Astronomy Picture of the Day

Europa Rising

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#100278 by @ 08.05.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Europa Rising


When passing Jupiter on your way to Pluto, what should you look for?

NASA pondered just this question recently,
and the response from one space enthusiast was to capture the
above breathtaking moonrise.

The unusual vista was then actually captured by the
New Horizons spacecraft
in February just after it buzzed past
Jupiter on its way to
Pluto and the outer
Solar System.

Visible above is the
cracked surface of Europa's expansive ice fields,
visible just behind a jumble of
Jupiter's swirling clouds.

Europa is one of the largest moons of
Jupiter and a possible host to sub-surface
liquid oceans that are real candidates for containing
extra-terrestrial life.

During the Jupiter flyby,
New Horizons
also carried out scientific observations of
Jupiter's cloud tops and comparative images of Io's volcanoes and its
continually changing surface.

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