Juno observed the icy world near Jupiter in the best quality

The icy moon of Europa, which is considered one of the possible options for supporting extraterrestrial life, was captured with a clear view during the close pass of the Juno spacecraft.

BingMag.com Juno observed the icy world near Jupiter in the best quality

The icy moon of Europa, which is considered one of the possible options for supporting extraterrestrial life, was captured with a clear view during the close pass of the Juno spacecraft.

On Thursday, September 29, the probe "Juno" made its close pass by the icy moon "Europa" and after the journey of the spacecraft "Galileo" 22 years ago , recorded the best view of the oceans of this world that has subsurface oceans.

This Juno flight, which was carried out at an altitude of 352 km to the Europa moon and in 2 hours, is considered one of the closest passes by this icy world. Previously, on January 3, 2000 (13 January 1378), the Galileo spacecraft managed to record similar images. See Juno

In the new images, Europe's rough terrain is clearly visible. Among the parts that caused the formation of shadows, and at the same time bright and dark ridges and curved lines can be seen throughout this moon.

BingMag.com Juno observed the icy world near Jupiter in the best quality

The rectangular pit at the bottom of the picture is probably the result of an impact crater. While geological data from the flyby is still being received, NASA officials said Juno's unique view of Europa will provide valuable insight for the Europa Clipper mission, which will launch in about two years. .

Europa Clipper, which will reach Europa's moon in the 2030s, will study its atmosphere, surface and interior. The main scientific goal of this probe is to detect places under the surface of this moon with the ability to support life.

As the sixth largest moon of the solar system, Europa is similar in size to Earth, but has a very different history of origin and evolution. The moon is composed of an icy shell covering an ocean, and scientists think that such an environment could support life like Earth.

During Juno's flyby of Europa, high-resolution images of up to 1 km was recorded for each pixel, and in addition, information was also obtained about the environment of this moon, its atmosphere, surface and internal environment.

BingMag.com Juno observed the icy world near Jupiter in the best quality

"Candy Hansen" (Candy Hansen), a Juno researcher and head of the Junocom camera program, said about the results of this information: "The science team will investigate whether Europa's surface has changed over two decades."

Data from Juno's microwave radiometer instrument could be especially important for future missions such as Clipper to explore potentially habitable regions with liquid water beneath Europa's massive ice surface.

The primary goal of this flyby But Juno's path has been slightly altered so that it is now on a single orbit around Jupiter that takes 38 Earth days. This is while the probe's previous orbit was 43 days.

  • The Juno spacecraft captured stunningly detailed images of Jupiter's moon

If this probe can survive the intense radioactive environment in the radiation belt near Jupiter, it is expected to make close passes by Jupiter's volcanic moon Io in 2023 and 2024.

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Photos: Juno's view of Jupiter's moon Europa
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SWRI/MSSS

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