Astronomers Spot The Largest Potential Impact Structure In The Solar System

Ganymede, one of Jupiter’s moons, has raised the interest of many scientists since it was discovered.  It is the only moon in the solar system which manages to generate its own magnetic field while having the highest amount of liquid waters when compared to other solar system objects.

A team of scientists has observed that the oldest tectonic troughs (which are also known as furrows) appear to form a concentric set of rings with a maximum diameter of 7,800 kilometers (or 4,847 miles), suggesting that a massive object stuck the moon.

A theory for now

The new theory has to be confirmed with more palpable information, but if the rings are the result of an actual impact, it will be classified as the largest known impact structure in the Solar System.

Research had revealed that the furrows present on Ganymede feature sharp, raised edges, which were thought to be traces of all the large impacts that had affected the moon during the early days when its lithosphere was still young and more prone to damage. However, a new analysis conducted by a team of experts offers a new perspective.

New perspective

To learn more about the complicated past of the object, the team decided to take a closer look at images that were captured by the Voyager probes in 1979 and data from the Galileo Jupiter orbiter, which surveyed the giant planets and its moons for more than eight years.

It was clear that Ganymede has a complicated geological history, as it can be divided into two major types of regions. Regions that feature Dark Terrain tend to be scarred and filled with craters, while Bright Terrain is associated with the younger area that hasn’t been affected by impacts.

Further research will take place in the future, and more details about the new theory have been published in a scientific journal.




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