Gigglebit: Jupiter’s moon Europa displays stunning surface (photo)

26 Nov 2014

The surface of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

The streaky surface of planet Jupiter’s moon Europa is the subject of a newly reprocessed photo that approximates how Europa would appear to the human eye. The photo has been reprocessed using images taken by US space agency NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s.

The reprocessed photo shows the largest portion of the moon’s surface at the highest resolution.

“The scene shows the stunning diversity of Europa’s surface geology,” NASA said.

“Long, linear cracks and ridges crisscross the surface, interrupted by regions of disrupted terrain where the surface ice crust has been broken up and refrozen into new patterns.”

Areas that appear blue or white contain relatively pure water ice, while reddish and brownish areas include non-ice components in higher concentrations, NASA added.

The polar regions, at the left and right of the image, are bluer than the more equatorial latitudes, which look more white. NASA attributes this colour variation to possible differences in ice grain size in the two locations.

Here is the image in its entirety:

Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic