Unmasking Europa: The Search for Life on Jupiter's Ocean Moon

Overview

In Unmasking Europa, Richard Greenberg tells the story of how he and his team of researchers came to believe that the surface of Europa is in fact a crust so thin and active that it can barely hide an ocean of liquid water below. He shows how this ocean is warmed by the friction of tidal movements in this small moon as it revolves while at the same time orbiting immense Jupiter, and how those tides drive all the activity in evidence on the surface. The implications of this interpretation—which includes the idea ...

See more details below
Hardcover (2008)
$20.06
BN.com price
(Save 27%)$27.50 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $7.80   
  • New (11) from $14.00   
  • Used (8) from $7.80   
Sending request ...

Overview

In Unmasking Europa, Richard Greenberg tells the story of how he and his team of researchers came to believe that the surface of Europa is in fact a crust so thin and active that it can barely hide an ocean of liquid water below. He shows how this ocean is warmed by the friction of tidal movements in this small moon as it revolves while at the same time orbiting immense Jupiter, and how those tides drive all the activity in evidence on the surface. The implications of this interpretation—which includes the idea that there are active intermittent openings from the liquid ocean to the frozen surface—are immense. The warmth, the chemistry, and the connections from ocean to surface provide the conditions necessary for the existence of life, even at this relatively remote locale in our solar system, far beyond what’s normally thought of as its "habitable zone."

Unmasking Europa describes in clear but technically accurate terms—and with extensive illustrations (including more than 100 NASA mission images)—the remarkable history of research on Europa over the last four decades. The book also provides unique insights into how "big science" gets done today, and it is not always a pretty picture. From his perspective as a Professor of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, and a quarter-century-long membership on the Imaging Team for the Galileo space mission, Greenberg describes how personal agendas (including his own) and political maneuvering (in which he received an education by fire) determined a lot about the funding, staffing, and even the direction of research about Europa.

While he is satisfied that his team’s work is now, finally, receiving fair consideration and even respect, Greenberg comes away from his decades-long experience feeling that something is fundamentally wrong with the scientific enterprise as a whole because it routinely punishes innovation, risk-taking thought, and a willingness to simply let the evidence lead where it may. In today’s scientific culture, with its careerist pressures and peer-reviewed propriety, Greenberg believes, astute scientists (and sadly many of our youngest and brightest scientists) quickly realize that the most rewarding research strategy is to stay within the mainstream—a tendency that by its very nature is at odds with the ideals of scientific investigation and thought.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

"Unmasking Europa … brings you face to face with the surface scars of this tiny Jovian moon and tells the story of how our scientific understanding of this enigmatic world has developed. … Through clear descriptions of unfamiliar terms, usefully annotated diagrams, and beautiful colour plates, the story of Europa is made accessible to anyone, even without a prior knowledge of planetary science." (Emily Baldwin, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1210), June, 2009)

"The icy crust of Jupiter’s moon Europa, cut by dramatic faults and other irregularities, caps a hidden ocean about 100 kilometers deep. Greenberg (planetary sciences, Univ. of Arizona) believes the crust is relatively thin … . his explanations of how tides influenced the Europan crust are generally elegant and interesting. The book includes a few Web sites with images of Europa. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, two-year technical program students, and general readers." (B. M. Simonson, Choice, Vol. 46 (8), April, 2009)

"The book is a very clear and accessible exposition of the Europa observations, and of how movements of the ice crust could have produced them. … the author is gratified that his ‘thin-ice’ model of Europa is now gaining credence, which may well indicate, as he believes, that correct arguments must ultimately win over the scientific community. … this book can be recommended as a good non-technical synopsis of our present understanding of the satellite … ." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, April, 2009)

"It is written by Richard Greenberg … . His arguments that the thick ice interpretation on Europa is flawed sound convincing … . The new book is stripped of much of the mathematical and geologic terminology used in the original in order to reach a wider audience. … the author is spending more time describing the process of discovery of Europa’s secrets." (Unmanned Spaceflight, October, 2008)

"Centauri Dreams readers already know of my admiration for Richard Greenberg’s … Unmasking Europa: The Search for Life on Jupiter’s Ocean Moon(Copernicus). It’s a lively and challenging book, one which Greenberg used to take sharp issue with many of his colleagues, and … when I reviewed the book, the animated back and forth makes for a fascinating look at how planetary science gets done. … Read Unmasking Europa for a close look at the Europan surface as seen through Voyager and Galileo imagery … ." (Centauri Dreams, October, 2009)

“This book … recounts the fierce friction between the personalities leading the Galileo mission and publishing their interpretations of what they saw. … the story-telling is first-rate and elegantly explains not just the processes at work on this intriguing little world but also the rivalries and political manoeuvring of Big Science. … Unmasking Europa is a gripping story of the exploration of a new world and the often heated debates within science, and is absolutely stuffed with gorgeous images of strange Europan landscapes.” (Lewis Dartnell, Astrobiological Society of Britain, March, 2009)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387479361
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 8/5/2008
  • Edition description: 2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Water world.- Touring the surface.- Doing science.- Planetary stretch.- A closer look at tidal effects.- Global crack patterns.- Building ridges.- Mind the gap.- Strike-slip.- Convergence.- Return to Astypalaea.- Cycloids.- Chaos.- Thick vs. thin.- The scars of impact.- The bandwagon.- The biosphere.- Explorations to come.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)