NASA unveils first images of Jupiter’s moon Europa


Juno spacecraft NASA has made its closest approach to the icy moon Jupiter tempting, Europa. Amazing images of Europa will be valuable observation material for scientists.

Juno, on Thursday (29/9) slid within about 352 kilometers from Europa. One of Jupiter’s natural satellites is thought to have oceans flowing beneath a thick, frozen crust, increasing the likelihood of underwater life.

Scientists hailed the flyby as a success. There were four images emitted and released within a few hours. They hope to observe a possible plume of water fired from the surface of Europa, which is about the same size as Earth’s Moon. However, nothing is immediately visible on the initial screen.



“We have to be in the right place at the right time,” said Juno’s chief scientist, Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

John Bordi, deputy mission manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, estimates the spacecraft will be moving fairly fast at a relative speed of nearly 23.6 kilometers per second.

Jupiter’s moon Europa. Photo: NASA

The first photo from the flyby is a closeup of the equatorial region of Europa, crossed by mountains, troughs and possibly an impact crater.

These new observations will help NASA plan its Europa Clipper mission, which will launch in 2024 and arrive at the Jovian system in 2030. European Space Agency ESA is also planning a close meeting with Jupiter The Icy Moons Explorer, or Juice, will launch next year.

So far, the former Galileo spacecraft NASA still holds the flyby record Europacrossed a distance of 351 kilometers in 2000.

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