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Frequently Asked Questions

What planet is Europa a moon of?

What is Europa? Europa is one of Jupiter’s moons. Scientists believe that Europa is especially notable because it may have twice as much water as Earth, though it is so cold on Europa that water on the surface of this moon is frozen. This image of Jupiter's beautiful moon Europa was taken by the Galileo Orbiter spacecraft in 1998.

Does the moon Europa have an oxygen atmosphere?

Europa has only a tenuous atmosphere of oxygen, but in 2013, NASA announced that researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope found evidence that Europa might be actively venting water into space. This would mean the moon is geologically active in the present day.

How cold is the moon Europa?

The surface temperature near the equator of Europa never gets above -260 degrees F/-160 C. Although the surface is always covered with a layer of frozen ice, scientists believe that there may be liquid water below the surface. The ice is what gives Europa the distinction of being one of our solar system’s most reflective.

How big is Europa compared to the Moon?

Europa is nearly the same size as Earth’s Moon. It is tidally locked to Jupiter in its orbit and spins faster on its axis than it orbits. Its orbit is nearly circular. As Europa orbits Jupiter, it comes ever so slightly closer to the planet.