On Thursday, 29 September, the probe flew 352 kilometres to Europe and was the first spacecraft to fly so close to Jupiter's largest moon since the Galileo mission in 2000.
At the same time, "Unona" took pictures of Europe with the highest resolution to date: about 1 km per pixel. The probe also received new data on its ice sheath and subsurface structure. He has already sent the first of these images to Earth. It was taken about 1,500 km from the surface of the moon when "Unona" was just aiming. More photos are waiting for us in the future. The probe now runs past the moon at a relative speed of about 23.6 km/s.
Civil scientists have already started processing Europe's raw image by painting it. The aim is to identify cracks, stripes, and other surface features. They used European archival images for the full picture.
Europe is one of the main goals of scientists who have been looking for life outside the Earth. For many years, researchers have closely watched the moon from afar. Astronomers already know that there is liquid water. Perhaps under the ice shell of Europe there is an underground ocean.
This salty water body is considered one of the most likely places to live in our solar system. An advanced set of images from the "Unona" probe will help scientists in their research.