An Ice-Covered Ocean

An Ice-Covered Ocean

An Ice-Covered Ocean was on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's exhibition, Beyond: Visions of Planetary Landscapes, from May 26, 2010 - May 2, 2011.

Chaos terrain, faults, and curving ridges cover the face of  Jupiter’s moon Europa, one of the most tantalizingly enigmatic worlds in the Solar System. Europa almost certainly has a vast, ice-capped global ocean kept warm by the gravitational effects of Jupiter and its moons, and perhaps by volcanoes on the hidden sea floor. Europa may have enough heat, water, and organic material for life to have evolved here.

Multi-frame mosaic. Galileo, March 29, 1998

  • WEB11412-2010

  • Copyright/Owner: Michael Benson
  • Source: NASA; JPL; Kinetikon Pictures