Europa Ice Rafts
Date: 20 Feb 1997
This high resolution image shows the ice-rich crust of Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. Seen here are crustal plates ranging up to 13 km (8 miles) across, which have been broken apart and "rafted" into new positions, superficially resembling the disruption of pack-ice on polar seas during spring thaws on Earth. The size and geometry of these features suggest that motion was enabled by ice-crusted water or soft ice close to the surface at the time of disruption.
The area shown is about 34 km by 42 km (21 miles by 26 miles), centered at 9.4 degrees north latitude, 274 degrees west longitude, and the resolution is 54 m (59 yards). This picture was taken by the Solid State Imaging system on board the Galileo spacecraft on 20 February 1997, from a distance of 5,340 km (3,320 miles) during the spacecraft's close flyby of Europa.
Last Update: 21 Mar 2012 (AMB)