Europan surface phenomena

Aharon Eviatar*, Akiva Bar-nun, Morris Podolak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The interaction of corotating iogenic plasma with the surface of Europa in light of recent ice sputtering, experimental results, and published Voyager data has been examined. It has been found that the residual atmosphere of Europa is made up of sputtered molecular oxygen and is exospheric from the surface outwards. It was also found that if sputtering, redistribution, and escape are considered and the sulfur dioxide/water mixing ratio is held constant over a UV observing depth, the observed sulfur dioxide density on the trailing hemisphere lends support to the hypothesis that liquid water from the interior of Europa is boiling out and being deposited as a frost layer on the surface at the rate of about 0.04 μm/year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1985


FundersFunder number
Adler Foundationvia the Commissionfor Basic Re-searchof the Israel Academyof SciencesandHumani-ties


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