The chaos of Jupiter's moon Europa
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Jupiter's moon Europa — with its icy shell and subsurface ocean — has long sparked the imaginations of scientists and science fiction writers alike.
What's new: Newly reprocessed images first taken in the 1990s by NASA's Galileo spacecraft show the moon's "chaos terrain" in new relief.
- The bright white and blue regions are made of water ice, while the reddish color is caused by salts and other minerals, according to NASA.
What's next: Researchers are particularly interested in learning more about Europa because the moon is thought to be one of the best places to hunt for possible life in the solar system.
- Scientists are hoping to use these newly processed photos to help with planning for NASA's Europa Clipper mission, expected to launch in the 2020s to perform a series of flybys to study the moon from close range.