Read the Europa Missions Study 2012 Report!
Four centuries ago, Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons helped to forever change
our view of the universe. Today one of these moons - Europa - has the potential for
discoveries just as profound.
Europa's icy surface is thought to conceal a global ocean with more than twice the volume
of Earth's seas, and with conditions that might not be completely alien to some forms of life
on Earth. Under its frozen crust, Europa may harbor the key ingredients required to create
a habitable environment.
Its potential to teach us about places where life could exist makes exploring the mysteries of
Europa's ice one of the greatest adventures of our time. Since many gas giant planets across the
cosmos are thought likely to possess similar collections of icy moons, what we learn from Europa, its parent
planet Jupiter and its sibling satellites could have vast implications for our understanding of that greatest of questions:
Are we alone?
New "old" view from the Galileo spacecraft!
Repeated Flybys Yield a Pole-to-Pole View of EuropaRead More
Reddish spots and shallow pits pepper Europa's enigmatic, ridged surface.Read More
Thera and Thrace
Two dark, reddish regions of disturbed terrain disrupt the older, icy-ridged plains.Read More
Europa peeks over the limb of Jupiter in a 2007 view from the Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft.Read More
Closeup of the Chaos
Color view of Europa's intriguing, jumbled "chaos terrain" within the region named ConamaraRead More
High Resolution Globe
Europa's surface sports a variety of complex and beautiful patterns.Read More
Dark fractures seen here have broken Europa's crust into plates as large as 20 miles (about 30 kilometers) across.Read More
Ridges, Plains and Mountains
Hundreds of ridges cut across each other, indicating multiple episodes of ridge formation due to activity within the ice.Read More
These corrugated plateaus end in icy cliffs a few hundred feet (over a hundred meters) high.Read More
Pits, plains and regions of chaotic terrainRead More