One of Jupiter's Moon

About Europa

Europa is a very interesting moon. Europa is slightly smaller than Earth's moon. The surface of Europa is smooth and bright. Its surface consist of water ice crisscrossed by long linear fractures. Layers of Europa are similar to Earth's . The core is made of iron and the mantle is rocky, keeping a ocean of salty water beneath the ice crust. Europa orbits Jupiter every 3.5 days .

The Discovery and How Europa Got It's Name

The Discovery

Europa was discovered on January 8,1610 by Galileo Galilei. This discovery ,along with the other Jovian moons , was the first time any moon was found orbiting another planet other than Earth. Europa was observed on January 7,1610 but Galileo wasn't sure until the next night. Because of the discovery on the Galilean Moons it made scientist believe that the sun is the center of the solar system. Before that they thought that the Earth was the center of the solar system.

How Europa Got It's Name

The Galilean Moons were originally called 1,2,3,and 4 , but then people thought that it would be confusing in the future if they found any other moon. So Europa was named after the daughter of Agenor, in ancient Greek mythology. Europa was abducted by Zeus, who has been turned into a white spotless bull. Europa fell in love with Zeus and she was delighted by the white bull. She rode upon its back and when Zeus had the opportunity he rode away with her. He rode them away to the island of Crete and later became Queen of Crete and she bore Zeus many children.

Age and Temperature


Europa has a small number of craters so scientist think it surface is no more than 40 to 90 million years. This is not very old in geologic terms. As for the moon its is estimated to be 4.5 billion years; this is about the same age as Jupiter.


The surface's temperature at the equator never rises above -260 F. But at the poles of the moon the temperature never rises above -370 F.

Europa's Tides

Because Europa is believed to have an ocean , its comes with tide. The tides are caused by the orbit is stretched out from circulars ,or in another word elliptical , it distance from Jupiter , creating the tides that stretch and it relax the surface. The gravity of it is because Jupiter's gravity is slightly stronger on he near side of Europa than on he far side.

Cool Facts

  • Europa is the smoothest object in space.
  • The radiation on Europa is high enough to kill a human in 1 day. The radiation level on the surface is about 5400 mSv (540 rem) per day. This could cause illness and death for a human being exposed to this.
  • If there is proof that Europa has an ocean , then that ocean would be twice as much as there is on Earth.
  • Like most moons , Europa is locked to Jupiter.
  • Europa has a very weak atmosphere .This is because the sun hitting the water molecules causing the molecules to break into oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Now the hydrogen atoms escapes the surface of Europa and it leaves the oxygen , leaving a tenuous oxygen based atmosphere.
  • The smallest moon of the Galilean Moons , but is the 6th largest moon in the solar system .