Voyager spacecraft images of Europa's surface, like the one above, are suggestive of sea ice on Earth. The criss-crossing dark streaks may indeed be cracks in its ice-covered surface caused by Jupiter's tidal stresses accompanied by the freezing and expansion of an underlying layer of water. This tantalizing prospect of oceans of liquid water beneath its frozen surface has helped make the smallest of the Galilean moon's of Jupiter a planned focus of the Galileo spacecraft's ongoing mission to explore the Jovian system. New Europa images and results from the Galileo mission were released today revealing details which further suggest that Europa's icy surface was once - and may still be - supported on slush or liquid water.
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& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day