Remastered image of Europa released by NASA
NASA has issued an image advisory for a newly-processed global color view of Europa, our best such view ever and likely the best view we will have until a dedicated spacecraft returns to Europa sometime in the future.
SETI Institute planetary geologist Cynthia Phillips has been working with JPL's Europa Pre-Project definition team as a science communications specialist. She and her research assistant at the SETI Institute, Marty Valenti, produced this new color view of Europa's surface by mosaicing, calibrating, and correcting color images of Europa taken in the 1990's by the Galileo spacecraft. This new image includes a scattered light correction, which provides a different calibration for each color filter in the observation and helped produce an image which is closer to what the human eye would observe than previous images.
Along with this new image release, JPL has also released a new video describing why Jupiter's moon Europa is an exciting target for future scientific exploration. Europa likely possesses an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy surface, and is one of the best places in our solar system to look for life beyond the Earth. Dr. Phillips was in charge of scientific oversight for the video, which stars former SETI Institute scientist Dr. Kevin Hand.
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The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe and to apply the knowledge gained to inspire and guide present and future generations. Our research, education and outreach programs explore the wonder of the universe and celebrate the excitement of exploration and the joy of discovery for all humankind.