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Europa: April 2018


The early prediction and subsequent detection of an O2 atmosphere on Europa, coupled with the discovery that Europa has an ocean under its ice mantle, has made this moon a prime astrobiologic target, soon to be visited by the JUICE and Europa Clipper spacecraft.

The evolution of Europa's water-product exosphere over its 85-hour day, based on current models, has not been shown to exhibit any diurnal asymmetries. Here we simulate Europa's exosphere using a 3-D Monte Carlo routine including, for the first time, the role of Europa's rotation on the evolution of exospheric molecules throughout the orbit.