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Click to see selection as Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) - November 27, 2014
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
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
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