Europa’s watery underworld

Jupiter’s smooth, icy moon may hide giant lakes beneath the surface

By Stephen Ornes, 20:25 PM December 7, 2011





Europa, one of Jupiter’s 63 known moons, looks bright and icy on the surface. But appearances can be deceiving: Miles within its cracked, frigid shell, Europa probably hides giant pools of liquid water.  Where scientists find liquid water, they hope to find life as well.


Since we can’t go diving into Europa’s depths just yet, scientists instead have to investigate the moon’s surface for clues to what lies beneath. In a new study, scientists investigated one group of strange ice patterns on...

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