SCIENCE
11/24/2014 10:44 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Stunning New Photo Of Europa Shows Jupiter's Icy Moon Just As The Human Eye Would See It

It's the most extraordinary image ever of Europa.

NASA's newly "remastered" photo of Jupiter's icy moon (below) shows the satellite's geology in stunning, high-definition detail. And unlike a similar image released previously--in which the colors were artificially enhanced--the new photo shows Europa pretty much as the human eye would see it.

(Story continues below image.)
europa

The color variations across the cracked surface indicate the surface geology. Blue and white areas contain relatively pure water ice. Reddish and brownish areas contain high concentrations of non-ice materials.

Europa, which was discovered by Galileo in 1610, is of special interest to astronomers because it's believed to have a deep subsurface ocean with conditions favorable for life.

The image was made from images taken by NASA's Galileo space probe in the late 1990s.

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