LOS ANGELES – NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has revealed the first picture of Jupiter's ice-encrusted moon Europa, which was taken by the Juno spacecraft as it was flying by.
The image was captured during the solar-powered spacecraft's closest approach on Thursday at a distance of about 352 kilometers.
This is only the third close pass in history below 500 kilometers altitude and the closest look any spacecraft has provided at Europa since Jan. 3, 2000, when NASA's Galileo came within 351 kilometers of the surface, according to the agency.
Image taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft during a flyby on Sept. 29, 2022 shows the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa.
Europa is the sixth-largest moon in the solar system, slightly smaller than Earth's moon.
Scientists think a salty ocean lies below a miles-thick ice shell, sparking questions about potential conditions capable of supporting life underneath Europa's surface. (Xinhua)