrains are generally agreed upon to have formed through disruption of the ice shell and interaction with water, but the exact details are debated. Thrace Macula, one of the largest chaos features, was initially considered to be an extrusive flow due its dark coloration and raised topography. Upon closer inspection, the volcanic interpretation was dismissed, in favor of suggestions that motion of brines through the ice, akin to brine drainage in sea ice, would explain the dark coloration. However no model has clearly explained how both the color and topography of the feature are produced, nor the large ice rafts at its center. In this presentation, we will show that disruption of the surface ice after emplacement of a subsurface water lense can reproduce all of the observations of Thrace Macula if the ice in the upper few kilometers is highly fractured or porous. We will demonstrate with simple hydrologic models that hydraulic gradients within the surrounding ice are sufficient to produce a shallow brine zone that migrates through the ice and creates a distributed network of brine-soaked and refrozen ice. These results suggest that liquid water was still present at Thrace Macula at the time of Galileo, and that future observations of this region may reveal significant changes. Such observations have important implications for crustal recycling, material transport and the long-term habitability of Europa's subsurface and ocean.

  15. Plasma conditions at Europa's orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  20. Europa as an abode of life.

    PubMed

    Chyba, Christopher F; Phillips, Cynthia B

    2002-02-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.)

  3. Ion and neutral populations in Europa's exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    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. Here we present results of a kinetic modeling of the neutral (H2O, OH, O2, O, and H), and ion (O+, O2+, H+, H2+, H2O+, and OH+) species 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 tracking of the ions, we use plasma densities and velocities, and the magnetic field derived from our multi-fluid MHD model of Europa's interaction with the Jovian magnetosphere. Support for this work was provided by grant NNX13AI66G from the NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program.

  4. 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.

  5. Automated Design of the Europa Orbiter Tour

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The Europa Mission: Multiple Europa Flyby Trajectory Design Trades and Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lam, Try; Arrieta-Camacho, Juan J.; Buffington, Brent B.

    2015-01-01

    With potential sources of water, energy and other chemicals essential for life, Europa is a top candidate for finding current life in our Solar System outside of Earth. This paper describes the current trajectory design concept for a multiple Europa flyby mission and discusses several trajectory design challenges. The candidate reference trajectory utilizes multiple Europa flybys while around Jupiter to enable near global coverage of Europa while balancing science requirements, radiation dose, propellant usage, and flight time. Trajectory design trades and robustness are also discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. On the Clustering of Europa's Small Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bierhaus, E. B.; Chapman, C. R.; Merline, W. J.

    2001-01-01

    We analyze the spatial distribution of Europa's small craters and find that many are too tightly clustered to result from random, primary impacts. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Source Region for Possible Europa Plumes

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-02-26

    This map composed of images NASA Galileo and Voyager missions shows the hemisphere of Europa that might be affected by plume deposits. The view is centered at -65 degrees latitude, 183 degrees longitude.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling Europa's Ice-Ocean Interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Featured Image: Active Cryovolcanism on Europa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-05-01

    Nighttime thermal image from the Galileo Photopolarimeter-Radiometer, revealing a thermal anomaly around the region where the plumes were observed. [Sparks et al. 2017]This image shows a 1320 900 km, high-resolution Galileo/Voyager USGS map of the surface of Europa, one of Jupiters moons. In March 2014, observations of Europa revealed a plume on its icy surface coming from somewhere within the green ellipse. In February 2016, another plume was observed, this time originating from somewhere within the cyan ellipse. In addition, a nighttime thermal image from the Galileo Photopolarimeter-Radiometer has revealed a thermal anomaly a region of unusually high temperature near the same location. In a recent study led by William Sparks (Space Telescope Science Institute), a team of scientists presents these observations and argues that they provide mounting evidence of active water-vapor venting from ongoing cryovolcanism beneath Europas icy surface. If this is true, then Europas surface is active and provides access to the liquid water at depth boosting the case for Europas potential habitability and certainly making for an interesting target point for future spacecraft exploration of this moon. For more information, check out the paper below!CitationW. B. Sparks et al 2017 ApJL 839 L18. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa67f8

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Thick or Thin Ice Shell on Europa? Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-12-13

    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 ice shell.

  19. Topographic Analysis of Europa's Ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Europa's phase curve - Implications for surface structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Domingue, D. L.; Hapke, B. W.; Lockwood, G. W.; Thompson, D. T.

    1991-01-01

    The surface of the Jovian satellite Europa is characterized on the basis of an analysis of ground photoelectric photometry at 470 and 550 nm and Voyager images. The data are presented in extensive tables and graphs and discussed in detail. At 550 nm, Europa has single-scattering albedo 0.964, opposition-effect amplitude 0.5, opposition-effect width 0.0016, double-lobed Henyey-Greenstein factors b = -0.429 and c = 0.113, and mean roughness angle 10 deg (much lower than on other solar-system objects). From the small roughness and the 96-percent porosity implied by the narrow opposition peak, it is concluded that the surface was formed mainly by endogenic processes. It is also noted that only one of three observational criteria for preferential ion bombardment of the trailing hemisphere are met in Europa.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Transport of Organics through the Europa Icesheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grande, M.; Glasser, N.; Lee-Payne, Z. H.; Pinter, B. A.; Knight, T. M.; Cook, A. T.

    2015-10-01

    We consider the large scale transport of material through the bulk ice sheet on Europa. This occurs on terrestrial Antarctic ice sheets, with material removed by wind ablation on the surface constantly being replaced by water frozen on to the underside of the sheet. This leads to transport of material, including the corpses of fish, through the icesheet, and its deposition on the surface. We propose that a similar mechanism might occur at Europa, with the high radiation levels causing sputtering over the Solar System age which could have the same effect as wind in Antarctica .

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Subsurface Exploration Technologies and Strategies for Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Europa: Sea Salts or Battery Acid

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2000-04-19

    This composite image of the Jupiter-facing hemisphere of Europa was obtained on Nov. 25, 1999 by NASA Galileo spacecraft. Blue areas show cleanest, brightest icy surfaces, while the red areas have the highest concentrations of darker, non-ice materials.

  18. 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.

  19. Project Galileo: completing Europa, preparing for Io

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Europa During Voyager 2 Closest Approach

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-09-26

    This color image of the Jovian moon Europa was acquired by NASA Voyager 2 during its close encounter on Jul. 9, 1979. 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. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00459

  5. Europa Geophysical Explorer Mission Concept Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. A SIMPLE Perspective on Europa's Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, B. E.

    2014-12-01

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

  9. The Geology and Astrobiology of Europa (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Europa Geophysical Explorer Mission Concept Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

    This slide presentation discusses the studies done to outline the concept of a explorer mission to the Jovian Moon, Europa, that would allow a further understanding of the Geophysics of that moon. Included in the presentation are an outline of the possible trajectory, including flyby assists, a listing of the science objectives and the scientific instruments that would be used in the completion of the objectives.

