This picture of Europa, the smallest Galilean satellite, was taken in the afternoon of March 4, 1979, from a distance of about 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) by Voyager 1. This face of Europa is centered at about the 300° meridian. The resolution of this picture of Europa is about the best that will be obtained by Voyager 1, but the second spacecraft will take much clearer photographs of this satellite in July. The bright areas are probably ice deposits while the darkened areas may be the rocky surface or areas with a more patchy distribution of ice. The most unusual features are the systems of long linear structures which cross the surface in various directions. Some of these linear structures are over a thousand kilometers long and about 2 or 3 hundred kilometers wide. They may be fractures or faults which have disrupted the surface.
JPL manages and controls the Voyager project for NASA's Office of Space Science.
|Instrument Host||Voyager 1|
|Host Type||Flyby Spacecraft|
|Date in Caption||1979-03-04|