Europa - Ice Rafting View
September 26, 2003
View of a small region of the thin, disrupted, ice crust in the Conamara region of Jupiter's moon Europa showing the interplay of surface color with ice structures. The white and blue colors outline areas that have been blanketed by a fine dust of ice particles ejected at the time of formation of the large (26 kilometer in diameter) crater Pwyll some 1000 kilometers to the south. A few small craters of less than 500 meters or 547 yards in diameter can be seen associated with these regions. These were probably formed, at the same time as the blanketing occured, by large, intact, blocks of ice thrown up in the impact explosion that formed Pwyll. The unblanketed surface has a reddish brown color that has been painted by mineral contaminents carried and spread by water vapor released from below the crust when it was disrupted. The original color of the icy surface was probably a deep blue color seen in large areas elsewhere on the moon.