  16. 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.

  17. Natural and False Color Views of Europa

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-11-18

    This image, taken on September 7, 1996 by NASA Galileo orbiter, shows two views of the trailing hemisphere of Jupiter 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. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00502

  18. 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.

  19. Monte Carlo Simulation of Europa's Exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorburger, Audrey; Wurz, Peter

    2017-04-01

    The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) is a planned ESA mission designated to investigate Jupiter and its system in all their inter-relations and complexity (Grasset et al., PSS, 2013). One of the mission's focus lies in the investigation of the Galilean moons Europa, Callisto and Ganymede, with particular emphasis on Ganymede. These investigations include studies of the magnetic fields, the tenuous atmospheres, the topographical, geological and compositional properties of the surface, the physical properties of the icy crusts, the internal mass distributions, the dynamics and the evolution of the interiors as well as the detection of putative subsurface water reservoirs. Since Europa, Callisto and Ganymede are icy moons, some of the complex chemical inventory is accessible on the surface. The surface material directly feeds into the atmosphere through several release processes (e.g. sublimation, sputtering by photons as well as charged particles, micrometeroid bombardment, and jets/plumes). Probing of the moons' atmospheres by a spacecraft in orbit or on a flyby trajectory allows thus direct deduction of the surface composition and offers the unique opportunity to measure the spectrum of chemical building blocks of the Jupiter system. The Particle Environment Package (PEP) suite on board JUICE contains instruments for the comprehensive measurements of electrons, ions and neutrals in the Jupiter system (Barabash et al., 2013). The Neutral and Ion Mass spectrometer (NIM), which is part of the PEP suite, will measure the neutral and ion composition of the exospheres of the icy moons during flybys of Europa, Callisto, and in orbit of Ganymede. We present here a detailed ab initio model of Europa's exosphere including a surface composition model based on planetary formation, and all relevant processes for particle release and their fate in the exosphere. Based on the modelled exosphere we demonstrate NIM's measurement capabilities at various fly-by altitudes.

  20. 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.

  1. Continued evolution of Europa subsurface exploration technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Europa, taken from Voyager 1 to Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1979-03-01

    Range : 5.9 million kilometers (3.66 million miles) Europa is Jupiter's 2nd Galilean satellites from the planet and the brightest. Photo taken early morning through violet filter. Faint swirls and linear patterns show in the equatorial region (which shows darker than the poles). This hemisphere always faces Jupiter. North is up. Density and size comparable to Earth's Moon and seems to show water ice or ground water on its surface. JPL Reference # P-21163.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Hubble Sees Recurring Plume Erupting From Europa

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-04-13

    These composite images show a suspected plume of material erupting two years apart from the same location on Jupiter's icy moon Europa. The images bolster evidence that the plumes are a real phenomenon, flaring up intermittently in the same region on the satellite. Both plumes, photographed in ultraviolet light by NASA's Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, were seen in silhouette as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. The newly imaged plume, shown at right, rises about 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Europa's frozen surface. The image was taken Feb. 22, 2016. The plume in the image at left, observed by Hubble on March 17, 2014, originates from the same location. It is estimated to be about 30 miles (50 kilometers) high. The snapshot of Europa, superimposed on the Hubble image, was assembled from data from NASA's Galileo mission to Jupiter. The plumes correspond to the location of an unusually warm spot on the moon's icy crust, seen in the late 1990s by the Galileo spacecraft (see PIA21444). Researchers speculate that this might be circumstantial evidence for water venting from the moon's subsurface. The material could be associated with the global ocean that is believed to be present beneath the frozen crust. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21443

  9. 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.

  10. Europa Propulsion Valve Seat Material Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Addona, Brad M.

    2017-01-01

    The Europa mission and spacecraft design presented unique challenges for selection of valve seat materials that met the fluid compatibility requirements, and combined fluid compatibility and high radiation exposure level requirements. The Europa spacecraft pressurization system valves will be exposed to fully saturated propellant vapor for the duration of the mission. The effects of Nitrogen Tetroxide (NTO) and Monomethylhydrazine (MMH) propellant vapors on heritage valve seat materials, such as Vespel SP-1 and Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE), were evaluated to determine if an alternate material is required. In liquid system applications, Teflon is the only available compatible valve seat material. Radiation exposure data for Teflon in an air or vacuum environment has been previously documented. Radiation exposure data for Teflon in an oxidizer environment such as NTO, was not available, and it was unknown whether the effects would be similar to those on air-exposed samples. Material testing was conducted by Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) to determine the effects of propellant vapor on heritage seat materials for pressurization valve applications, and the effects of combined radiation and NTO propellant exposure on Teflon. The results indicated that changes in heritage pressurization valve seat materials' properties rendered them unsuitable for the Europa application. The combined radiation and NTO exposure testing of Teflon produced results equivalent to combined radiation and air exposure results.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Exploring Europa with an RPS-Powered Orbiter Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abelson, Robert D.; Spilker, Thomas R.; Shirley, James H.; Green, Jacklyn R.; Smythe, William D.

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes a conceptual flagship-class Europa orbiter concept that was assumed to launch as early as 2012, arriving at Europa approximately 8 years later using inner solar system gravity assists to reach Jupiter. Jupiter's intense radiation environment limits the mission duration at Europa to 30 days for this study, though the duration is a result of multiple trades and is by no means fixed. The Europa Subgroup of the Outer Planets Assessment Group identified six primary science objectives for this concept.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Tides and tidal stress: Applications to Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurford, Terry Anthony, Jr.

    A review of analytical techniques and documentation of previously inaccessible mathematical formulations is applied to study of Jupiter's satellite Europa. Compared with numerical codes that are commonly used to model global tidal effects, analytical models of tidal deformation give deeper insight into the mechanics of tides, and can better reveal the nature of the dependence of observable effects on key parameters. I develop analytical models for tidal deformation of multi-layered bodies. Previous studies of Europa, based on numerical computation, only to show isolated examples from parameter space. My results show a systematic dependence of tidal response on the thicknesses and material parameters of Europa's core, rocky mantle, liquid water ocean, and outer layer of ice. As in the earlier work, I restrict these studies to incompressible materials. Any set of Love numbers h 2 and k 2 which describe a planet's tidal deformation, could be fit by a range of ice thickness values, by adjusting other parameters such as mantle rigidity or core size, an important result for mission planning. Inclusion of compression into multilayer models has been addressed analytically, uncovering several issues that are not explicit in the literature. Full evaluation with compression is here restricted to a uniform sphere. A set of singularities in the classical solution, which correspond to instabilities due to self-gravity has been identified and mapped in parameter space. The analytical models of tidal response yield the stresses anywhere within the body, including on its surface. Crack patterns (such as cycloids) on Europa are probably controlled by these stresses. However, in contrast to previous studies which used a thin shell approximation of the tidal stress, I consider how other tidal models compare with the observed tectonic features. In this way the relationship between Europa's surface tectonics and the global tidal distortion can be constrained. While large-scale tidal

  17. 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

  18. A highly integrated payload suite for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A new concept for the exploration of Europa.

