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Europa #2 Proto-Earth

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December 31, 2012 in Science

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“Like the Earth, Europa is thought to have an iron core, a rocky mantle and a surface ocean of salty water. Unlike on Earth, however, this ocean is deep enough to cover the whole surface of Europa, and being far from the sun, the ocean surface is globally frozen over.”

solarsystem.nasa.gov

 

“Europa is a rocky object of radius 1565 km (slightly smaller than Earth s moon) and has an outer shell of water composition estimated to be of order 100 km thick, the surface of which is frozen. The total volume of water is about 3 x 10(exp 9) cubic kilometers, or twice the amount of water on Earth.”

naca.larc.nasa.gov

 

“Europa is among the brightest moons of the solar system, a consequence of sunlight reflecting off a relatively young icy crust. Its surface is also among the smoothest, lacking the heavily cratered appearance characteristic of Callisto and Ganymede. Lines and cracks wrap the exterior suggest a solid layer of ice above a liquid water ocean.”

harvard.edu

 

“Europa possesses a deep, global ocean of liquid water beneath a layer of surface ice. The subsurface ocean plus ice layer could range from 80 to 170 kilometers in average depth. Adopting an estimate of 100 kilometers depth, if all the water on Europa were gathered into a ball it would have a radius of 877 kilometers. To scale, this intriguing illustration compares that hypothetical ball of all the water on Europa to the size of Europa itself (left) – and similarly to all the water on planet Earth. With a volume 2-3 times the volume of water in Earth’s oceans, the global ocean on Europa holds out a tantalizing destination in the search for extraterrestrial life in our solar system.”

apod.nasa.gov
 

“Strong evidence for liquid water at or near the Earth’s surface 4.3 billion years ago was presented by Harrison and colleagues in a Jan. 11, 2001, cover story in Nature.”

earthobservatory.nasa.gov

*Original Astronomical Planet Infowars Discovery


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1 response to Europa #2 Proto-Earth

  1. we could always use the ice to help combat global warming.

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