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.
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov
January 17, 1997
This is the highest resolution picture ever taken of the Jupiter moon, Europa. The area shown is about 5.9 by 9.9 miles (9.6 by 16 kilometers) and the smallest visible feature is about the size of a football field. In this view, the ice-rich surface has been broken into a complex pattern by cross-cutting ridges and grooves resulting from tectonic processes. Sinuous rille-like features and knobby terrain could result from surface modifications of unknown origins. Small craters of possible impact origin range in size from less than 330 feet (100 meters) to about 1300 feet (400 meters) across are visible.
This image was taken by the solid state imaging television camera aboard the Galileo during its fourth orbit around Jupiter, at a distance of 2060 miles (3340 kilometers). The picture is centered at 325 degrees West, 5.83 degrees North. North is toward the top of this image, with the sun shining from the right.
Launched in October 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.
This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo.
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