Fantastically Weird

Fantastically Weird
Fantastically Weird "Fantastically weird" slipped out as geologist Jim Head described the latest Galileo images of Europa. This is one of the most enigmatic worlds seen yet by spacecraft, and the closer we look, the stranger it gets. It may possess an ocean beneath a water-ice crust, perhaps hiding a potential habitat for life. Here we show the moon as it appeared from 677,000 kilometers (420,00 miles) away last September during Galileo's flyby of Ganymede. At left is a false-color image, with contrasts enhanced to bring out compositional differences in the primarily ice crust. At right is a natural-color image, showing Europa as it might appear to an observer riding the spacecraft. JPL / NASA

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