Habitability Of The ‘Waterworlds’ Orbiting The Giant Planets In Our Solar System And Beyond Subject Of Billion Euro ESA Mission To Jupiter
The European Space Agency (ESA) has approved a new mission to explore Jupiter and its icy moons to reveal fresh insights into the habitability of the ‘waterworlds’ orbiting the giant planets in our solar system and beyond.
This “family portrait,” a composite of the Jovian system, includes the edge of Jupiter with its Great Red Spot, and Jupiter’s four largest moons, known as the Galilean satellites. From top to bottom, the moons shown are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The Great Red Spot, a storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere, is at least 300 years old. Winds blow counterclockwise around the Great Red Spot at about 250 miles an hour. The storm is larger than one Earth diameter from north to south, and more than two Earth diameters from east to west. In this oblique view, the Great Red Spot appears longer in the north-south direction. Europa, the smallest of the four moons, is about the size of Earth’s moon, while Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system.