31 Facts You Need To Read: Distance From Earth To Europa! | Kidadl


31 Facts You Need To Read: Distance From Earth To Europa!

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The mean orbit velocity of Europa is almost half the value of our Earth's mean orbit velocity.

Until the discovery of the Europa moon, astronomers historically believed that all celestial objects revolved around our planet, even the Sun, and that the Earth was the center of the Universe. The discovery made by Galileo proved that moons orbit around planets with all planets orbiting around the Sun.

Europa, also known as Jupiter II, is the smallest among the four Galilean moons that orbit Jupiter, and is slightly smaller than our moon. Out of the 79 known moons of Jupiter, Europa is the sixth closest to Jupiter. This moon is also the sixth-largest in our Solar System. Galileo Galilei discovered Europa in 1610 and named it after Zeus' lover and King Minos' Phoenician mother (Greek Mythology). Europa is mainly made of silicate rock with a water-ice crust, possibly a nickel-iron alloy core, and a rocky mantle as per the data collected by Galileo spacecraft, which is similar to our Earth. However, Europa's interior is surrounded by an ice liquid water layer measuring 50-105 mi (80-170 km), unlike Earth. Also, current data was recovered by the Galileo missions from 1989. Europa's extremely thin atmosphere is mainly made of oxygen. There are streaks and cracks on its surface with relatively few craters. This moon has been observed from both Earth-based telescopes and several space probe fly-bys, the first one sent in the early '70s. Among the known solid objects, the surface of Europa is the smoothest.

If you enjoyed reading these facts about the distance from Earth to Europa, then make sure to read some more interesting facts about the Andromeda galaxy from Earth, and big earthquakes in California here on Kidadl.

Shortest Distance From The Earth To Europa

The shortest distance from the Earth to Europa is 390 million mi (628.126 million km) or 4.29 AU. AU, or astronomical unit, is the mean average distance from the Earth to the sun.

Jupiter's moon, Europa, is one of the Galilean moons along with Ganymede, Callisto, and Io. Europa's surface is frozen and covered in a layer of ice, however, astronomers believe that there is an ocean beneath Europa's surface. This icy surface of Europa makes this one of the most reflective surfaces in our Solar System. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers found a probable water plume jetting from the south polar region of Europa in 2012. Another research team spotted these apparent plumes (or water vapor plumes) in 2014 and 2016. However, they cautioned that these plumes are not completely confirmed and suggest that there may be water jetting to Europa's surface from the liquid water ocean. Researchers also suggest that other of Jupiter's moons, Callisto and Ganymede, and Titan, Saturn's moon, may have a subsurface ocean.

NASA had planned the Europa Clipper Mission to orbit Jupiter and get closer to Europa in 2022. The Europa Clipper mission aimed to check elements of life forms by examining the rok, water, and ice particles that may be jetting out of the moon's surface, like geyser sprays. However, due to the high budget and lack of rockets, this mission has stumbled to 2023. Also, other commercial rockets such as SpaceX Falcon Heavy will take two times longer to reach Europa and this moon's surface.

Various spacecraft have conducted flybys of Europa like Voyagers 1 and 2 and Pioneers 10 and 11 in the '70s. Between 1995 and 2003, the Galileo spacecraft conducted a long-term mission around Jupiter and its moons. Voyager 2 discovered brown stripes on the surface of Europa, which cracks on its icy surface. Galileo was also able to find areas known as 'chaos terrain', where the blocky, broken surface was covered in reddish material.

Longest Distance From The Earth To Europa

The longest distance from the Earth to Europa is the same as the shortest distance, that is, 390 million mi (628.126 million km) or 4.29AU.

Europa is as big as our own moon and orbits Jupiter elliptically. However, the diameter of Europa is 1,900 mi (3,100 km) making it larger than Pluto and smaller than Earth's moon. Europa is also the smallest among the Galilean moons. The age of Europa is around 4.5 billion years, which is the same as Jupiter. The average distance between the Sun and Europa is 485 million mi (780 million km). Being the sixth moon of Jupiter, the distance from Europa's orbit to Jupiter is 414,000 mi (670,900 km). Scientists believe the thickness of Europa's ice shell is 10-15 mi (15-25 km) and this moon's ice shell floats on Europa's ocean with a depth of 40-100 mi (60-150 km).

