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Europa's Stunning Surface. Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. This is the first time that NASA is publishing a version of the scene produced using modern image processing techniques.

This view of Europa stands out as the color view that shows the largest portion of the moon's surface at the highest resolution.

An earlier, lower-resolution version of the view, published in 2001, featured colors that had been strongly enhanced. The new image more closely approximates what the human eye would see.

The image features many long, curving and linear fractures in the moon's bright ice shell. Scientists are eager to learn if the reddish-brown fractures, and other markings spattered across the surface, contain clues about the geological history of Europa and the chemistry of the global ocean that is thought to exist beneath the ice.

Hidden beneath Europa's icy surface is perhaps the most promising place in our solar system beyond Earth to look for present-day environments that are suitable for life.

Addition Date: NOVEMBER 21, 2014
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute


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