NASA - JPL: Galileo Views of Europa

 [Europa - Natural and False Color]

Natural and False Color Views

November 12, 1996

This image shows two views of the trailing hemisphere of Jupiter's ice-covered satellite; Europa.
The left image shows the approximate natural color appearance of Europa.
The image on the right, is a false-color composite version combining violet, green and infrared images, to enhance color differences in the predominantly water-ice crust of Europa.
Dark brown areas represent rocky material derived from the interior, implanted by impact, or from a combination of interior and exterior sources.
Bright plains in the polar areas (top and bottom) are shown in tones of blue, to distinguish possibly coarse-grained ice (dark blue) from fine-grained ice (light blue).
Long, dark lines are fractures in the crust, some of which are more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) long.
The bright feature containing a central dark spot in the lower third of the image, is a young impact crater some 50 kilometers (31 miles) in diameter.
This crater has been provisionally named 'Pwyll' for the Celtic god of the underworld.

Europa is about 3,160 kilometers (1,950 miles) in diameter, or about the size of Earth's moon.

This image was taken on September 7, 1996, at a range of 677,000 kilometers (417,900 miles) by the solid state imaging television camera onboard the Galileo spacecraft, during its second orbit around Jupiter.

The image was processed by Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Luft und Raumfahrt e.V., Berlin, Germany.

Launched in October 18, 1989, Galileo entered orbit around Jupiter on December 7, 1995. The spacecraft's mission is to conduct detailed studies of the giant planet, its largest moons and the Jovian magnetic environment.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

Note: This JPEG image is made available in order to share with the public the excitement of new discoveries being made via the NASA/JPL Galileo spacecraft. Galileo scientists are in the process of calibrating and validating this data. The full digital image necessary for scientific analysis will be released within one year of receipt of this orbit's last data.

This image, background information and educational context for this and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at the Solar System Exploration: Galileo Legacy Site (NASA).

Updated: November 13 '96

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