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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
This picture shows two images of Europa taken by the Galileo spacecraft. One taken in natural light (to the left), and the other with colors enhanced by computer.
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 ( miles) from Jupiter. Europa's diameter is about half the distance across the United States, 3138 km (1950 miles), and is close to the same size as the Earth's moon (click here to learn more about Earth's Moon and Europa).

Europa is named after one of Jupiter's many girlfriends from Greek mythology. The Galileo spacecraft discovered that there may be an ocean under 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 that may have liquid water, which scientists think is friendly to life. The surface has many neat features, even though it is mainly made of ice. Europa also has a very thin atmosphere.
Last modified September 17, 2003 by Roberta Johnson.

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