    PubMed

    Rampelotto, Pabulo Henrique

    2012-06-01

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

  15. Europa Explorer - An Exceptional Mission Using Existing Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Karla B.

    2007-01-01

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

  16. 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.)

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Cycloid Formation in Europa's Viscoelastic Ice Shell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoden, A.; Hurford, T. A.; Jara-Orue, H.; Vermeersen, B. L.

    2013-12-01

    Cycloids are linked arcuate segments that are thought to form as tensile fractures in response to daily-varying tidal stress on Europa (e.g. Hoppa et al., 2001). Their shapes appear to record subtle differences in the stress field that led to their formation, which makes cycloids excellent tools with which to investigate Europa's rotation history. Good fits to observed cycloids have been achieved using formation models that assume the shell behaves elastically (e.g. Rhoden et al., 2010). However, computations for a rheologically-layered Europa have revealed that both the magnitude and the timing of diurnal tidal stress differ from the elastic shell model (Wahr et al., 2009; Jara-Orue and Vermeersen, 2011). The deviations are even more pronounced for long-term sources of stress such as non-synchronous rotation (NSR). In order to assess the influence of rheological layering on cycloid formation we have now incorporated the viscoelastic computations of tidal stress into our existing cycloid modeling software (see Rhoden et al., 2010). We test two interior structure models, both of which assume a linear viscoelastic Maxwell rheology. They both include a 30-km ice shell in which the upper 5km have a viscosity of 1E21 Pa*s. In one case, the remaining 25km are effectively elastic on diurnal timescales (visc = 1E17 Pa*s), and in the other, they are highly dissipative (visc = 1E14 Pa*s). We first assess the changes in the paths of hypothetical cycloids at various locations on Europa using typical values for the mechanical parameters involved with cycloid formation. We find small but noticeable changes in cycloid paths between the two interior models. We then assess the role of non-synchronous rotation using the more viscous model (i.e. visc = 1E21 Pa*s for upper 5km, 1E14 Pa*s for lower 25km). Our maps of hypothetical cycloids confirm the findings of Jara-Orue and Vermeersen (2011), that NSR periods shorter than (of order) 1Myr generate stresses that swamp out the diurnal

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Europa Lander Mission Concept (Artist Rendering)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-02-08

    This artist's rendering illustrates a conceptual design for a potential future mission to land a robotic probe on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. The lander is shown with a sampling arm extended, having previously excavated a small area on the surface. The circular dish on top is a dual-purpose high-gain antenna and camera mast, with stereo imaging cameras mounted on the back of the antenna. Three vertical shapes located around the top center of the lander are attachment points for cables that would lower the rover from a sky crane, which is envisioned as the landing system for this mission concept. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21048

  13. Europa - The prospects for an ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. ScienceCast 38: The Great Lakes of Europa

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-11-23

    Scientists studying data from NASA's Galileo probe have discovered what appears to be a body of liquid water the volume of the North American Great Lakes locked inside the icy shell of Jupiter's moon Europa.

  20. Europa Global Views in Natural and Enhanced Colors

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1998-05-08

    This color composite view combines violet, green, and infrared images of Jupiter 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Taste of the Ocean on Europa Surface Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-03-05

    Based on new evidence from Jupiter moon Europa, astronomers hypothesize that chloride salts bubble up from its global liquid ocean and reach the frozen surface where they are bombarded with sulfur from volcanoes on Jupiter innermost large moon, Io.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Irwin, Louis N

    2002-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, Ashok Kumar; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-09-01

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

  1. Topography within Europa's Mannann'an crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

  2. Topography within Europa's Mannann'an crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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).

  6. DSMC simulation of Europa water vapor plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  7. Europa Ice Cliffs-High Resolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

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

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

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

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

  8. Europa 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Tírez Lake as a Terrestrial Analog of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

    Tírez Lake (La Mancha, central Spain) is proposed as a terrestrial analogue of Europa's ocean. The proposal is based on the comparison of the hydrogeochemistry of Tírez Lake with the geochemical features of the alteration mineralogy of meteoritic precursors and with Galileo's Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer data on Europa's surface. To validate the astrobiological potential of Tírez Lake as an analog of Europa, different hydrogeochemical, mineral, and microbial analyses were performed. Experimental and theoretical modeling helped to understand the crystallization pathways that may occur in Europa's crust. Calculations about the oxidation state of the hypothetical Europan ocean were estimated to support the sulfate-rich neutral liquid model as the origin of Europa's observed hydrated minerals and to facilitate their comparison with Tírez's hydrogeochemistry. Hydrogeochemical and mineralogical analyses showed that Tírez waters corresponded to Mg-Na-SO4-Cl brines with epsomite, hexahydrite, and halite as end members. A preliminary microbial ecology characterization identified two different microbial domains: a photosynthetically sustained community represented by planktonic/benthonic forms and microbial mat communities, and a subsurficial anaerobic realm in which chemolithotrophy predominates. Fluorescence in situ hybridization has been used to characterize the prokaryotic diversity of the system. The subsurficial community seemed to be dominated by sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogens. Frozen Tírez brines were analyzed by Fourier-transform infrared techniques providing spectra similar to those reported previously using pure components and to the Galileo spectral data. Calorimetric measurements of Tírez brines showed pathways and phase metastability for magnesium sulfate and sodium chloride crystallization that may aid in understanding the processes involved in the formation of Europa's icy crust. The use of fluorescence hybridization techniques for

  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. Statistical Distribution Analysis of Lineated Bands on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, T.; Phillips, C. B.; Pappalardo, R. T.

    2016-12-01

    Tina Chen, Cynthia B. Phillips, Robert T. Pappalardo Europa's surface is covered with intriguing linear and disrupted features, including lineated bands that range in scale and size. Previous studies have shown the possibility of an icy shell at the surface that may be concealing a liquid ocean with the potential to harboring life (Pappalardo et al., 1999). Utilizing the high-resolution imaging data from the Galileo spacecraft, we examined bands through a morphometric and morphologic approach. Greeley et al. (2000) and Procktor et al. (2002) have defined bands as wide, hummocky to lineated features that have distinctive surface texture and albedo compared to its surrounding terrain. We took morphometric measurements of lineated bands to find correlations in properties such as size, location, and orientation, and to shed light on formation models. We will present our measurements of over 100 bands on Europa that was mapped on the USGS Europa Global Mosaic Base Map (2002). We also conducted a statistical analysis to understand the distribution of lineated bands globally, and whether the widths of the bands differ by location. Our preliminary analysis from our statistical distribution evaluation, combined with the morphometric measurements, supports a uniform ice shell thickness for Europa rather than one that varies geographically. References: Greeley, Ronald, et al. "Geologic mapping of Europa." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 105.E9 (2000): 22559-22578.; Pappalardo, R. T., et al. "Does Europa have a subsurface ocean? Evaluation of the geological evidence." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 104.E10 (1999): 24015-24055.; Prockter, Louise M., et al. "Morphology of Europan bands at high resolution: A mid-ocean ridge-type rift mechanism." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 107.E5 (2002).; U.S. Geological Survey, 2002, Controlled photomosaic map of Europa, Je 15M CMN: U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Investigations Series I-2757, available at http

  15. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The Atmosphere and Ionosphere of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marconi, M. L.; Smyth, W. H.