It is estimated that there is an outer layer of water that is 62 mi (100 km) thick with a part as liquid ocean under the ice and a part frozen like its crust. Europa's icy crust provides it light reflectivity, which is the highest among the other moons in the whole Solar System.

Europa Multiple-Flyby is NASA's mission that is scheduled for the year 2022. This space probe will analyze Europa, particularly looking for any signs of life in its water. This presence of water remains an interest for a long. This moon also generates 10 times more oxygen compared to the amount of hydrogen, which makes it identical to our planet, Earth. Many missions have been planned to explore more about the presence of water in Europa. Most people already believe that there's already life on Europa. However, Callisto has been considered most suitable for a human base for further Jovian system exploration due to its low-level radiation. The radiation on Europa is so high that it could kill a human being in just a day.

It was suggested in late 2008 that Jupiter may maintain the warmth of Europa's oceans by producing huge planetary tidal waves on the moon.

Travel Distance From The Earth To Europa

Europa's distance from Earth is 391.7 million mi (630.4 million km) on average, it takes at least three years to enter the orbit of Europa, plus extra time for landing.

The Galileo mission made one of the vital measurements that showed the presence of Europa disrupted Jupiter's magnetic field in space. This strongly indicated that a special magnetic field was being induced by a deep layer of an electrically conductive fluid within Europa's surface. Based on the icy composition of Europa, scientists believe that the material to create such magnetic sign that is most likely due to the global ocean of salty liquid water. This Europa's ocean could probably contain some alien life.

Jupiter's moon, Europa, has a tenuous atmosphere made of oxygen, however, NASA announced in 2013 that researchers found a piece of evidence using the Hubble Space Telescope that this moon might be venting water into space. This would imply that Europa is geologically active today. Astrobiologists think that Europa has the right chemical elements and abundant water, however, it has been difficult to confirm an energy source on the surface of Europa. Life exists around extreme environments like deep-sea vents or subterranean volcanoes, on Earth. These life forms give clues to scientists about the survival under Europa's ice shell.

Round Trip Distance From The Earth To Europa

The average round trip distance from Earth to Europa is 1383.4 million mi (1260.8 million km).

Europa is locked to Jupiter by gravity and orbits every 3.5 days around Jupiter. This means that the same hemisphere of Europa always faces Jupiter. Jupiter's equator is tilted with respect to the orbital path of Jupiter around the Sun only by three degrees. So, the planet's spin is upright and Jupiter and all its moons do not experience extreme seasons like other planets. Ganymede, Io, and Europa are in resonance, meaning Ganymede's one orbit around Jupiter is equal to Io's four revolutions and Europa's two revolutions around the planet. The distance from Europa to Jupiter varies due to the moon's elliptical revolution, the near side of Europa feels the gravity of Jupiter more strongly than the moon's far side. The moon's surface fractures are created by flexing tides. If the Europan ocean exists then the tidal heating could lead to hydrothermal or volcanic activity on Europa's seafloor that would supply nutrients to make this ocean suitable for life forms.

The surface temperature of Europa at the equator does not rise above -260 F (-160 C). The temperature at the poles never rises above -370 F (-270 C). Europa has only a few craters on its surface, as the surface is tectonically active and so, young. Europa's surface is around 20-180 million years old. Europa's interior could be heated by radioactive material decay within the rocky mantle along with tidal heating. However, the observation of values and models are a hundred times more than ones that may be produced radiogenic heating. This means that tidal heating plays a vital role in Europa.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestion for the distance from Earth to Europa, then why not take a look at fun facts about the biggest earthquakes in Los Angeles or facts about the Earth's crust.

<p>With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.</p>

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