This image, using data from NASA's Galileo mission, shows the first detection of clay-like minerals on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa.
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Clay Prints on Europa

This image, using data from NASA's Galileo mission, shows the first detection of clay-like minerals on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. The clay-like minerals appear in blue in the false-color patch of data from Galileo's Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer. Surfaces richer in water ice appear in red. The background image is a mosaic of images from Galileo's Solid State Imaging system in the colors that human eyes would see.

Scientists think an asteroid or comet impact could have delivered the clay-type minerals to Europa because these minerals are commonly found in these primitive celestial bodies. These kinds of asteroids and comets also typically carry organic compounds.

A version of the image without the infrared area is on the right.

For more information about Europa, visit: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/europa/home.cfm .

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Image details

ID#:
PIA17658

Date added:
2013-12-11

Target:
Europa

Mission:
Galileo

Spacecraft:
Galileo Orbiter

Instruments:
Near Infra-Red Mapping Spectrometer

Rating:



Views:
1,882

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA17658.tif (3.84 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA17658.jpg (0.1 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech