Japan Team Finds Traces of One of Largest Craters in Solar System

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, July 28 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese research team has announced the discovery of traces of one of the largest impact craters in the solar system on a moon of Jupiter.

The group of Kobe University and National Institute of Technology, Oshima College analyzed images of the surface of Ganymede taken by Voyager and Galileo space probes of the United States.

It found that furrows, or troughs, on Ganymede, the largest moon of the fifth planet of the solar system, are distributed in a concentric pattern spanning some 7,800 kilometers in radius.

The team, including Kobe University associate professor Naoyuki Hirata, concluded that the tectonic structures are marks of a giant crater caused by a major collision, as similar features exist at 1,900-kilometer-radius Valhalla Crater on Callisto, another moon of Jupiter.

The group also studied the conditions for creating such a giant crater through computer simulations. An asteroid of around 150 kilometers in radius, mainly made of ice, may have crashed into Ganymede over 4 billion years ago, it said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press