Europa

Europa does the wave to generate heat

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UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON RELEASE
by Sandra Hines

One of the moons in our solar system that scientists think has the potential to harbor life may have a far more dynamic ocean than previously thought.

If the moon Europa is tilted on its axis even slightly as it orbits the giant planet Jupiter, then Jupiter’s gravitational pull could be creating powerful waves in Europa’s ocean, according to Robert Tyler, an oceanographer with the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory and author of a letter in the Dec. 11 Nature. As those waves dissipate, they would give off significant heat energy.

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