This natural color view of Ganymede was taken from the Galileo spacecraft during its first encounter with the satellite. The dark areas are the older, more heavily cratered regions and the light areas are younger, tectonically deformed regions. The brownish-gray color is due to mixtures of rocky materials and ice. Bright spots are geologically recent impact craters and their ejecta.
The finest details that can be discerned in this picture are about 8 miles (13.4 kilometers) across. The images which were combined for this color image were taken beginning at Universal Time 8:46:04 UT on June 26, 1996.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) managed the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.