There is something happening in Europe.  Its poles changed position

Europa is regularly monitored by space probes orbiting Jupiter and by space telescopes that monitor activity on the surface of planets and moons in our planetary system.

Research so far clearly indicates that beneath its icy crust, Europa hides a global ocean of liquid water with a rocky core at the bottom. Scientists believe that at the intersection of this rocky core and liquid water, the conditions for life may exist. It is possible that, just as at the bottom of the Earth’s ocean, there are geothermal vents that could provide energy and food for potential microorganisms that could arise within Europa.

Read also: There may actually be life. James Webb discovers something wonderful in Europe

The thickness of the Moon’s ice crust varies with place, but everything indicates that it is so thin in some places at least, near the South Pole, that from time to time water from the subsurface ocean seeps through cracks in the surface ice in the form of springs of water ice. It is even possible that in the distant future, robots sent from Earth will try to reach inside the moon through these cracks and check if there are any signs of life there.

The Juno probe, which has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, takes pictures of Europa’s icy crust at every opportunity. Scientists, who analyzed all the images obtained in this way, report that they were able to notice changes in some areas of the ice crust. This may thus confirm that the surface is regularly replenished by materials rising from the subsurface ocean to the surface.

Read also: Is Europe not suitable for life? The Juno probe carries pessimistic information from Jupiter’s vicinity

The image in question was taken from just 355 kilometers above the surface of Europa. This was the first high-resolution image of Europa’s surface taken by a space probe since 2000, when the legendary Galileo probe flew by the moon.

Platypus on the roof of Europe. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI

The image was taken on the dark side of Europa, with only sunlight reflecting off Jupiter. It shows a structure measuring 37 x 67 km, which has a distinctive shape resembling a platypus. This area has it all: blemishes, dark rusty material, ice clumps, and irregular edges.

According to scientists, this is one of the youngest areas on the surface of Europa, which is being rejuvenated by salty water flowing from within the moon to its surface.

However, there is another interesting piece of information visible in the Juno data. Visible images captured with JunoCam show that the Moon’s north and south poles are not where they used to be. This is very strong evidence that there is indeed a global ocean inside the Moon, and on its surface there is a whole ice crust floating, which is in no way connected to the interior of Europa.

However, it should be noted that the data from the Juno probe, whose mission will end next year, are only a precursor to the real knowledge that we will gain in the early 2030s, when Europa’s Clipper and Jupiter probes (Explore of Jupiter’s icy moons) will reach Jupiter. . The targets of both probes are Galilean moons, including Europa. Therefore, we can be sure that in ten years our knowledge of Europa – but also of Ganymede and Callisto – will be much more extensive than it is today.

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