Europa, daughter of the king of Tyre, used to play with her companions on the sands where cattle were taken down to the shore. Jupiter (in Greek myth, Zeus) fell in love with her, and so, disguised as a bull with placid eyes, a show-white hide and horns shining like jewels, he joined the herd lowing in the grass. The disguised Jupiter frolicked and played until Europa lost her fear and hung garlands on his horns and finally ventured to mount him. With Europa on his back, Jupiter sped away across the ocean to Crete. Having landed on Crete, Jupiter made love to Europa. She gave birth to three sons. One of her sons, Minos, later became king of Crete.

Another version of the myth states that one of Europa's children was the continent that bears her name, and she herself was turned into a bull, which became the constellation and zodiac sign of Taurus.

Moon of Jupiter, one of the Galeleian Moons.

Very interesting moon, see Evidence of Ocean on Europa. Could possibly contain some life forms smiliar to ones that exist in the oceans on Earth. If, if, if and if, of course, but the thought can keep you awake at night.

Discovery:                             Jan 7, 1610 by Galileo Galilei
Diameter (km):                         3,138                 
Mass (kg):                             4.8e22 kg 
Mass (Earth = 1)                       0.0083021 
Surface Gravity (Earth = 1):           0.135
Mean Distance from Jupiter (km):       670,900
Mean Distance From Jupiter (Rj):       9.5 
Mean Distance from Sun (AU):           5.203
Orbital period (days):                 3.551181 
Rotational period  (days):             3.551181 
Density (gm/cm3)                       3.01
Orbit Eccentricity:                    0.009
Orbit Inclination (degrees):           0.470
Orbit Speed (km/sec):                  13.74
Escape velocity (km/sec):              2.02 
Visual Albedo:                         0.63
Subsolar Temperature (K):              ?
Equatorial Subsurface Temperature (K): ?
Surface Composition:                   Water, Ice
Data from NASA
A 1998 nine track studio album by Swedish EBM band Covenant. The cover features a picture of Europe at night, which indicates that the title doesn't refer to the Jupiter moon Europa, but instead is the German/Swedish word for the European continent.

A few months after the release of Europa an accompanying CDM was released, called Euro EP; which contains three remixes each of two of the Europa songs (Go Film and Tension) and a brand new song, called Consumer.

Personally I think Europa is really good, in fact I think it's the best of the Covenant albums; and quite an upswing from the fairly weak Sequencer album.

 

Track listing:

1. Tension
2. Leviathan
3. 2D
4. Wind of the North
5. Riot
6. I Am
7. Final Man
8. Go Film
9. Wall of Sound

""`-.
     `.
       \
        )
Jupiter | .. . . o * O O      . . . .      . . . .
        )
       /
     ,'
,.,-'
(not to scale)

Europa (pronounced "yoo roh puh") is the sixth moon from Jupiter. It weighs in at 4.80*10^22 kg and a diameter of 3138 km which puts it slightly smaller than the Moon (7.35*10^22 kg and 3476 km) and the fourth largest of Jupiter's moons (smallest of the Galilean Moons).

While the moons are called the Galilean Moons, they were discovered independently by Galileo and Simon Marius in the year 1610. Simon Marius was a German astronomer who lived from 1573 to 1624 and gave them the names that we have today (though the suggestion came from Johannes Kepler in 1613) - Galileo wanted to name them the "Medicean planets" after his patron, Cosimo II de Medici and used numbers to distinguish them. Both systems were in use until the mid 1800s when the names we are familiar with were officially adopted (it was realized that numbers would be a headache as new moons were found). While Marius claims to have been observing them in November 1609 he did not publish his findings right away and Galileo was first to the presses. Furthermore, Galileo's work was more extensive and accurate than that of Marius.

Galileo's discovery was made on January 7, 1610 when he saw three 'stars' in a line with Jupiter. The following evening the 'stars' had moved - though not in the way that he had expected them to. Over the course of a week a fourth 'star' appeared. None of these 'stars' had left the area around Jupiter and moved with respect to each other and Jupiter. This supported the Copernican system for the solar system.

Europa is composed of materials that are very similar to that of the terrestrial planets - rock made of mostly silica. Recent data from the Galileo probe also seems to indicate that there are several layers beneath the surface and the possibility of a small metallic core.

The surface of Europa is unique within the solar system being very, very smooth and with a very high albedo (0.63) (surface reflectivity). There are no mountains, and very few craters implies a rather young and active surface. The closest resemblance to Europa's surface is that of great sheets of ice on the earth.

It is believed that under this surface, there is a giant ocean of water that is kept liquid by the heat produced by the tidal squeezing from Jupiter (the same force that keeps Io fairly liquid). This belief is reinforced by a weak magnetic field that varies as Europa passes through Jupiter's magnetic field - indicating a conducting layer under the surface, possibly a deep layer of salt water. The presence of water leads many to wonder if there is the possibility of life under that layer of ice, much as there is life at the deep sea vents on Earth (known as black smokers).

Through the Hubble Space Telescope, it has been found that Europa also has a very thin atmosphere (10^-11 bar) of oxygen. However, this is believed to be created by the bombardment of the surface with light and cosmic rays that split the ice into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen then escapes leaving only the oxygen.

Europa is locked into an orbital resonance with Io and Ganymede at with the ratios of 1:2:4 - Europa orbits about Jupiter half as fast as Io and twice as fast as Ganymede.

Europa is the target of some interesting missions in the future that would explore the ocean under the ice.

Icepick
This probe would drill through the ice of Europa to look under it. It is uncertain how thick this ice is - estimates range from 1km to 20km thick. Chances are, this wouldn't actually drill, but rather melt through (its much easier to make something hot than it is to drill - and less chance of a failure). The probe would then send messages back to the surface and/or orbiter which would then be sent back to Earth. See cryobot for more on this type of project.
Ice Clipper
Originally proposed to launch in December of 2001 and reach Europa in 2009 this probe would shoot a hollow copper ball about the size of a softball into Europa at 10km/sec. This impact would send up some ejecta which would be collected by the probe at 50km above Europa in aerogel and then head back to Earth (around 2014).


http://www.lpi.usra.edu/pub/research/outerp/euro.html
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/ganymede/discovery.html
http://www.phys.cmu.edu/~clark/hydrobot.html
http://www.astrobiology.com/europa/ice.clipper.html

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