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Hints of relatively recent activity on Europa observed by the Juno SRU

Presentation #504.01 in the session Galilean Satellites: Scratching the Surface (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Hints of relatively recent activity on Europa observed by the Juno SRU

In September 2022, Juno’s low-light Stellar Reference Unit (SRU) star camera imaged a 30,000 km2 region of Europa’s surface between ~0-6 N and 43.5-51 W at high resolution (256-340 meters/pixel). The single acquisition was performed during Juno’s high velocity E45 flyby and targeted an area where the surface was illuminated only by Jupiter-shine (48-51 degrees incidence angle). The visible wavelength image reveals a highly complex and feature-rich portion of the icy crust which had not previously been covered at high resolution, or high incidence angle.

Among the many features captured in the SRU image are a stratigraphically young 37 km x 67 km chaos feature with varied topography and puzzling low albedo deposits. Proximal double ridges are flanked by additional low albedo deposits, similar to those associated with plume activity elsewhere (hypothesized by Quick and Hedman, 2020). Juno’s high-resolution record of these features presents an opportunity for upcoming missions to revisit candidate locations for detectable changes since Juno.

Reference:

Quick, L.C., & Hedman, M.M. (2020), Characterizing deposits emplaced by cryovolcanic plumes on Europa. Icarus, 343, June 2020, 113667. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113667

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