The Juno probe, operated by NASA, has returned spectacular new images of Jupiter’s satellites Io and Europa.
With 2 of Jupiter’s numerous satellites to the right side of the picture frame, the new image, released by NASA on March 16, gives a spectacular glimpse of the planet’s southern half in all its glory. The satellites are clearly visible in a zoomed-in shot, which the space agency also published, with Io just on the left side and Europa on the right side, respectively.
(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/processing by Andrea Luck CC BY)
The moon of Jupiter Io is the space rock with the highest concentration of volcanic activity in the planetary system. Many of the dozens of volcanoes that populate the world’s landscape emit sulfurous fumes that reach hundreds of kilometers into the sky.
Europa, the tiniest of Jupiter’s 4 large Galilean satellites, does have an ice surface that researchers think conceals a vast ocean of water underneath it. Europa is the smaller of Jupiter’s four gigantic Galilean celestial bodies. Earlier investigations have discovered signs of probable water fountains erupting from Europa’s subpolar area, indicating that there is freshwater in the moon’s deep ocean that is escaping via breaches in the ice exterior of the satellite.
During its latest approach to Europa late this year, in September, the Juno probe is scheduled to make its nearest encounter. When the spacecraft does its fly-by, many of its research equipment will be used to explore Europa in greater depth and to obtain far more breathtaking images of the intriguing world.
As per the NASA announcement, the Juno expedition will also perform near passes by the moon Lo during late 2023 through early 2024, as well as in late 2024. The expedition is now projected to conclude in September 2025, according to current estimates.