Monday, March 25, 2013

Ice Spikes On Europa?

Astronomers know that the equatorial region of Jupiter's moon Europa is warmer than other areas of that moon, but they don't know why.  A recent theory is that the equatorial regions contain ice spikes.

Such formations-- which are what you'd imagine from the name-- can occur naturally where the angle of sunlight is just right, as it is along Europa's equator.  The theory is that sunlight is constantly bouncing from spike to spike to spike, being kept in that area and warming it up.

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