Radar Detectability of a Subsurface Ocean on Europa

Christopher F. Chyba, Steven J. Ostro, Bradley C. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

A spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter's moon Europa can use ice penetrating radar to probe for a possible liquid water ocean beneath Europa's surface ice and to characterize other important subsurface structure. Consideration of available constraints on the properties of Europa's ice, possible subsurface temperature gradients, and possible impurities in the ice places an upper limit of about 10 km on the depth to which an ocean might be detectable with an orbiting radar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-302
Number of pages11
JournalIcarus
Volume134
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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