Europa as a World
two competing models of Europa's interior
a fairly pure ice crust some 80 to 170 km thick
a denser deep interior
a possible liquid ocean unter the ice crust,
kept liquid by tidal heating by Jupiter and its other moons
a tenuous oxygen atmosphere, produced by charged particles in
Jupiter's magnetic field hitting the icy surface and knocking atoms of water molecules off
Europa's surface has very few impact craters, implying that its
surface is fairly young. The ice at the surface has a fluffy, or porous, texture.
Sublimation erosion (erosion by the sublimation of
water and other volatiles into space) is probably responsible.
Sulfur dioxide has been detected on the surface; it probably was
ejected by Io's sulfur geysers.
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