LASP To Host Public Lecture On NASA’s Europa Mission

This image shows two views of the trailing hemisphere of Jupiter's ice-covered satellite, Europa. The left image shows the approximate natural color appearance of Europa. The image on the right is a false-color composite version combining violet, green and infrared images to enhance color differences in the predominantly water-ice crust of Europa. Dark brown areas represent rocky material derived from the interior, implanted by impact, or from a combination of interior and exterior sources. Bright plains in the polar areas (top and bottom) are shown in tones of blue to distinguish possibly coarse-grained ice (dark blue) from fine-grained ice (light blue). Long, dark lines are fractures in the crust, some of which are more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) long. The bright feature containing a central dark spot in the lower third of the image is a young impact crater some 50 kilometers (31 miles) in diameter. This crater has been provisionally named "Pwyll" for the Celtic god of the underworld. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/DLR

This image shows two views of the trailing hemisphere of Jupiter’s ice-covered satellite, Europa. The left image shows the approximate natural color appearance of Europa. The image on the right is a false-color composite version combining violet, green and infrared images to enhance color differences in the predominantly water-ice crust of Europa. Dark brown areas represent rocky material derived from the interior, implanted by impact, or from a combination of interior and exterior sources. Bright plains in the polar areas (top and bottom) are shown in tones of blue to distinguish possibly coarse-grained ice (dark blue) from fine-grained ice (light blue). Long, dark lines are fractures in the crust, some of which are more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) long. The bright feature containing a central dark spot in the lower third of the image is a young impact crater some 50 kilometers (31 miles) in diameter. This crater has been provisionally named “Pwyll” for the Celtic god of the underworld. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/DLR

October 28, 2015 – On Wednesday, November 4, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) will host a public talk with Sascha Kempf at 7:30 p.m. Kempf will provide an overview of NASA’s mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa.

The mission will place a spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter to perform closes flybys of Europa. Previous missions have provided compelling evidence of a global ocean beneath the moon’s icy crust, which could harbor conditions suitable for life.

NASA has selected nine instruments for the mission, including cameras and spectrometers, an ice-penetrating radar, a thermal instrument, a magnetometer, and in-situ mass spectrometers. LASP will provide the Surface Dust Analyzer (SUDA), an instrument to investigate the chemical makeup of Europa’s surface, which may hold the fundamental clues for understanding its potential to develop and sustain life, because materials embedded in the ice matrix on Europa’s surface carry a treasure trove of information about the moon’s interior.

Kempf is the SUDA principal investigator and will explain the scientific payload and what scientists hope to learn about the Jovian moon during the Europa mission.

Jupiter has 67 confirmed moons, but Europa is one of the four largest. Europa is about 3,160 kilometers (1,950 miles) in diameter, or about the size of Earth’s moon.

View the event flier for more information.