    2011-12-01

    Europa's atmosphere is thought to be generated mainly by the sputtering of its predominantly water-ice surface by energetic heavy ions. The primary sputtering products are H2, O2, and H2O with smaller amounts of O, H, and OH. The denser corotating lower energy torus plasma in turn interacts with these species driving important plasma-neutral chemistry that also significantly heats the atmosphere. The two-dimensional DSMC (Direct Simulation Monte Carlo) model for neutrals of Smyth and Marconi (2006) has been extended to include ions and has been coupled to the field model of Wolf-Gladrow et al. (1987). This new two-dimensional plasma-neutral coupled DSMC model generates peak electron densities at the flanks similar to those of Saur et al. (1998) and the peak values reported by Kliore et al. (1997). It is also found that O2+ is the major ion near the surface and that the O2 distribution is asymmetric with some inflation on the trailing side. Results for the ion and neutral species are presented for different latitudes and compared to the previous work of Smyth and Marconi. Kliore, A.J., D.P. Hinson, F.M. Flasar, A.F. Nagy, and T.E. Cravens, Science 277, 335-358, 1997. Saur, J., D.F. Strobel, and F.M. Neubauer, JGR 108, 19947-19962, 1998. Smyth, W.H. and M.L. Marconi, Icarus 181, 510-526, 2006. Wolf-Gladrow, D.A., F.M. Neubauer, and M. Lussem, JGR 92, 9949-9961, 1987.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  14. 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 .

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Science and Reconnaissance from the Europa Clipper Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. "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

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Evidence for Separation across a Gray Band on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, Robert T.; Sullivan, Robert J.

    1996-10-01

    Thynia Linea, a gray band on Europa, is found to be a ∼25 km wide and >900 km long region of lithospheric separation which has been infilled by relatively dark material. Roughly a dozen older features and the cuspate segments that form its outline appear to have been displaced across its width. Displacement azimuths indicate a best fit pole of opening near 79°S, 200°W. However, displacement magnitude decreases toward either end of the gray band, indicating that it is more akin to a “tear” in a nonrigid europan lithosphere. Opening was in response to NW-SE directed tensile stress, in accord with the stress predictions of nonsynchronous rotation. Observations of Thynia Linea are consistent with a laterally mobile brittle lithosphere, decoupled from ductile or liquid material below, as previously suggested to account for opening of wedge-shaped bands in Europa's antijovian region. Lithospheric separation and contemporaneous emplacement of new material offers a possible volcano-tectonic scenario for resurfacing Europa. If this process is ongoing, resurfacing can be accomplished on a time scale consistent with the satellite's surface age if one gray band or zone of wedge-shaped bands forms every ∼103-104yr and becomes unrecognizable with age. This would imply that features on Europa brighten with age, as through continuous deposition of frost onto the surface.

  13. SALTS AND RADIATION PRODUCTS ON THE SURFACE OF EUROPA

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-15

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Magnetism of the Galilean Satellites Io, Europa and Ganymede

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spohn, T.; Schmidt, F.; Breuer, D.

    2004-05-01

    The Galileo magnetic field observations at the Galilean Satellites present a number of open questions. Among those is the following: Why should Ganymede have a self-sustained magnetic field while both Io and Europa have not? For Io, the absence of a dynamo in the core may be explained by the enormous amount of tidal heating in the satellite's mantle that keeps the interior warm and the core from freezing. A dynamo driven by chemical convection upon inner core freeze out is then impossible. A dynamo driven by thermal convection is equally unlikely as Wienbruch and Spohn (1995) have already shown. For Europa and Ganymede, tidal heating, at present, is much less important or, respectively, of no importance at all. Because Europa is about 1000km smaller in radius than Ganymede, the former should be cooling faster than the latter and, if anything, Europa should grow an inner core and produce a magnetic field, but not Ganymede. We will argue that the explanation may lie with Ganymede's core having much less Sulphur than Europa's. Sulphur in the core acts to depress the melting point and may have frustrated inner core growth in Europa for the age of the Jovian system. We use the chemical model of Kuskov and Kronrod (2001) in which the three inner Galilean satellites are close to L and LL chondrites in composition and model the interior structure while satisfying the known masses and moment of inertia factors calculated from Galileo data. When stripped of their ice shells, Ganymede has a smaller moment of inertia factor and larger density than Europa. Thus with the same silicate mantle composition, Europa's core must be less dense than Ganymede's. We take the bulk concentration of Sulphur in the iron-silicate deep interiors of the satellites to be about 2 weight-% (Lodders and Fegley, 1998) and assume that the Sulphur is entirely in the core. We then find that Ganymede should have 15 to 20 weight-% Sulphur in its core while the Europan core typically has Sulphur

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Exploring A Thermal-Orbital Feedback Mechanism At Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Searching for Liquid Water in Europa by Using Surface Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Youthful Geologic Terrains with Anomalous Surface Chemistry on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  6. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  10. Post Galileo-Europa-Mission Satellite Tour Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  11. A Novel Strategy to Seek Biosignatures at Enceladus and Europa.

    PubMed

    Judge, Philip

    2017-09-05

    A laboratory experiment is suggested in which conditions similar to those in the plume ejecta from Enceladus and, perhaps, Europa are established. With the use of infrared spectroscopy and polarimetry, the experiment might identify possible biomarkers in differential measurements of water from the open ocean, hydrothermal vents, and abiotic water samples. Should the experiment succeed, large telescopes could be used to acquire sensitive infrared spectra of the plumes of Enceladus and Europa, as the satellites transit the bright planetary disks. The extreme technical challenges encountered in so doing are similar to those of solar imaging spectropolarimetry. The desired signals are buried in noisy data in the presence of seeing-induced image motion and a changing natural source. Some differential measurements used for solar spectropolarimetry can achieve signal-to-noise ratios of 10(5) even in the presence of systematic errors 2 orders of magnitude larger. We review the techniques and likelihood of success of such an observing campaign with some of the world's largest ground-based telescopes, as well as the long-anticipated James Webb Space Telescope. We discuss the relative merits of the new 4 m Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, as well as the James Webb Space Telescope and larger ground-based observatories, for observing the satellites of giant planets. As seen from near Earth, transits of Europa occur regularly, but transits of Enceladus will begin again only in 2022. Key Words: Spectroscopy-Spectropolarimetry-Life origins. Astrobiology 17, xxx-xxx.

