SETI bioastro: Europa: Ice Line, from APOD

From: Larry Klaes (
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 05:35:03 PDT

Europa: Ice Line
Credit: PIRL (Univ. of Arizona), Planetary Geosiences Group
(Brown Univ.), Galileo Project, NASA

Explanation: This bright white swath cutting across the surface
of icy Jovian moon Europa is known as Agenor Linea. In all about
1,000 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, only a section is
pictured here as part of a combined color and black and white
image based on data from the Galileo spacecraft.

Most linear features on Europa are dark in color but Agenor Linea
is uniquely bright for unknown reasons. Also unknown is the origin
of the reddish material along the sides.

While these and other details of Europa's surface formations remain
mysterious, the general results of Galileo's exploration of Europa
have supported the idea that an ocean of liquid water lies beneath
the cracked and frozen crust. An extraterrestrial liquid ocean holds
out the tantalizing possibility of life.

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