Ancient Impact Basin on Europa

 Ancient Impact Basin on Europa
From NASA's Planetary Photojournal
This feature on Europa, the 'bulls-eye' pattern, is a 140- kilometer (86-mile) wide impact scar (about the size of the island of Hawaii) which formed as the surface fractured minutes after a mountain-sized asteroid or comet slammed into the satellite. This approximately 214-kilometer (132-mile) wide picture is the product of three images which have been processed in false color to enhance shapes and compositions. The images were taken on April 4, 1997, at a resolution of 595 meters (1950 feet) per picture element and a range of 29,000 kilometers (17,900 miles).
North is toward the top of this picture, which is illuminated from sunlight coming from the west. This color composite reveals a sequence of events which have modified the surface of Europa. The earliest event was the impact which formed the Tyre structure at 34 degrees north latitude and 146.5 degrees west longitude. The impact was followed by the formation of the reddish lines superposed on Tyre. The red color designates areas that are probably a dirty water ice mixture. The fine blue-green lines crossing the region from west to east appear to be ridges which formed after the crater.
Image Title: Ancient Impact Basin on Europa
Catalog #: PIA00702
Target Name: Europa
Spacecraft: Galileo Orbiter

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 Last Modified On: Monday, December 18, 2000