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EUROPA: Exploring Jupiter's Ocean Moons

Cracks and ridges on Europa


Cracks and ridges on Europa

Date: 2 Feb 1999

This enhanced color image shows cracks and ridges on Europa's surface that reveal a detailed geologic history. Some ridges, such as the prominent one at top right, develop into long, arc-shaped "cycloids" that may be related to changing tidal forces as Europa orbits Jupiter. The wall of this ridge stands perhaps a third of a mile (0.5 kilometer) above the surrounding ridged plains, although the edges are likely not as steep as they appear in this view.

The view was captured by NASA's Galileo spacecraft on February 2, 1999, during its E19 orbit, when the spacecraft was about 2500 miles (4000 km) from the surface of Europa. Resolution in the scene is 295 feet (90 meters) per pixel. North is toward bottom left. Images taken through near-infrared, green and violet filters were combined to create the view.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cynthia Phillips

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