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Water plume on Europa, illustration

Water plume on Europa, illustration

C026/4248

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Credit

NASA / ESA / K. RETHERFORD / SWRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / K. RETHERFORD / SWRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Water plume on Europa. Computer illustration of a plume of water vapour thought to be ejected from the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. Europa's surface is thought to consist of an ocean of liquid water covered by a thick layer of ice. It is thought the water beneath the surface ice is kept liquid by heat from tidal effects induced in Europa's interior by Jupiter's gravitational field. Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that this plume rises to an altitude of 201 kilometres.

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