Europa is one of the most enticing targets in the search for life beyond Earth. With an icy outer shell hiding a global ocean, Europa exists in a dynamic environment where immense tides from Jupiter potentially power an active deeper interior and intense radiation and impacts bathe the top of the ice, providing sources of energy that could sustain a biosphere.
Europa's ice plate tectonics, and evidence for shallow water within the ice, implies that rapid ice shell recycling could create a conveyor belt between the ice and ocean, allowing ocean material to one day be detected by spacecraft.
Beneath the ice shelves on Earth, processes such as accretion, melt and circulation mediate the ice as an important element of the climate system. Here, ice-ocean exchange may be similar to that on Europa, but it is difficult to observe given the harshness of the environment and thickness of the ice. Thus exploring the cryosphere can form the foundation of our understanding of other ocean worlds and a test bed for their exploration.
|Date||Monday, 20 August 2018|
|Time||1:00pm - 2:00pm|
|Location||Benson Common Room (Gn9), Geology Building, 360 Leith Street, Dunedin|