Europa Moon Facts: Know More About Jupiter's Moon! | Kidadl


Europa Moon Facts: Know More About Jupiter's Moon!

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If you asked an astronomer where they think we'll find life in the solar system, they'd almost probably say Europa, Jupiter's frozen moon, and according to experts, the chances are stacked in their favor.

After completing several flybys of Europa, Galileo Spacecraft sent detailed images of the Europa's surface. These images indicated the presence of a global ocean underneath the Europas' surface, which could be brimming with life.

For hundreds of years, scientists have been fascinated with Europa. Europa's surface is one of the brightest in the solar system, thanks to sunlight reflecting off a youthful icy surface. It also has one among the smoothest surface faces, lacking the highly cratered appearance of Callisto and Ganymede. Lines and fissures encircle the exterior as though sketched by a child. Europa may be internally active, and Europa's icy crust may contain, or have previously contained, liquid water capable of supporting life.

According to Greek mythology, Europa is named after a lovely Phoenician princess whom Zeus fell in love with after seeing her collecting flowers. Europa was dragged away to the island of Crete by Zeus, who changed himself into a white bull. Her Trojan war contemporaries Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon, were all fathered by Zeus. Later, Zeus re-created the white bull's shape in the stars, known as the constellation Taurus. Simon Marius, a German astronomer who is claimed to have discovered the four satellites independently, proposed the naming scheme, which he then credited to Johannes Kepler.

Out of the moons orbiting Jupiter, Europa holds a lot of promise for the possibility of life in its sub-surface ocean. The ocean is considered as deep as 40-100 mi (64-161 km). After reading these facts about the surface of Europa, also check out blood moon facts and the black eye galaxy.

Europa Moon Features: Size, Shape, Moon Of Jupiter Details

The Galileo spacecraft was the first to conduct a long-term study of Jupiter and its moons.

Europa is the smallest and second-closest of Jupiter's Galilean moons, but it is the solar system's sixth-largest moon. Europa is one of the earliest worlds for which a subsurface ocean was proposed.

Age: Europa's age is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years, which is nearly the same as Jupiter's.

Distance from the Sun: The distance between Europa and the sun is around 485 million mi (780 million km) on average.

Distance from Jupiter: Jupiter's sixth satellite, Europa, is Jupiter's sixth satellite. It orbits Jupiter at a distance of 414,000 mi (670,900 km). Europa orbits Jupiter every three and a half Earth days. Europa is tidally locked, meaning it always faces Jupiter on the same side. A day in Europa is three and a half times an Earth day.

Size: Europa is smaller than Earth's moon but larger than Pluto, with a diameter of 1,900 mi (3,100 km). It's the tiniest of Galileo's moons.

Temperature: At the equator, the Europa's surface temperature never exceeds -260 F (-160 C). The temperature on Europa's poles never gets above -370 F (-220 C).

Shape: Europa's shape changes as it orbits Jupiter, bringing it ever closer to the planet. This boosts Europa's gravitational force, distorting its shape. The same tidal 'flexing heats Europa's interior.' This could be the reason for the fluidity of Europa's ocean.

Europa Moon: Distance From Earth

Europa is an important part of the Jupiter system. It takes around 3.5 days for Europa to orbit Jupiter, with the average distance being 417,000 mi (671,000 km) from the planet.

Jupiter's moon Europa is on an average 392.6 million mi (628.3 million km) away from Earth. Due to this vast distance, getting into Europa's orbit would take at least three years, plus additional time to land. NASA has unveiled NextSTEP, a program that would combine public and private sector efforts to begin research and architectural design for an Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system that will be used to transport people to Mars and other planets.

The ECLS is now being developed for use on Mars. It will be known as the Deep Space Transport (DST) and will be capable of journeys lasting up to 2.75 years. The Europa transport vehicle will resemble the DST and the International Space Station (ISS) but will differ in numerous crucial ways. Most crucially, the Europa transport vehicle would need to be self-sufficient, with all nutritional supplies supplied at the outset of the flight and the ability to fix any systems that fail or break throughout the journey.

Europa Moon Discovery Details: Names Of The Discovers

Galileo Galilei spotted four moons around Jupiter using a handmade telescope. Initially, he referred to the Jupiter moons by their number designations of Jupiter I, Jupiter II, Jupiter III, and Jupiter IV.