  12. Optimising the science orbits for the Joint Europa Mission (JEM).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desprats, William; Balmino, Georges; Laurent-Varin, Julien; Russell, Ryan

    2017-04-01

    JEM (a proposed NASA-ESA Joint Europa Mission) will be assigned the following overarching goal: Understand Europa as a complex system responding to Jupiter system forcing, characterize the habitability of its potential biosphere, and search for life in its surface, sub-surface and exosphere. The JEM observation strategy to address these goals will include measurements on a high-latitude, low-latitude Europan orbit providing a continuous and global mapping of planetary fields (magnetic and gravity) and of the neutral and charged environment during a period of three months, which will itself follow a sequence of science operations in halo orbit around the L1 Lagrangian point of the Europa-Jupiter system which will also be used to relay the data from the JEM lander. We will present a detailed mission analysis study by which the two successive sequences of science orbits have been optimized to best cover the JEM scientific objectives while satisfactorily fulfilling the mission constraints related to the lander delivery and relay functions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Highest-resolution Europa Image & Mosaic from Galileo

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-02-08

    This mosaic of images includes the most detailed view of the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa obtained by NASA's Galileo mission. The topmost footprint is the highest resolution image taken by Galileo at Europa. It was obtained at an original image scale of 19 feet (6 meters) per pixel. The other seven images in this observation were obtained at a resolution of 38 feet (12 meters) per pixel, thus the mosaic, including the top image, has been projected at the higher image scale. The top image is also provided at its original resolution, as a separate image file. It includes a vertical black line that resulted from missing data that was not transmitted by Galileo. This is the highest resolution view of Europa available until a future mission visits the icy moon. The right side of the image was previously published as PIA01180. Although this data has been publicly available in NASA's Planetary Data System archive for many years, NASA scientists have not previously combined these images into a mosaic for public release. This observation was taken with the sun relatively high in the sky, so most of the brightness variations visible here are due to color differences in the surface material rather than shadows. Bright ridge tops are paired with darker valleys, perhaps due to a process in which small temperature variations allow bright frost to accumulate in slightly colder, higher-elevation locations. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21431

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Looking for SO_2 and H_2S on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betts, B. H.; Nash, D. B.

    1996-09-01

    We consider how to best look for frozen SO_2 and H_2S on Europa with Galileo's Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), in part by creating simulated NIMS spectra based upon our lab spectroscopic reflectance data [e.g. 1,2] of H_2S, SO_2, and H_2O ices. The presence or absence, abundance, and location of SO_2 or H_2S on Europa could have significant implications for understanding Europa's geologic and even biologic history. IUE and HST data of Europa show a band in the UV that [3] interpret as most likely due to frozen SO_2; and [4] interpret continuum slope of UV/Visible data as consistent with sulfur compounds or allotropes. In groundbased data, many of the strongest SO_2 and H_2S bands overlap with Europa's saturated 3 mu m water ice band. Even so, [5,6] indicate some SO_2 bands near 4 mu m may be barely visible. With better spatial resolution and sensitivity, NIMS may be able to detect SO_2 using the strong 4.1 mu m band, particularly in areas that are enriched in SO_2 or depleted somewhat in water ice relative to global averages. Perhaps even better to look for is the weaker SO_2 2.54 mu m band because it lies outside the main water bands. It is much weaker than the 4 mu m SO_2 band, but strong enough that it should be visible in pixels where SO_2 averages a mm or more in thickness on the surface [1]. H_2S will be a challenge to observe because the optimum bands, near 3.9 and 2.7 mu m, both overlap with spectral areas saturated by water ice in groundbased data. However, even thin (0.1 to 1 mm) H_2S frosts create very deep bands at these wavelengths [7], and NIMS' vastly better spatial resolution, as well as greater sensitivity, may allow looking for these bands. References. [1] Nash, D. B. and B. H. Betts, Icarus, 117, 402-419, 1995. [2] Nash, D. B. and R. Howell, Science, 244, 454-457, 1989. [3] Noll, K. S. et al., J. Geophys. Res., 100, 19057-19060, 1995. [4] Spencer et al., J. Geophys. Res., 100, 19049-19056, 1995. [5] Calvin, W. M. et al., J. Geophys

  2. Surface composition of Europa based on VLT observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligier, N.; Poulet, F.; Carter, J.

    2016-12-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa may harbor a global salty ocean under an 80-170 km thick outer layer consisting of an icy crust (Anderson et al. 1998). Meanwhile, the 10-50 My old surface, dated by cratering rates (Pappalardo et al. 1999) implies rapid surface recycling and reprocessing that could result in tectonic activity (Kattenhorn et al. 2014) and plumes (Roth et al. 2014). The surface could thus exhibit fingerprints of chemical species, as minerals characteristics of an ocean-mantle interaction and/or organics of exobiological interest, directly originating from the subglacial ocean. In order to re-investigate the composition of Europa's surface, a global mapping campaign of the satellite was performed with the near-infrared integral field spectrograph SINFONI on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. The high spectral binning of this instrument (0.5 nm) and large signal noise ratio in comparison to previous observations are adequate to detect sharp absorptions in the wavelength range 1.45-2.45 μm. In addition, the spatially resolved spectra we obtained over five epochs nearly cover the entire surface of Europa with a pixel scale of 12.5 by 25 m.a.s ( 35 by 70 km on Europa's surface), thus permitting a global scale study. Several icy and non-icy compounds were detected and mapped at <100 km resolution. They are unevenly distributed on the moon's surface. Amorphous and crystalline water ice are both present and, in spite of a particularly strong amorphization process likely engendered by the Io plasma torus, the crystalline form is found to be approximately twice as abundant as the amorphous ice based on the analysis of the 1.65 μm band. If the surface is dominated by small and mid-sized water ice grains (25-200 μm), crystalline water-ice grains exhibit spatial inhomogeneities in their distribution. The sulfuric acid hydrate distribution exhibits the typical "bullseye" feature on the trailing hemisphere. The presence of Mg-bearing chlorinated salts (chloride

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul; Mimmo, Francis; Prockter, Louise

    2004-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenk, Paul; Mimmo, Francis; Prockter, Louise

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Tectonic Processes on Europa: Tidal Stresses and Visible Features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, R.; Geissler, P. E.; Hoppa, G.; Tufts, B. R.; Durda, D. D.; Pappalardo, R.; Head, J. W.; Carr, M. H.; Galileo Imaging Team

