NASA’s Juno Captures Tantalizing Photographs of Frosty Jupiter Moon Europa


NASA’s Juno spacecraft cozied up to Jupiter’s funky moon Europa on Thursday, sending again a number of the closest photographs ever taken of the icy world. The views give us our first actually good take a look at Europa since NASA’s Galileo spacecraft buzzed by greater than twenty years in the past.

NASA is posting uncooked photographs from the flyby to the JunoCam web site. The primary photographs to return in have a really yellow-brown tinge to them. I did some fast processing on one of many uncooked photographs to convey it somewhat extra consistent with views from Galileo. I am going to go away it as much as the picture processing consultants to essentially convey out the total fantastic thing about Juno’s new seems at Europa.

That is the primary image despatched again by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from its shut flyby of Europa. It exhibits Annwn Regio.


NASA shared a close-up of Europa as seen by Juno from a distance of simply 219 miles (352 kilometers) above the floor. It exhibits an space known as Annwn Regio close to the moon’s equator. The picture highlights the moon’s ridges and craters.  

Europa is somewhat smaller than Earth’s moon. Newbie astronomer Stuart Atkinson revealed an early tackle a wider view in a tweet on Thursday. 

“The science workforce will likely be evaluating the total set of photographs obtained by Juno with photographs from earlier missions, seeking to see if Europa’s floor options have modified over the previous twenty years,” Juno co-investigator Sweet Hansen mentioned in a press release. “The JunoCam photographs will fill within the present geologic map, changing present low-resolution protection of the realm.”  

Europa is the newest feather in Juno’s cap. It arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and obtained a mission extension in 2021 to check a number of the gasoline large’s largest moons in additional element. It already checked out Ganymede and will likely be taking a look at Io subsequent yr. In addition to fairly footage, it additionally collected information on Europa’s composition, temperature and ambiance.

The moon is the main focus of NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission. Europa is probably going hiding a salty subsurface liquid ocean underneath its ice shell, making it a superb place to search for potential habitability and indicators of microbial life. The moon has additionally been recognized to spit out mysterious geysers that trace at exercise under. 

Juno’s work will fill in a number of the science blanks as we look ahead to Europa Clipper to enterprise out for a go to.

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