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Liquid Water Near Europa's Surface A Rarity

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:17 PM

Liquid Water Near Europa's Surface A Rarity


Euro Planet said:

Europa, the enigmatic moon of Jupiter, is believed to be home to a subsurface ocean of liquid water. However, future missions to explore Europa’s ocean may need to dig deep. Research suggests that water does not stay in a liquid state near Europa’s surface for longer than a few tens of thousands of years – the blink of an eye in geological terms. Klára Kalousová will present this work at the European Planetary Science Congress in Madrid on Tuesday 25 September 2012.

Europa is mainly made from rock and iron, with a water shell around 100km deep beneath a crust of solid ice. The ocean is warmed sufficiently to maintain its liquid state by heat produced as a by-product of gravitational pulling to-and-fro from Jupiter.

Pockets of liquid water could be tantalisingly close to the surface. However, Kalousová, from the University of Nantes and Charles University in Prague, believes these would be short-lived. She explains, “A global water ocean may be present, but relatively deep below the surface – around 25 to 50km. There could be areas of liquid water at much shallower depths, say around 5km, but these would only exist for a few tens of thousands of years before migrating downwards.”  

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#2    GreenmansGod

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:35 PM

I guess the ice fishing trip on Europa is out. :hmm:

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#3    Hasina

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:52 PM

But not deep ice water fishing!

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#4    Junior Chubb

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:49 AM

After a particularly cold night fishing trip, I awoke in the morning to find the lake frozen and my line frozen into the ice.

I think that qualifies me for a spot of fishing on Europa. ;)

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#5    Rhino666

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:51 PM

But is it water, or something else?


#6    tipotep

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:56 PM

I think Europa is a very interesting moon , and could possibly have some sort of life in the oceans , I can recall a doco I watched on how they would get through the ice , some sort of heating device was going to melt a hole so a ROV of sorts could get into the ocean and "swim " around .

Very Interesting , hopefully Europa is on a short list of places we need to investigate !

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