National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Ganymede's Nergal Crater
Ganymede's Nergal Crater (click to enlarge)

Ganymede's Nergal Crater
Date: 6 Sep 1996

Two impact craters surrounded by an unusual ejecta blanket dominate this high-resolution image of the surface of Jupiter's moon Ganymede. NASA's Galileo spacecraft photographed this region as it passed Ganymede during its second orbit through the jovian system. North is to the top of the picture, and the Sun illuminates the surface from the southeast. Nergal, the larger crater, is about 8 kilometers in diameter, while the smaller (unnamed) crater to its west is 3 kilometers across. The craters are situated in a region of bright grooved terrain named Byblus Sulcus, located in the northern part of Marius Regio at 390N latitude and 2010W longitude. The distinctive ejecta blanket that surrounds them is darker nearer the craters and brighter further away. The inner region of the ejecta is characterized by a lobate appearance indicative of the flow of a liquid (or slushy) substance over the surface. The flow was probably icy surface material melted by the energy released during the impact that formed the crater.

The picture covers an area about 48 by 34 kilometers across at a resolution of 86 meters per picture element. The image was taken on September 6, 1996, by the Solid-State Imaging System onboard the Galileo spacecraft.

Image Credit: Brown University

Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2008