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No Heat Signature of Europan ‘Plumes’

23 Oct 2018, 16:42 UTC
No Heat Signature of Europan ‘Plumes’ NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

One of the youngest surface features on Europa draws attention because of its possible connection with what lies beneath the Jovian moon’s ice. The dark center of Pwyll crater, visible in the image below, is some 40 kilometers across, with a central peak reaching about 600 meters. At issue is the terrain resulting from the impact causing the crater. An impact perhaps 20 million years ago seems to have blown water and ice across the Europan surface. Evidence of a possible plume from Europa’s ocean in this area is the subject of continuing work.

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