Facts about Europa

europa moon


  • the sixth moon in distance from the planet Jupiter and the fourth largest.
  • diameter is 1,940 miles, slightly smaller than Earth’s moon.
  • takes three and a half days to orbit Jupiter at an average distance of 416,900 miles.
  • the same tidal forces found on Io also apply to Europa. Jupiter’s huge gravitational force heats up Europa’s interior, melting the ice underneath its surface producing a salty ocean which could be as much as 62 miles deep.
  • there is possibly twice as much liquid water on Europa as there is on
  • the darker areas on Europa’s surface are suggestive of microbial
  • Europa is thought to have an iron core just like Earth.
  • surface of Europa is covered with a thick layer of ice; it is incredibly smooth with very little change in altitude, there are also very few notable craters due to the splitting and shifting of the surface removing any impacts.
  • surface temperatures range from -160C to -220C (-260F to -370F); Scientists can only speculate on the temperature of the ocean which lies beneath its surface but it is obviously warm enough for liquid water to exist.


Life on Europa

cryobot exploring europa

  • apart from Earth, Europa holds the most intriguing prospects for life in the entire Solar System.
  • some scientists speculate that Europa’s ocean could be teeming with life although most think that life would take the form of micro-organisms living near hot vents on the ocean floor.


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