publication . Article . 2005

Secondary craters on Europa and implications for cratered surfaces

Edward B. Bierhaus; Clark R. Chapman; William J. Merline;
  • Published: 19 Oct 2005 Journal: Nature, volume 437, pages 1,125-1,127 (issn: 0028-0836, eissn: 1476-4687, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
A new analysis of images of Jupiter's icy moon Europa taken by the Galileo probe, may prompt a rethink on the nature of cratered surfaces in general. For many years the impact craters on solid planets and smaller bodies have been regarded as mainly caused by direct (primary) impact of asteroids and comets. But Bierhaus et al. conclude that the Galileo data show that more than 95% of Europa's small craters, less than a kilometre in diameter, are ‘secondary’, formed by material ejected during a primary impact of a comet or asteroid. That means that there have been few small comets passing close to Jupiter in recent years, but brings their numbers into line with mo...
free text keywords: Multidisciplinary
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