NASA’s Juno probe captures fascinating high-resolution images of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa

a partially shaded tan and brown planet scared with lines across its surface

Then NASA Juno spacecraft came closest Jupiter‘s moon Europe in September 2022, it captured evidence not only of briny layers of water connected to the world’s deep subsurface ocean, but also of potential scars formed by towering plumes of water vapor – and it captured that evidence on camera

The majority of the Juno mission’s images were captured by an instrument called JunoCam, which scientists revealed was able to capture four high-resolution images of Europa’s surface as it raced past the icy moon at an altitude of just 355 kilometers (220 miles). The spacecraft also used the Stellar Reference Unit (SRU), which is normally used for imaging weak spots stars, to help Juno navigate. However, on this occasion the SRU’s low-light capabilities were adapted to capture a single image of the night side of Europe. This is the side that only shines when the light is reflected from Jupiter’s cloud tops – we call it ‘Jupiter shine’.

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