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EUROPA: Exploring Jupiter's Ocean Moons

Fractured Land


Fractured Land

This view from NASA's Galileo spacecraft shows a severely fractured surface on Europa - with dark linear, curved, and wedged-shaped bands. These fractures have broken the crust into plates as large as 20 miles (about 30 kilometers) across. Areas between the plates are filled with dark material that was probably icy slush contaminated with rocky debris. Some individual plates were separated and rotated into new positions.

This image covers part of the equatorial zone of Europa and was taken on June 27, 1996 from a distance of about 96,300 miles (156,000 kilometers) from Europa by Galileo's Solid-State Imaging subsystem. North is to the right and the sun is almost directly overhead. The area shown is about 310-by-600 miles (510 by 989 kilometers) across, and the smallest visible feature is about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) wide.

See NASA's Planetary Photojournal for the original caption released with this image.

Credit: NASA/JPL

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Last Updated: 24 Jun 2012