Scientists at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Lester presented new images of Europe and Ganymede, the largest satellites and the main objectives of the future mission to Jupiter, the study reveals the composition of their surface and the characteristics of geological processes.
An analysis of the spectrum of the reflected light showed that Europe's crust consists mainly of frozen water ice with non-polluted materials polluting the surface, with the side facing Jupiter covered with sulphuric acid salt frost.
A study by Ganymede, the largest satellite in the solar system, showed that the surface consists of two main types of topography: the young areas of the crust contain a large amount of water ice; the ancient areas are dark formations on the surface, the composition of which has not yet been determined.
Young ice fields include polar caps and Ganymede craters, where the impact exposed the fresh clean ice of the Jupiter satellite ' s crust. Scientists have mapped how the size of the ice in Ganymede varies over the surface, and the possible distribution of various salts.
The study of both satellites was carried out by a very large telescope located in Chile and operated by the European Southern Observatory, and scientists recorded the amount of sunlight reflected from the surfaces of Europe and Ganymede at different waves of infrared radiation, which allowed for the formation of reflection spectrums.
Using this approach, planetologists were able to map Europe and Ganymede in detail, observing the characteristics of their surfaces of less than 150 km in cross-section from a distance of more than 600 million km. Mapping on such a small scale was previously only possible by sending a spacecraft to Jupiter, the authors say.