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
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
to learn more about Earth's Moon and 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
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