Europa, the moon of Jupiter, seen by the Juno spacecraft

0 27


Europa, the moon of Jupiter, seen by the Juno spacecraft

The space probe NASA Junos was sent into space to study the planet Jupiter. Since 2016, the year the probe entered orbit around the giant planet, it has been able to capture many fascinating images. But Juno is not going to stop at the study of Jupiter. As proof, the spacecraft recently conveyed a new image of Europeone of the gas giant’s moons.

Europe is of great interest to scientists as part of the search for life beyond Earth. Over the years, researchers have discovered some clues suggesting that this moon has an ocean of liquid water under its icy crust.


Europa, moon of Jupiter
Credits NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Thomas Appéré/Creative Commons

With its ocean, Europa is one of the places in the Solar System where it is most likely to find life. With its advanced instruments, Juno could help learn more about this icy moon.

Images taken by Juno

On Thursday, September 29, the Juno probe passed at a distance of 352 km from the surface of Europa. The spacecraft became the first to pass so close to Jupiter’s moon since the probe Galileo in 2000.

During its passage, Juno captured images of Europe with the highest resolution achieved so far, about 1 km per pixel. Of new data on the ice crust and below-surface structure were also collected. The first of these images taken by Juno has now arrived on Earth, and it was captured while the probe was at a distance of 1,500 km from the surface of Europa.

As soon as the raw image arrived on Earth, citizen scientists didn’t wait long to process it. They used color enhancement techniques to highlight cracks, ridges and other surface features.

The exploration of Europe has only just begun

Although Juno’s instruments are powerful enough to obtain data on Europa, NASA does not intend to stop there. Indeed, the American space agency is preparing to visit Jupiter’s moon through the clipper mission. The launch of this mission is scheduled for 2024, and the probe should be placed in orbit around the moon of Jupiter in 2030.

The Clipper mission aims to study Europa, but above all to determine if the conditions on this ice moon can actually support life.

SOURCE: newatlas

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.