Ganymede's Khensu Crater
The dark-floored crater Khensu is the target of this image of Ganymede. The Solid-State Imaging System onboard the Galileo spacecraft imaged this region as it passed Ganymede during its second orbit through the Jovian system. Khensu is located at 20N latitude and 1530W longitude in a region of bright terrain known as Uruk Sulcus, and is about 13 kilometers in diameter. Like some other craters on Ganymede, it possesses an unusually dark floor and a bright ejecta blanket. The dark component may be residual material from the impactor that formed the crater. Another possibility is that the impactor may have punched through the bright surface to reveal a dark layer beneath.
Date: 6 Sep 1996
Another large crater named El is partly visible in the top righthand corner of the image. This crater is 54 kilometers in diameter and has a small "pit" in its center. Craters with such a "central pit" are common across Ganymede and are especially intriguing since they may reveal secrets about the structure of the satellite's shallow subsurface.
North is to the upper left of the picture, and the Sun illuminates the surface from nearly overhead. The image covers an area about 100 by 86 kilometers across at a resolution of 111 meters per picture element. The image was taken on 6 September 1996, by the Solid-State Imaging System onboard the Galileo spacecraft.
Image Credit: Brown University
Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute