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No. 127: Jan-Feb 2000

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What's Cooking On Europa?

Data streaming back to earth from the Galileo spacecraft encode a curious fact about Europa, one of Jupiter's large, Galilean satellites. The nighttime flow of heat from Europa's polar regions is 1 watt/meter2 higher than can be accounted for by all known mechanisms, such as the tidal heating created as Jupiter's powerful gravitational field flexes the satellite's integument.

(Anonymous; "Cozy Nights," New Scientist, p. 27, June 5, 1999.)

Comment. What is happening beneath Europa's icy surface? "Something wonderful"? Recall that in the film 2010, humans were "given" all worlds except Europa. Was A.C. Clarke prescient again?

From Science Frontiers #127, JAN-FEB 2000. � 1997 William R. Corliss