National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Europa Impact
Europa Impact (click to enlarge)

Europa Impact
Date: 4 Apr 1997

This feature on Jupiter's moon Europa was seen as a dark, diffuse circular patch on a previous Galileo global image of Europa's leading hemisphere. The bulls-eye pattern appears to be a 140-kilometer-wide impact scar (about the size of the island of Hawai'i) that formed as the surface fractured minutes after a mountain-sized asteroid or comet slammed into the satellite. This approximately 214-kilometer-wide picture is the product of three images that have been processed in false color to enhance shapes and compositions.

North is toward the top of this picture, which is illuminated from sunlight coming from the west. This color composite reveals a sequence of events, that have modified the surface of Europa. The earliest event was the impact that formed the Tyre structure at 340N latitude and 146.50W longitude. This impact was followed by the formation of the reddish lines superposed on Tyre. The red color designates areas that are probably a dirty water-ice mixture. The fine blue-green lines crossing the region from west to east appear to be ridges that formed after the crater.

The images were taken on April 4, 1997, at a resolution of 595 meters per picture element and a range of 29,000 kilometers. The images were taken by the Galileo spacecraft's Solid-State Imaging System.

Image Credit: University of Arizona

Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2008