Constraint of Europan ice thickness by measuring electromagnetic emissions induced by neutrino interaction

Authors


Abstract

[1] The thickness of the solid icy layer of Europa, which is coupled to the existence of a subsurface ocean, has been poorly constrained because of limitations in the amount of observational data. It remains unclear as to whether thin-crust or thick-crust models are appropriate. In the present paper, we propose a new method by which to determine the thickness of the icy layer using coherent electromagnetic emissions induced by high-energy neutrinos in outer space. Through a Monte-Carlo simulation of the interaction between neutrinos and ice, we evaluated the number of observable emissions, which depends on the thickness of the Europan ice up to 8 km. This method, if used on future missions to Europa, can provide a new constraint for the icy layer and can resolve the debate as to whether the thin-crust or thick-crust model is applicable to Europa.

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