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Galileo's Legacy at Jupiter

artist's concept of Galileo at Jupiter
Europa and theThrace Region

This image of Europa and an enlargement of the Thrace region gives visual evidence of the dramatic advance in our knowledge of Jupiter's second Galilean satellite due to the Galileo mission.

Prior to the Galileo mission, scientists' knowledge of Europa was simply a small ice- covered moon with an exceptionally bright surface covered by faint curved and linear markings. Now, scientists see evidence of a young and thin, cracked and ruptured ice shell, probably moving slowly over the surface of a briny ocean that is 100 kilometers (62 miles) or more deep. Europa has become recognized as a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life and is now an important target for future solar system exploration. This image was produced at Arizona State University.

 

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