Living On Europa Explained: Humans Might Not Be First (Infographic)
By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist |
Europa, the icy "cue ball" moon of Jupiter, has a relatively smooth crust of ice over a watery interior ocean. Cracks in the crust are due to the tidal forces of Jupiter’s mighty gravity. Scientists believe that Europa has the right conditions for some form of life to exist there today.
Europa has a thin oxygen atmosphere, but it is far too tenuous for humans to breathe. From the surface of Europa, Jupiter appears 24 times larger than the moon appears in our sky. Europa’s magnetic field shields its surface from Jupiter’s deadly radiation.
Gravity on Europa is about 13 percent that of Earth, or just a bit weaker than our moon’s gravity. The temperature averages about minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 160 Celsius) near the equator and minus 370 F (minus 220 C) near the poles.
Karl's association with SPACE.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. Starting in 2010, Karl has been TechMediaNetwork's infographics specialist across all editorial properties. Before joining SPACE.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web. He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Karl on Google+.