Photo by Jason Major on Flickr.com
The ice moon Europa was captured on camera by NASA’s Jupiter probe Juno during its near approach to the planet.
According to the US Aerospace Agency (NASA), Juno had a 2-hour chance to observe Europa, the main object of the Europa Clipper research, up close.
Since the Galileo orbiter’s journey in 2000, Juno’s 352-kilometer trip on September 29 placed the spacecraft the closest to Europa.
While in flight, Juno collected some of the best-resolution photographs of Europa and demonstrated a high degree of sensitivity to the structure of Europa’s ice crust.
The NASA website now displays images obtained by Juno during its journey.
The ice crust of Europa is visible as bulges and dimples in the first image, which is focused close to Europa’s equator.
It is believed that the tidal forces generated when Europa orbits Jupiter are caused by the ice cracks.