Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1997-1998 index

Distributed February 27, 1998
Contact: Scott Turner

NASA-Brown press briefing March 2

Scientists will present Galileo images suggesting water on Jupiter moon

At an 11 a.m. press briefing Monday, March 2, 1998, scientists from NASA and Brown University will discuss new images of Jupiter's moon Europa taken by the Galileo spacecraft. The images suggest water may exist below Europa's frozen surface.

Scientists from Brown University and NASA will discuss the most finely detailed images ever taken of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. The images add weight to the idea that water is lurking beneath Europa's icy surface - an intriguing possibility, because water is an essential ingredient for life.

Press briefing to release and discuss the significance of images from the Jovian moon Europa. The scientists will analyze three key pieces of evidence that lend support to the theory that an ocean exists below Europa's frozen surface:

  • A young crater named Pwyll (after a Celtic god) appears shallow, suggesting the original deep impact crater filled with slushy ice in the last 10 million years.
  • Large plates of ice and iceberg-like structures appear to be suspended on a crusty surface of slush.
  • Gaps between plates of ice appear to have moved apart and filled in with partially melted ice.

James W. Head III, Brown University, co-investigator of Galileo imaging team
Mike Belton, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Galileo team leader
Robert Pappalardo, Brown University, Galileo team associate
Geoff Collins, Brown University, Galileo team associate
Louise Prockter, Brown University, Galileo team associate
Jay Bergstralh, NASA, Galileo Europa mission program scientist

Room 001, Salomon Center for Teaching, Brown University, Providence, RI

11 a.m. Monday, March 2, 1998

For directions or information: Scott Turner or Carol Morton at (401) 863-2476.

Color slides and black-and-white prints of Europa's surface will be available at the press briefing and at NASA's web site: or Video images will be available on NASA television, broadcast on GE-2, transponder 9C, C-Band, 85 degrees West longitude, 3880.0 MHz frequency, vertical polarization, 6.8 MHz audio (monaural). The video will air Monday at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight EST.

Related documents:

97-090 -- News release describing Europe images
97-090c -- Captions for Europa images distributed March 2, 1998
97-090f -- Fact sheet about the Europa images