Europa

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The surface of Europa – a Galilean satellite of Jupiter whose ice surface is amongst the smoothest in the solar system – an endless field of ice from horizon to horizon. The surface is believed to simultaneously boil and freeze as water and vacuum meet. Far beneath the surface, vulcanism is believed to create conditions similar to those found on early earth – the primordial ooze and a heat source abundant enough for the emergence of ice.

How heart-breakingly beautiful would this scene be were the sky a field of brilliant stars on black and filled with the ruddy face of Jupiter. A family member may soon be acquiring a telescope – and you can bet I’m keen to apply a few of the techniques I learned from my new astrophotography book to its use.

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