    1997-07-01

    Europa's orbital eccentricity, driven by the resonance with Io and Ganymede, results in ``diurnal'' tides (3.5 day period) and possibly in non-synchronous rotation. Both diurnal variation and non-synchronous rotation can create significant stress fields on Europa's surface and both effects may produce cracking. Patterns and time-sequences of apparent tectonic features on Europa include lineaments that correlate with both sources of stress, if we take into account non-synchronous rotation after initial crack formation, by amounts ranging up to several tens of degrees. For example, the stratigraphic time sequence of features in the Cadmus and Minos Linea region is consistent with the diurnal tensile-stress field, as it evolves during tens of degrees of non-synchronous rotation. Constraints on the rotation rate from comparing Voyager and Galileo images show that significant rotation requires greater than ~ 10(5) yr, but not necessarily longer than the age of the surface as indicated by the sparse craters. Once cracking is initiated, diurnal tides work cracks so that they open and close daily. Although the daily effect is small, over 10(5) yr double ridges could plausibly be built along the cracks with sizes and morphologies consistent with observed structures, according to a model in which underlying liquid water fills the open cracks, partially freezes, and is extruded during the daily closing of the cracks. Thus several lines of observational and theoretical evidence can be integrated if we assume non-synchronous rotation and the existence of a liquid water layer.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Vital Signs: Seismology of Europa and Other Ocean World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kedar, S.; Vance, S.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Banerdt, W. B.; Bills, B. G.; Castillo, J. C.; Huang, H. H.; Jackson, J. M.; Lognonne, P. H.; Lorenz, R. D.; Panning, M. P.; Pike, W. T.; Stähler, S. C.; Tsai, V. C.

    2016-12-01

    Seismic investigations offer the most comprehensive view into the deep interiors of planetary bodies. The InSight mission and concepts for a Europa Lander and a Lunar Geophysical Network present unique opportunies for seismology to play a critical role in constraining interior structure and thermal state. In oceanic icy worlds, measuring the radial depths of compositional interfaces using seismology in a broad frequency range can sharpen inferences of interior structures deduced from gravity and magnetometry studies, such as those planned for NASA's proposed Europa Mission and ESA's JUICE mission. Seismology may also offer information about fluid motions within or beneath ice, which complements magnetic studies; and can record the dynamics of ice layers, which would reveal mechanisms and spatiotemporal occurrence of crack formation and propagation. Investigating these structures and processes in the future calls for detailed modeling of seismic sources and signatures, in order to develop the most suitable instrumentation. We will present results of simulations of plausible seismic sources and wave-field 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, a possible seismic source similar to that seen from turbulent flow in terrestrial rivers; downflow of dense brines from chaos regions on Europa into its underlying ocean, which possibly resemble riverine flows and flows through glacial channels and ocean acoustic signals that couple with the overlying ice to produce seismic waves, by analogy with Earth's ocean-generated seismic hum. Cammarano, F., Lekic, V., Manga, M., Panning, M., and Romanowicz, B. (2006). JGR, E12009:doi:10.1029/2006JE002710. Kovach, R. L. and Chyba, C. F. (2001). Icarus, 150

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 2D-model of oxygen emissions lines for Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cessateur, Gaël; Barthelemy, Mathieu; Lilensten, Jean; Rubin, Martin; Maggiolo, Romain; De Keyser, Johan

    2017-04-01

    The Jovian moon Europa is an interesting case study as an archetype for icy satellites, and will be one of the primary targets of the ESA JUICE mission which should be launched in 2022. Hosting a thin neutral gas atmosphere mainly composed of O2 and H2O, Europa can be studied by its airglow and dayglow emissions. A 1D photochemistry model has first been developed to assess the impact of the solar UV flux on the visible emission, such as the red and green oxygen lines (Cessateur et al. 2016). For limb polar viewing, red line emissions can reach a few hundreds of Rayleigh close to the surface. The impact of the precipitating electrons has also been studied. The density and temperature of the electrons are first derived from the multifluid MHD model from Rubin et al. (2015). A 2D emission model has thus been developed to estimate the airglow emissions. When electrons are the major source of the visible emissions, the solar UV flux can be responsible for up to 15% of those emissions for some specific line of sight. Oxygen emission lines in the UV have also been considered, such as 130.5 and 135.6 nm. For the latter, we did estimate some significant line emissions reaching 700 Rayleigh for a polar limb viewing angle close to the surface. Oxygen emission lines are significant (higher than 10 R) for altitudes lower than 100 km for all lines, except for the red line emissions where emissions are still above 10 R up to 200 km from the surface. A sensitivity study has also been performed in order to assess the impact of the uncertainties relative to the dissociative-excitation cross sections. Cessateur G, Barthelemy M & Peinke I. Photochemistry-emission coupled model for Europa and Ganymede. J. Space Weather Space Clim., 6, A17, 2016 Rubin, M., et al. Self-consistent multifluid MHD simulations of Europa's exospheric interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 120, 3503-3524, 2015

  13. Strategy for modeling putative multilevel ecosystems on Europa.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Louis N; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2003-01-01

    A general strategy for modeling ecosystems on other worlds is described. Two alternative biospheres beneath the ice surface of Europa are modeled, based on analogous ecosystems on Earth in potentially comparable habitats, with reallocation of biomass quantities consistent with different sources of energy and chemical constituents. The first ecosystem models a benthic biosphere supported by chemoautotrophic producers. The second models two concentrations of biota at the top and bottom of the subsurface water column supported by energy harvested from transmembrane ionic gradients. Calculations indicate the plausibility of both ecosystems, including small macroorganisms at the highest trophic levels, with ionotrophy supporting a larger biomass than chemoautotrophy.

  14. Dissipation in the deep interiors of Ganymede and Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

    Jupiter's satellites are subject to strong tidal forces which result in variations of the gravitational potential and deformations of the satellites' surfaces on the diurnal tidal cycle. Tidal flexing in the deep interiors can be a significant heat source for the satellites' thermal-orbital evolution. Whereas typical structure models of Europa consist of a core, a silicate mantle, an ocean and an outer ice-I shell [1], pressures inside Ganymede are sufficient for high-pressure ice phases to occur between the silicate mantle and the ocean [2]. With current data it is unknown whether the deep interiors (i.e., Europa's silicate shell and Ganymede's silicate mantle and/or high-pressure ice layer) are dissipative. Other possibilities would be that the dissipation rates are in general very low (unlikely at least for Europa due to recent observations) or that dissipative processes are mainly occurring in the ice-I shell and/or ocean. Thus, for evaluations of the heating state of these satellites, it is important to measure the magnitude of the interior dissipation. However, observation of the interior layers such as high-pressure ice layers is more challenging than that of the surface ice-I layer. Here we suggest a method to constrain the dissipation states of the deep interiors of Ganymede and Europa by altimetry and gravity measurements from an orbiting or multi-flyby spacecraft. Tidal variations are generally described by the Love numbers k2 and h2 for the tide-induced potential variation due to internal mass redistribution and the radial surface displacement, respectively. The phase-lags of these complex numbers contain information about the rheological and dissipative states of the satellites. For the satellites we assume a decoupling of the outer ice-shell from the deep interior by a liquid subsurface water ocean. We show that, in this case, the phase-lag difference between the lags of k2 and h2 can provide information on the rheological and thermal state of the

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Joint Europa Mission (JEM) : A multi-scale study of Europa to characterize its habitability and search for life.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc, Michel; Prieto Ballesteros, Olga; Andre, Nicolas; Cooper, John F.

