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Salts on Europa's surface detected by Galileo's near infrared mapping spectrometer

January 1, 1998

Reflectance spectra in the 1- to 2.5-micrometer wavelength region of the surface of Europa obtained by Galileo's Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer exhibit distorted water absorption bands that indicate the presence of hydrated minerals. The laboratory spectra of hydrated salt minerals such as magnesium sulfates and sodium carbonates and mixtures of these minerals provide a close match to the Europa spectra. The distorted bands are only observed in the optically darker areas of Europa, including the lineaments, and may represent evaporite deposits formed by water, rich in dissolved salts, reaching the surface from a water-rich layer underlying an ice crust.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1998
Title Salts on Europa's surface detected by Galileo's near infrared mapping spectrometer
DOI 10.1126/science.280.5367.1242
Authors T. B. McCord, G. B. Hansen, F. P. Fanale, R. W. Carlson, D. L. Matson, T. V. Johnson, W. D. Smythe, J. K. Crowley, P. D. Martin, A. Ocampo, C. A. Hibbitts, J. C. Granahan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science
Series Number
Index ID 70020476
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization