Return to Europa: A closer look is possible

NASA/JPLThick or thin ice shell on Jupiter’s moon Europa? Scientists are all but certain that Europa has an ocean underneath its surface ice, but do not know how thick this ice might be.Jupiter’s moon Europa is just as far away as ever, but new research is bringing scientists closer to being able to explore its tantalizing ice-covered ocean and determine its potential for harboring life. William B. McKinnon, professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, is discussing some of these recent findings and new opportunities for exploring Europa in a news briefing on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.