Europa may have the large spikes of ice on its equators

Europa, as viewed from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft (Credit: NASA/Ted Stryk)

Main points:

Europa, Jupiter’s chilling moon, may have large spikes of ice on the equators due to the conducive environments, according to the scientists.

Study Further:

Scientists are of the opinion that penitentes, huge ice spikes on Earth, could be found on Europa.

“It’s a pretty obscure geological feature on the Earth,” Dan Hobley, an astronomer at the University of Virginia, told SPACE.com after he presented his findings at the 44th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

According to researchers, 3.3 to 16.4 foot (1 to 5 meter) spikes of ice in certain parts of the Andes Mountains on Earth could help us in the understanding of Europa’s geology. These spikes of ice can be formed only under certain circumstances such as the specific angle of sun and the dry type of conditions. According to the scientists, such environments are present on the Europa’s equator helping in the formation of spikes of ice.

The surface of Europa is “basically random” and according to Hobley this random feature could be explained by the existence of penitentes.

“We’re at the state where this is a good, solid guess,” Hobley said.

Source:

Space