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This is an image of Europa taken by the Galileo spacecraft in natural and enhanced colors.
Click on image for full size
NASA

Europa

Europa was first discovered by Galileo in 1610, making it one of the Galilean Satellites. It is Jupiter's 4th largest moon, 670,900 km from Jupiter. With a diameter that is about half the distance across the United States, 3138 km (1950 miles), Europa is close to the same size as the Earth's moon (click here for a comparison between Earth's Moon and Europa).

Europa is named after one of Jupiter's girlfriends from Greek mythology. The Galileo spacecraft discovered that there is the strong possibility that it has an ocean underneath its icy surface! The last time an ocean was discovered was the Pacific Ocean, 500 years ago. This means Europa is one of the few moons in the solar system with the possibility of a liquid water environment which could be friendly to life. The surface has many interesting features, even though it is mostly made of ice. Europa also has a very fragile atmosphere.
Last modified September 17, 2003 by Roberta Johnson.

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