Jupiter’s Moon Europa might have a core hot enough fuelling seafloor volcano

Jupiter’s Moon Europa might have a core hot enough fuelling seafloor volcano

New study and computer modeling demonstrate that volcanic activity may have arisen on the seafloor of Jupiter’s moon Europa in the latest past – and might still be going on. NASA’s future Europa Clipper operation, aiming at a 2024 release, will pounce near to the icy moon. This is in order to collect measurements that could throw light on the current discoveries.

Researchers have robust testimony that Europa harbors an immense ocean among its icy crust and a rocky core. The latest work demonstrates how the moon might have enough interior heat to partly melt this rocky coating. This is a process that can supply volcanoes on the ocean floor. The current 3D modeling of how this inner heat is generated and relocated is the most comprehensive. Also, exhaustive analysis so far of the impact of this inner heating has on the moon.

The key to Europa’s rocky layer remaining hot enough to melt rests with the enormous gravitational pull Jupiter has on its moons. As Europa spins around the gas giant, the icy moon’s core expands. The expanding forces energy into the moon’s core, which then oozes out as heat. In layman terms, think of how frequently bending a paperclip produces heat. The more the moon’s core expands, there is more heat production.

More About the Operation

Operations such as Europa Clipper assist contribution to the following:
  • Field of astrobiology
  • the interdisciplinary investigation on the variables
  • Situations of faraway planets that might harbor life

While Europa Clipper is not a life-detection operation, it will perform comprehensive reconnaissance of Europa and examine whether the icy moon. This is along with its subsurface ocean, has the ability to sustain life. Recognizing Europa’s habitableness will assist researchers in better comprehend how life formed on Earth. This is along with the prospective for discovering life beyond our earth.

Done by Caltech in Pasadena, California, JPL leads the expansion of the Europa Clipper operation in collaboration. The collaboration is with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL) in Maryland for the organization’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, implements program administration of the Europa Clipper operation.




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