This image shows an area of crustal separation on Jupiter's moon, Europa. Lower resolution pictures taken earlier in the tour of NASA's Galileo spacecraft revealed that dark wedge-shaped bands in this region are areas where the icy crust has completely pulled apart. Dark material has filled up from below and filled the void created by this separation.
In the lower left corner of this image, taken by Galileo's onboard camera on December 16, 1997, a portion of one dark wedge area is visible, revealing a linear texture along the trend of the wedge. The lines of the texture change orientation slightly and reflect the fact that we are looking at a bend in the wedge. The older, bright background, visible on the right half of the image, is criss-crossed with ridges. A large, bright ridge runs east-west through the upper part of the image, cutting across both the older background plains and the wedge. This ridge is rough in texture, with numerous small terraces and troughs containing dark material.
North is to the top of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from the northwest. This image, centered at approximately 16.5 degrees south latitude and 196.5 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 10 kilometers square (about 6.5 miles square). The resolution of this image is about 26 meters per picture element. This image was taken by the solid state imaging system from a distance of 1250 kilometers (750 miles).
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ galileo.