The numerical system for naming the moons lasted a few centuries before scientists realized that using numbers as a naming device would be confusing and unworkable when more moons were discovered. When he looked at what he thought were stars, he noticed that the objects moved in a predictable rhythm.

According to the current understanding of nature, these things went in the 'wrong way.' After a few weeks, Galileo realized he wasn't looking at stars but rather objects in Jupiter's orbit. In honor of their discoverer, Jupiter's four largest satellites—Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto—are now known as the Galilean Moons.

Galileo's discoveries supported the Copernican understanding of the universe. This was the theory that everything in the universe did not revolve around Earth like the moon. His discoveries paved the way for contemporary astronomy.

The Multiple-Flyby Europa mission (previously known as the Europa Clipper mission) is a NASA-developed interplanetary mission that includes a Europa orbiter and a lander. The spacecraft, which is expected to launch in the 2020s (about 2022), is being constructed to research the Galilean satellites through a lander and a series of flybys of Europa while in Jupiter's orbit. You cannot breathe in Europa.

Did you know that each planet in the inner solar system is less dense than the inner neighbor!

After completing several flybys of Europa

Europa Moon: Composition

Slightly smaller than Earth's moon, the surface of Europa is exceptionally smooth, indicating that water from below has escaped and frozen into a smooth surface.

There are a few craters and bright and dark marks; Pwyll is the name of the greatest crater. Linae, jumbled lenticulae, and 'freckles' are other characteristics. Some may emerge as a result of internal heat-releasing meltwater.

An aqueous Europa's oceans cover a small rocky mantle and core under the broken moon surface. Traces of clay-rich minerals have also been discovered. According to planetary scientists, this subsurface ocean is primarily salty water, which may play a role in the moon's magnetic field.

The interior features are deduced from the Galileo spacecraft's gravity and magnetic field readings. Europa has a radius of 978 mi (1,565 km), which is similar to that of our moon. A metallic (iron, nickel) core (shown in grey) has been drawn to the correct relative size for Europa. A rocky mantle shell surrounds the center (shown in brown). Europa's crust of rock layer is encircled by an icy shell of water ice crust or liquid water (drawn to the correct relative scale) (shown in blue and white and drawn to the accurate relative scale).

The surface of Europa is depicted in white to highlight that it may differ from the underlying layers. Galileo photos of Europa show that a liquid salt water ocean may presently lie behind a 6.25 mi (10 km) ice shell. On the other hand, this data supports the existence of a liquid water ocean in the past. It is currently unknown whether Europa has a liquid water ocean.

In terms of its potential for harboring extraterrestrial life, Europa has emerged as one of the most promising sites in the solar system. Its under-ice crust ocean could support life, possibly in a setting akin to Earth's deep-ocean hydrothermal vents.

Scientists consider the moon to be one of the finest places in the solar system for life to evolve due to the availability of water beneath frozen Europa's ice shell. The presence of permanent water vapor in Europa's tenuous atmosphere has been discovered through Hubble Space Telescope scans.

Like the oceans on Earth, the icy surface of the moons are hypothesized to have deep-sea vents to the mantle. These vents might be able to offer the necessary heat conditions for life to develop. If there is life on the moon, it may have gotten a boost from comet deposits. The frozen bodies may have carried organic material to the moon early in the solar system's history.

According to a 2016 study, Europa produces ten times more oxygen than hydrogen, equivalent to Earth. This might make its likely ocean more hospitable to life, and the moon may no longer need to rely on tidal heating for energy. Chemical reactions would be sufficient to keep the cycle going.

The sequence of dark streaks or fractures that crisscross the entire globe is Europa's most striking surface feature of Europa. The largest streaks or fissures are around 12 mi (20 km) long, with hazy outer margins and a lighter middle band.

These characteristics suggest that Europa's frozen surface is tectonically active. The most recent idea suggests that they result from a sequence of volcanic explosions or geysers. These fractures are thought to be eruptive areas where liquid water has sporadically spilled out onto the surface and then frozen, obliterating the signs of impact craters.

Io, Jupiter's moon, contains extremely active volcanic systems that are fuelled by Jupiter's gravitational pull. Similarly, but considerably less intense, heating may exist in Europa's subsurface, accounting for the planetary surface's resurfacing processes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Europa Moon Facts: Know More About Jupiter's Moon! then why not take a look at 101 Fun Facts About Water For Kids: Here's Why Water Is Important!, or Mind-Blowing 2003 Facts That We Bet You Didn't Know.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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