CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Khensu Crater on Ganymede

Khensu Crater on Ganymede
PIA 01090

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The dark-floored crater, Khensu, is the target of this image of Ganymede. The solid state imaging camera on NASA's Galileo spacecraft imaged this region as it passed Ganymede during its second orbit through the Jovian system. Khensu is located at 2 degrees latitude and 153 degrees longitude in a region of bright terrain known as Uruk Sulcus, and is about 13 kilometers (8 miles) in diameter. Like some other craters on Ganymede, it possesses an unusually dark floor and a bright ejecta blanket. The dark component may be residual material from the impactor that formed the crater. Another possibility is that the impactor may have punched through the bright surface to reveal a dark layer beneath.

Another large crater named El is partly visible in the top-right corner of the image. This crater is 54 kilometers (34 miles) in diameter and has a small "pit" in its center. Craters with such a "central pit" are common across Ganymede and are especially intriguing since they may reveal secrets about the structure of the satellite's shallow subsurface.

North is to the top-left of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from nearly overhead. The image covers an area about 100 kilometers (62 miles) by 86 kilometers (54 miles) across at a resolution of 111 meters (370 feet) per picture element. The image was taken on September 6, 1996 by the solid state imaging (CCD) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

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

Image Credit: NASA/JPL