After Io, Europa is the second nearest of the four bright Galilean Moons to its parent
planet of Jupiter. Only slightly smaller than
Earth's own Moon, Europa's surface is covered with a coating of
ice, which is thought to overlie an ocean of liquid water or icy 'slush'. The tremendous gravitational
forces of Jupiter apply immense tidal forces to this moon,
resulting in a network of cracks and fissures criss-crossing the Europa's icy surface.