    2017-04-01

    Europa is the closest and probably the most promising target to perform a comprehensive characterization of habitability and search for extant life. We propose that NASA and ESA join forces to design an ambitious planetary mission we call JEM (for Joint Europa Mission) to reach this objective. JEM will be assigned the following overarching goal: Understand Europa as a complex system responding to Jupiter system forcing, characterize the habitability of its potential biosphere, and search for life in its surface, sub-surface and exosphere. Our observation strategy to address these goals will combine three scientific measurement sequences: measurements on a high-latitude, low-latitude Europan orbit providing a continuous and global mapping of planetary fields (magnetic and gravity) and of the neutral and charged environment during a period of three months; in-situ measurements at the surface, using a soft lander operating during 35 days, to search for bio-signatures at the surface and sub-surface and operate a geophysical station; measurements of the chemical composition of the very low exosphere and plumes in search for biomolecules. The implementation of these three observation sequences will rest on the combination of two science platforms equipped with the most advanced instrumentation: a soft lander to perform all scientific measurements at the surface and sub-surface at a selected landing site, and a carrier/relay/orbiter to perform the orbital survey and descent sequences. In this concept, the orbiter will perform science operations during the relay phase on a carefully optimized halo orbit of the Europa-Jupiter system before moving to its final Europan orbit. The design of both orbiter and lander instruments will have to accommodate the very challenging radiation mitigation and Planetary Protection issues. The proposed lander science platform is composed of a geophysical station and of two complementary astrobiology facilities dedicated to bio

  19. 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.

  20. On the design of a science orbit about Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lara, Martin; Russell, Ryan

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Pebble Accretion at the Origin of Water in Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ronnet, Thomas; Mousis, Olivier; Vernazza, Pierre

    2017-08-01

    Despite the fact that the observed gradient in water content among the Galilean satellites is globally consistent with a formation in a circum-Jovian disk on both sides of the snowline, the mechanisms that led to a low water mass fraction in Europa (˜8%) are not yet understood. Here, we present new modeling results of solids transport in the circum-Jovian disk accounting for aerodynamic drag, turbulent diffusion, surface temperature evolution, and sublimation of water ice. We find that the water mass fraction of pebbles (e.g., solids with sizes of 10-2-1 m) as they drift inward is globally consistent with the current water content of the Galilean system. This opens the possibility that each satellite could have formed through pebble accretion within a delimited region whose boundaries were defined by the position of the snowline. This further implies that the migration of the forming satellites was tied to the evolution of the snowline so that Europa fully accreted from partially dehydrated material in the region just inside of the snowline.

  2. Development and Testing of the Europa Mission's Venturi Flow Meter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, C. E.; McKim, S. A.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), in collaboration with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Fox Valve Development Corp. and Oxford Lasers, is developing a set of venturi flow meters for use on the Europa Mission's propulsion subsystem. The requirement for the venturi flow meters' throat diameters is approximately 0.040". An early risk reduction activity conducted by MSFC revealed that a venturi flow meter produced by FOX with a throat diameter near 0.040" had much higher pressure loss than venturi flow meters with larger throat diameters and venturis of similar throat diameter size but with no pressure taps (i.e. venturis with a throat length to diameter ratio of zero). In response, a series of venturi flow meters was fabricated and flow tested to gain insight into pressure recovery as it is affected by pressure port diameter, throat length and diffuser angle in an effort to improve the performance of a venturi flow meter. This presentation provides a summary of the venturi flow meter development activity including: a description of the test's objectives, a detailed description of each venturi configuration, a description of the manufacturing processes of the venturis, and observations from the test data. A summary of the current development activities will also be given, as well as the current development path forward. Ultimately, the knowledge gained through the fabrication and testing of these venturis provides guidance to design a flight venturi flow meters with pressure recoveries that is acceptable for the Europa flight application.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Design for CubeSat-based dust and radiation studies at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goel, Ashish; Krishnamoorthy, Siddharth; Swenson, Travis; West, Stephen; Li, Alan; Crew, Alexander; Phillips, Derek James; Screve, Antoine; Close, Sigrid

    2017-07-01

    Europa is one of the icy moons of Jupiter and the possibility of an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust makes it one of the most fascinating destinations for exploration in the solar system. NASA's Europa Multiple Flyby Mission (EMFM, formerly Europa Clipper) is slated to visit the icy moon in a timeframe near the year 2022 to study the habitability of Europa. CubeSats carried along by the primary mission can supplement the measurements made, at a relatively low cost, and with the added benefits of involving students at universities in this challenging endeavor. Further, such a mission holds the key to extending the applicability of CubeSats to interplanetary missions. In this paper, we present the design of the Europa Radiation and Dust Observation Satellite (ERDOS), a 3U CubeSat designed to be deployed by the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission to carry out measurements of the radiation and dust environment, before impacting Europa's surface. We present a detailed design for a CubeSat-based secondary mission, and discuss the science goals that may be accomplished by such a mission. Further, we discuss results from a comprehensive analysis of various engineering challenges associated with an interplanetary CubeSat mission, such as radiation shielding and thermal environment control. Our results show that a short duration CubeSat-based flyby mission is feasible when the CubeSat is carried on board the primary mission until the Jovian system is reached. Such a flyby mission can provide important supplementary information to the primary mission about Europa's environment at a closer range and lead to a substantial increase in scientific knowledge about surface processes on Europa.

  1. 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

  2. Insights Into Ice-Ocean Interactions on Earth and Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, J.; Schmidt, B. E.; Winslow, L.; Doran, P. T.; Kim, S.; Walker, C. C.; Buffo, J.; Skidmore, M. L.; Soderlund, K. M.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bramall, N. E.; Johnson, A.; Rack, F. R.; Stone, W.; Kimball, P.; Clark, E.

