This mosaic of images showing a large 200 kilometer (120 mile) diameter impact crater on Callisto's southern hemisphere was obtained by the solid state imaging (CCD) system on board NASA's Galileo spacecraft during its eighth orbit of Jupiter.
This crater is characterized by a bright circular area surrounded by a darker material excavated and ejected by the impact. Beyond this is a zone of rays which are oriented radially outward and contain material also thrown from the crater. Fewer smaller impact craters are visible in the ejecta blanket surrounding the large crater than in the areas more distant from the crater. This lack of craters superposed on the ejecta blanket and on the crater itself, together with the brightness of the central zone, is evidence that the large crater is a relatively young feature on Callisto. Scientists use information such as the number of craters in a given area together with the principle of superposition (in which younger landforms are "on top" of older features) to determine the relative ages of features and terrains.
North is to the top of the mosaic with the sun illuminating the surface from the left. The mosaic, centered at 55 degrees south latitude and 30 degrees west longitude, covers an area approximately 1400 kilometers (850 miles) by 1235 kilometers (740 miles), at a resolution of 867 meters (945 yards) per picture element. The images which make up this mosaic were taken on May 6, 1997, from an altitude of approximately 43,000 kilometers (26,000 miles) above the surface of Callisto.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.
This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/sepo. Image Credit: NASA/JPL