Juno Spacecraft Nearing Jupiter Moon Europa

The Juno spacecraft is ready to have a close encounter with Europa, a moon of Jupiter. The spacecraft Juno is getting ready to make the closest flyby of the moon in decades. 

 On Thursday, September 29th, the probe is slated to make its closest approach, during which time it will collect data and photos.

Europa has gained some notoriety in the solar system. This frozen globe is just slightly larger than the moon. What may be hidden underneath is of great interest to researchers. 

Scientists believe a salty ocean lurks behind a mile-thick ice crust, raising issues regarding whether or not conditions below Europa's surface are adequate to host life, as stated by NASA.

The closest that Juno will go to Europa's surface is 222 miles (358 kilometres). The distance from Washington, DC, to New York City is around that.

When it returns, NASA hopes to get some of the sharpest photographs of the mysterious moon ever captured.

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