PerspectivePlanetary Science

Europa's Ocean--the Case Strengthens

Science  25 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5483, pp. 1305-1307
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5483.1305

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The possibility of a subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa has been suggested on the basis of theoretical, geological, and spectroscopic arguments. But, as Stevenson explains in his Perspective, none of these arguments were compelling. In contrast, the magnetic field data obtained by the Galileo spacecraft and presented in the report by Kivelson et al., provide persuasive evidence for a conducting layer--most likely a global water ocean--near Europa's surface.