The closest images of Europa have arrived

In the statement made by NASA, it was stated that Juno had a 2-hour opportunity to view Europa closely, which is the main target of the Europa Clipper survey.

With its 352-kilometer flight on 29 September, Juno became the closest spacecraft to Europa since the Galileo orbiter’s flight in 2000.

During the flight, Juno collected some of the highest resolution images of Europa and obtained important data about Europa’s ice crust structure, interior, surface composition and ionosphere.

Photos taken by Juno during its transit have been published on NASA’s website.

The first image, focused near Europa’s equator, shows bulges and dimples that point to Europa’s icy crust.

The cracks in the ice are thought to be caused by tidal forces created as Europa orbits Jupiter.

“The science team will compare all images obtained by Juno with images from previous missions to see if Europa’s surface features have changed over the past two decades,” said Juno co-investigator Candy Hansen. said.

NASA’s Juno reconnaissance satellite, launched into space in 2011, has been conducting exploration activities in orbit around the planet since it arrived at Jupiter in July 2016.

NASA plans to launch the Europa Clipper spacecraft to Europa in 2024 to investigate whether it has conditions suitable for life.


Europa, one of Jupiter’s 79 moons, was discovered in 1610 by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.

NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft flew close to Europa in 1979 and took the first orbital pictures of the satellite.