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A shifty moon

Pattern of troughs on Europa offers new evidence for subterranean ocean

By
12:00pm, May 14, 2008

Imagine a shift in the position of Earth’s continents so extreme that Alaska would move to the equator. Astronomers have now found evidence that such a shift actually happened on Jupiter’s large icy moon Europa. The sliding of the moon’s icy surface provides further evidence that an ocean lies beneath the ice, upping the odds that Europa has a subterranean habitat that could support some kind of life.

Paul Schenk of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston and his colleagues arrived at those conc

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