Close up of the surface of Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, 1979
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
This photograph taken by one of the two Voyager spacecraft shows impact craters and ejecta on the surface of Ganymede. The smallest features visible are some 5 kilometres acros. Ganymede is Jupiter's largest moon and the largest known planetary satellite in the solar system. It is larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto, and is an icy world with some regions scarred by impact craters and others with parallel ridges and grooves formed by unknown tectonic proceses. Ganymede has its own magnetic field, and is thought to have a molten iron core. NASA's two Voyager spacecraft were launched in 1977 to explore the planets in the outer solar system. Both flew past Jupiter in 1979.