This artist's concept shows a possible explosion resulting from a high-speed collision between a space rock and Jupiter's moon Europa.
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Hit Hard: Possible Collision at Europa (Artist's Concept)

This artist's concept shows a possible explosion resulting from a high-speed collision between a space rock and Jupiter's moon Europa. Clay-type minerals have been found on Europa's surface in a new analysis of data from NASA's Galileo mission. The pattern of these minerals suggests an asteroid about 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) across or a comet about 5,600 feet (1,700 meters) across could have hit at a shallow angle. Clay-type minerals are commonly found in primitive asteroids and some comets. These kinds of asteroids and comets also typically carry organic compounds, providing a possible way for organics to be delivered to Europa.

For more information about Europa, visit: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/europa/home.cfm .

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Image details

ID#:
PIA17657

Date added:
2013-12-11

Target:
Europa

Mission:
Galileo

Spacecraft:
Galileo Orbiter

Size:
2208 x 2292 pixels (width x height)

Rating:



Views:
1,001

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA17657.tif (15.19 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA17657.jpg (0.34 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech