Europa as you have never seen it before


NASA has a reprocessed a stunning image of the frozen surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, previously only seen as a low-resolution mosaic.

The image was taken by the Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s.

NASA assembled all the mosaic of images into a colour view of the surface that approximates how Europa would appear to the human eye.

The scene shows the stunning diversity of Europa’s surface geology. Long, linear cracks and ridges crisscross the surface, interrupted by regions of disrupted terrain where the surface ice crust has been broken up and re-frozen into new patterns.
Colour variations across the surface are associated with differences in geologic feature type and location.
For example, areas that appear blue or white contain relatively pure water ice, while reddish and brownish areas include non-ice components in higher concentrations.
The polar regions, visible at the left and right of this view, are noticeably bluer than the more equatorial latitudes, which look more white. This colour variation is thought to be due to differences in ice grain size in the two locations. Images taken through near-infrared, green and violet filters have been combined to produce this view.

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