    2016-12-01

    Europa and Earth appear to be drastically different worlds, yet below their icy crusts the two likely share similar oceanic conditions including temperatures, pressures (relatively), and salinity. Earth's ice shelves provide an important analog for the physiochemical, and potentially microbial, characteristics of icy worlds. NASA's ASTEP program funded Sub-Ice Marine and PLanetary-analog Ecosystems (SIMPLE) to help address the fundamental processes occurring at ice ocean interfaces, the extent and limitations of life in sub-ice environments, and how environmental properties and biological communities interact. The relationships between currents, temperature, and salinity with physical processes such as melt, freeze, and marine ice accretion at the basal surfaces of ice shelves influence habitability yet are poorly understood even on Earth. Resultant processes such as the inclusion of ocean-derived material in ice shelves and the transport of biotics from the interface towards the surface via ablation, convection, and diapirism also have important astrobiological implications for Europa.Here, we present results from CTD and imaging data gathered at multiple locations beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) to highlight how the ice and ocean interact in a Europan analog environment. Over the course of three years, the SIMPLE team observed heterogeneity in the water column and basal ice beneath the MIS. During the recent 2015 field season we deployed ARTEMIS, an AUV capable of characterizing the interface over multiple kilometer missions, and conducted daily CTD casts to 480 m (bottom depth 529 m) in November adjacent to the terminus of the MIS to capture temporal variation in the water column. These casts show the presence of transient water masses related to the tidal period, each containing a single or double temperature minimum (down to -1.97 °C from -1.93 °C) between 60 to 150 m depth. Further comparisons between years and sampling locations demonstrate the

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Jakosky, B M; Shock, E L

    1998-08-25

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Life detection at an Arctic analog to Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Europa is a high priority for astrobiological investigations. Future missions to the icy surface of this moon will query the arguably sulfur-rich materials for potential indications of the presence of life carried to the surface by mobile ice or partial melt. Cold sulfur-rich environments are rare on the Earth, and the potential for the generation and preservation of biosignatures under these conditions remains largely unconstrained. Here we describe investigations into the biogenicity of analogous sulfur deposits from the surface of an Arctic glacier at Borup Fiord pass, Ellesmere Island. Optical and electron microscopy indicate that the sulfur in field samples is present in the form of clumps of mineral grains and spherical mineral aggregates, in close association with microbial sheaths. The morphologies of these materials are consistent with observations of the sulfur generated by sulfide-oxidizing bacteria cultivated from field samples in previous studies. X-ray diffraction measurements provide some evidence for the presence of rosickyite, a metastable form of sulfur previously recognized to be associated with the presence of life. Infrared spectroscopy reveals the presence of organics at parts per million levels, and organic functional groups diagnostic of proteins and fatty acids are identified. Organic components were below the detection limit for Raman spectra, which were dominated by sulfur peaks. These combined investigations indicate that sulfur minerals have the potential to contain identifiable biosignatures that low-temperature conditions help stabilize and preserve. Borup Fiord Pass represents a useful testing ground for instruments and techniques relevant to future astrobiological exploration at Europa.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuthe, Mikael

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Understanding Europa's Surface Texture from Remote Sensing Photopolarimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, R. M.; Boryta, M. D.; Hapke, B. W.; Shkuratov, Y.; Vandervoort, K.; Vides, C. L.

    2016-12-01

    We use a Goniometric Photopolarimeter (GPP) to make angular scattering reflectance and polarization measurements of the light reflected from particulate materials that simulate a planetary regolith. We compare these laboratory results to astronomical remote sensing observations in an effort to understand the chemical and textural state of object's surface. The GPP employs the Helmholtz Reciprocity Principle (1,2) -the incident light is linearly polarized - the intensity of the reflected component is measured. The light encounters fewer optical surfaces, improving signal to noise. These lab data are physically equivalent to the astronomical data. Our reflectance and polarization phase curves of highly reflective, fine grained, media simulate the regolith of Jupiter's satellite Europa. Our laboratory data exhibit polarization phase curves that are remarkably similar to reports by experienced astronomers (4). Our previous reflectance phase curve data of the same materials also agree with the reflectance phase curves reported by same astronomical observers (5). We find these materials exhibit an increase in circular polarization ratio with decreasing phase angle (3). This suggests coherent backscattering (CB) of photons in the regolith (3). Shkuratov et al. report that the polarization properties of these particulate media are also consistent with the CB enhancement process (5). Our results replicate the astronomical data and indicate that Europa's regolith is fine-grained, highly porous with void space exceeding 90%. Future spacecraft missions to the Jovian system will enhance science return by incorporating angular scattering measurements of the reflectance and polarizatin of the surface. Minnaert, M. (1941).Asrophys. J., 93, 403-410. Hapke, B. W. (2012). ISBN 978-0-521-88349-8 Nelson, R. M. et al. (1998). Icarus, 131, 223-230. Rosenbush, V. et al. (2015). ISBN 978-1-107-04390-9, pp 340-359. Shkuratov, Yu. et al. (2002) Icarus 159, 396-416.

  7. 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.

  8. Emplacement of Volcanic Domes on Venus and Europa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Characteristic features in the spectra of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busarev, V. V.

    2014-01-01

    The results of ground-based spectrophotometry of the icy Galilean satellites of Jupiter—Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto—are discussed. The observations were carried out in the 0.39-0.92 μm range with the use of the CCD spectrometer mounted on the 1.25-m telescope of the Crimean laboratory of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute in March 2004. It is noted that the calculated reflectance spectra of the satellites mainly agree with the analogous data of the earlier ground-based observations and investigations in the Voyager and Galileo space missions. The present study was aimed at identifying new weak absorption bands (with the relative intensity of ˜3-5%) in the reflectance spectra of these bodies with laboratory measurements (Landau et al., 1962; Ramaprasad et al., 1978; Burns, 1993; Busarev et al., 2008). It has been ascertained that the spectra of all of the considered objects contain weak absorption bands of molecular oxygen adsorbed into water ice, which is apparently caused by the radiative implantation of O+ ions into the surface material of the satellites in the magnetosphere of Jupiter. At the same time, spectral features of iron of different valence (Fe2+ and Fe3+) values typical of hydrated silicates were detected on Ganymede and Callisto, while probable indications of methane of presumably endogenous origin, adsorbed into water ice, were found on Europa. The reflectance spectra of the icy Galilean satellites were compared to the reflectance spectra of the asteroids 51 Nemausa (C-class) and 92 Undina (X-class).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    Europa is unique among the large icy satellites because it probably has a long-lived saltwater ocean beneath an ice shell that is geodynamically active. The combination of irradiation of its surface and tidal heating of its interior could make Europa a rich source of chemical energy for life. Direct contact of the ocean with a rocky mantle and potential hydrothermal activity could provide energy and nutrients to support biological activity. NASA has enlisted a study team to consider Europa mission options feasible over the next decade, compatible with NASA’s projected planetary science budget and addressing Planetary Decadal Survey priorities. Two Europa mission concepts (Orbiter and multiple flyby_call the “Clipper”) are undergoing continued study with the goal to “Explore Europa to investigate its habitability.” The Orbiter and Clipper architectures lend themselves to specific types of scientific measurements. The Orbiter concept is tailored to geophysical science that requires being in orbit at Eu