PIA17657: Hit Hard: Possible Collision at Europa (Artist's Concept)
Target Name: Europa
Is a satellite of: Jupiter
Mission: Galileo
Spacecraft: Galileo Orbiter
Product Size: 2208 x 2292 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
Primary Data Set: Galileo EDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA17657.tif (15.19 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA17657.jpg (338.3 kB)

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This artist's concept shows a possible explosion resulting from a high-speed collision between a space rock and Jupiter's moon Europa. Clay-type minerals have been found on Europa's surface in a new analysis of data from NASA's Galileo mission. The pattern of these minerals suggests an asteroid about 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) across or a comet about 5,600 feet (1,700 meters) across could have hit at a shallow angle. Clay-type minerals are commonly found in primitive asteroids and some comets. These kinds of asteroids and comets also typically carry organic compounds, providing a possible way for organics to be delivered to Europa.

For more information about Europa, visit: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/europa/home.cfm .

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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