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This answer to What would ice-skating be like on Europa? cautions that it might be difficult because there may be penitentes which Wikipedia explains are snow formations. It links to EarthSky.org's Europa may have towering ice spikes on its surface which seems to blur the line between snow formations and "ice spikes" and the linked Wikipedia article is not "crystal clear" about this either.

Question: Does the prediction of penitentes on Europa only apply to snow-covered areas and not bare ice? Images of Europa suggest that new surface ice is formed around cracks in the surface; would penitentes appear in this ice in due course, or would they only appear after the ice was covered in snow?

The Nature paper Formation of metre-scale bladed roughness on Europa’s surface by ablation of ice is paywalled, but here is an earlier conference proceeding How Rough is the Surface of Europa at Lander Scale? from the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2013) by the same authors.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know if cross-posting is encouraged or discouraged, but would Astronomy SE have some more immediate insight? $\endgroup$ – aranedain Jun 12 '20 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ @aranedain planetary science is on-topic here in Space Exploration SE, in Astronomy SE, and in Earth Science SE. Since this topic is so relevant to landing spacecraft on Europa I've decided that it's most likely that users familliar sources likely to shed light on this topic will be here. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 12 '20 at 22:58

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