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A Global Map of Jupiter’s Biggest Moon

February 13, 2014
An amazing time

Making the map of Ganymede was a long and complex task. Some of the scientists behind today’s announcement were graduate students and postdocs at Brown when the Galileo data began to arrive in the 1990s. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Scientists, including Brown University geologists and students, have completed the first global geological map of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon and the largest in the solar system. The work, led by Geoffrey Collins, a Ph.D. graduate of Brown now a professor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, took years to complete.

With its varied terrain and possible underground ocean, Ganymede is considered a prime target in the search for habitable environments in the solar system, and the researchers hope this new map will aid in future exploration. The map was published by the U.S. Geological Survey.

“It is very rewarding to see the results of all of our efforts here at Brown come together into this integrated global compilation that will now be used to plan the next phase of scientific exploration of the Galilean satellites,” said Jim Head, the Scherck Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences at Brown and one of the map’s co-authors.

Read more of Kevin Stacey's story on the global map of Jupiter's biggest moon.