At about 3100 kilometers (1940 miles) wide, the jovian moon Europa has an underground ocean beneath a surface layer of ice.

This color mosaic is a composite of images taken of Europa by NASA's Galileo Jupiter orbiter in 1995 and 1998, approximating what would be seen by the human eye.


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Europa: Exploring an Ocean World 
Monday, September 11, 2023
7:30 pm, Morrison Planetarium

Featuring Dr. Samantha Trumbo, Cornell University

Over two decades ago, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft revealed that beneath a frozen ice shell, Jupiter’s moon Europa likely harbors a deep, salty ocean of liquid water that may present a habitable environment for life. As a result, Europa has become a foremost target for Solar System exploration.

In this talk, Dr. Trumbo will discuss our current state of knowledge about Europa, recent discoveries made using Earth-based observatories, and NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission to explore this potentially habitable world.

About Samantha Trumbo

Samantha Trumbo studies the ocean worlds of our solar system.

Dr. Samantha Trumbo is currently a 51 Pegasi b Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, where she combines observations from several world-class telescopes to study the mysteries of the ice-covered ocean worlds of the outer Solar System, including Europa. Her work will inform the two upcoming missions to Jupiter’s icy Galilean moons—NASA’s Europa Clipper and ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice). She received a B.A. in Astronomy and Biology from Cornell University, an M.S. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a PhD in Planetary Science from Caltech.