Friday, April 15, 2016

Tidal Dissiptation Might Warm Europa's Icy Crust More Than Previously Thought

Jupiter's moon Europa is under a constant gravitational assault. As it orbits, Europa's icy surface heaves and falls with the pull of Jupiter's gravity, creating enough heat, scientists think, to support a global ocean beneath the moon's solid shell.

Now, experiments by geoscientists from Brown and Columbia universities suggest that this process, called tidal dissipation, could create far more heat in Europa's ice than scientists had previously assumed. The work could ultimately help researchers to better estimate the thickness of moon's outer shell.

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