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Ganymede: Largest Impact Crater in the Solar System?

20 Aug 2020, 18:05 UTC
Ganymede: Largest Impact Crater in the Solar System?
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Have a look at what two of our older spacecraft saw on Jupiter’s giant moon Ganymede, a world that will snap into much greater focus once the JUICE mission arrives in 2029. The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer is slated for launch in 2022, with the intention of studying Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. But it’s Ganymede that will get the lion’s share of the attention from this European Space Agency effort as JUICE slides into orbit around the moon in 2032, marking the first time a spacecraft has orbited a moon circling a planet other than our own.

Image: Images of Ganymede’s surface taken by Voyager 2 (left) and Galileo (right). The Dark Terrain and Bright Terrain areas can be recognized, with concurrent furrows present in the Dark Terrains. Credit: NASA.
We looked at more recent Juno views of Ganymede just last month (see Glimpses of Ganymede), along with interesting results from its most recent flyby on disruptions in the crystalline structure of the moon’s north polar ice due to incoming plasma. Now we return to Jupiter space because of a new paper from Naoyuki Hirata (Kobe University) and colleagues that examines the orientation and distribution of tectonic troughs on ...

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