Other theories have been suggested for the creation of these chaotic regions, such as solar heating and tidal interactions with Jupiter, but interior convection currents appear to better model the observed landscape features.
ANALYSIS: A Jovian Mystery: It's Time to Land On Europa
Unfortunately, computer simulations can only go so far in explaining the mechanisms behind planetary science; we can only fully investigate Europa's mysterious allure by sending orbiters and, preferably, robotic landers to get up close and personal with Europan ice.
Sadly, as NASA's budget woes roll toward 2014, there are increasingly ominous signs that the space agency's planetary sciences budget will suffer another, potentially devastating blow in the coming months. During a NASA planetary science meeting on Tuesday, the extent of the damage of the U.S. government sequester became gut-wrenchingly clear.
In a Twitter update, Caltech planetary scientist Mike Brown said: "Wow. NASA is currently have a Town Hall meeting and essentially telling planetary scientists to look for new jobs. Wow."