A series of images that were captured almost ten years ago are bringing life to Europa’s icy surface. NASA’s Galileo spacecraft was sent into space to analyze the atmosphere of the giant planet, and it managed to complete 11 flybys around Jupiter’s natural satellite, Europa.
The images were captured in 1998, displaying black-and-white images that show the crackled surface of the moon. The images caught the attention of the researchers during their analysis that aims to send more equipment in the area to provide more data.
NASA is currently planning on its Europa Clipper mission that is due to launch between 2023 or 2025, which will complete 45 rotations around the natural satellite. This research aims to bring proper insight into the atmosphere and the icy surface of the moon, as well as the controversial subsurface ocean.
NASA Prepares the Mission on Jupiter’s Icy Moon Europa
To prepare for the upcoming mission on Europa, the scientists are analyzing the input from previous from other studies. Therefore, the primary objective is to understand the images showed with the help of the Galileo mission. The first thing that the researchers have managed to understand is that the natural satellite is quite young, being only 40-90 million years old, being amongst the freshest objects in the outer space.
In addition to this, the Europa’s ice is interestingly active, being crisscrossed with wide. Scientists considered that the blocks of ice on the surface of this natural satellite have somehow managed to migrate from their original places.
What is keeping scientists away from a proper introspective into all the formation details about Europa is the fact that the images provided are grayscale. Colors offer an impressive overview of the icy story. This is why, when they are not present, the scientists are less likely to discover the differences in color, which provide them in-depth details such as levels of pure water ice that are represented by the blue areas.