Thermal Imager's First Light Image
This is an image from Europa Clipper’s thermal imager science instrument (called E-THEMIS). The image was taken during the instrument's first-light test, from the rooftop lab of the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 on the Tempe Campus of Arizona State University (ASU). The view faces north, and includes the ASU Sun Devil Stadium and “A" Mountain.
The ASU thermal imager's team spent four months developing a portable clean lab to safely transport the instrument to the roof of the building and collect data in a controlled environment.
The thermal imager will use infrared light to distinguish warmer regions on Europa’s surface, where liquid water may be near the surface or might have erupted onto the surface. The thermal imager will also characterize surface texture to help scientists understand the small-scale properties of Europa’s surface.