2. Jupiter's Moon, Europa
Europa PIA01646: Agenor Linea
Europa PIA01647: Agenor Linea in Color
2. Jupiter's Moon, Europa

2. Jupiter's Moon, Europa

Courtesy of NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA01640


This Galileo spacecraft view of Jupiter's icy moon Europa shows a region shaped like a mitten that has a texture which is seen in numerous locations across Europa's surface. The material in the “catcher's mitt” has the appearance of frozen slush (water) and seems to bulge upward from the adjacent surface. Scientists on the Galileo imaging team are exploring various hypotheses for the formation of such surface textures including convection (vertical movement between areas which differ in density due to heating), upwelling of viscous icy “lava,” or liquid water melting through from a subsurface ocean.