Mapping Ganymede

Ganymede is now the fourth planetary satellite to be mapped after our own Moon as well as the Jovian satellites Io and Callisto, a feat made possible by synthesizing data from multiple missions including the Voyagers and Galileo. The striking nature of Ganymede’s terrain is obvious from the contrast between lighter regions marked by grooves and ridges and apparently older, darker cratered areas. A map like this reminds us that the features we’re looking at are evidence not only of the moon’s internal changes but its interactions with the other Galilean satellites and the various small objects that have impacted its surface along the way.

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