All These Worlds Are Yours


including Europa, apparently.

A robotic submarine designed to explore the oceans thought to lie beneath the icy crust on Jupiter’s moon Europa will prove its mettle in an Antarctic lake in 2008. A previous version of the vessel has already mapped the balmier waters of a Mexican sinkhole.

The submarine, named Endurance, is set to survey Antarctica’s West Lake Bonney in October 2008 and again in 2009[.]

West Lake Bonney is not exactly like Europa, however.

The 4-kilometre-wide lake is 40 metres deep and is capped by a perennial layer of ice about 4 metres thick. The crust has kept the lake’s waters pristine and virtually unexplored.

Europa may indeed be covered with a crust of water ice (good ol’ H20), but it’s probably much thicker than 4 meters (which is just over 13 feet). It could be miles thick.

But then again, maybe not. Despite the amazing results of the Galileo mission, our ignorance still exceeds our knowledge about the place.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Astronomy, Space

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