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Astronomy Picture of the Day
2009 September 20
Ganymede Enhanced
Credit: Galileo Project, DLR, JPL, NASA

Explanation: What does the largest moon in the Solar System look like? Ganymede, larger than even Mercury and Pluto, has a surface speckled with bright young craters overlying a mixture of older, darker, more cratered terrain laced with grooves and ridges. Like Earth's Moon, Ganymede keeps the same face towards its central planet, in this case Jupiter. In this historic and detailed image mosaic taken by the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003, the colors of this planet-sized moon have been enhanced to increase surface contrasts. The violet shades extending from the top and bottom are likely due to frost particles in Ganymede's polar regions. Possible future missions to Jupiter are being proposed that can search Europa and Ganymede for deep oceans that may harbor elements thought important for supporting life.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

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Date/TimeThumbnailDimensionsUserComment
current06:56, July 2, 2014Thumbnail for version as of 06:56, July 2, 2014571 × 567 (199 KB)Jcpag2010 (wall | contribs)
11:40, June 25, 2013Thumbnail for version as of 11:40, June 25, 2013529 × 530 (34 KB)Jcpag2010 (wall | contribs)

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