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The Bombardment History of the Jovian System

Neukum, G. (1997) The Bombardment History of the Jovian System. In: The Three Galileos: The Man, The Spacecraft, The Telescope, pp. 201-212. Kluwer, The Netherlands. The Three Galileos, Padova, Italy, 7-10 January 1997.

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Abstract

The first five Galileo flybys provided image data up to two orders of magnitude better in resolution than the best Voyager data. Measurements of crater distributions can now reliably be extended down to sizes of about 100 m crater diameter. Crater distributions show steep slopes (cumulative index about -3) at smaller diameters on each satellite and are shallower at larger diameters, as seen on the Moon and the asteroids Gaspra and Ida. Crater densities differ about a factor on 10 (at D&#611km) betwwen average dark terrain of Galileo regio and youngest bright resurfaced areas on Ganymede. Crater densities on the most heavily cratered regions on both Ganymede and Callisto are fairly comparable. Crater densities on Europa have turned out to be higher than anticipated but are factors of about 10 lower than the youngest bright terrain in the Uruk Sulcusregion of Ganymede. The similarity to crater distributions in the inner solar system suggests that the impactor population during early heavy bombardment, i.e. formation of the youngest basin, also in the Jovian system, the frequency superimposed on the Gilgamesh basin can be related to the formation age of 3.8 b.y. and thus an impact rate derived from this point in time. In this way, assuming a lunar-like cratering chronology scenario, absolute ages can be determined for the Galilean moons from crater statistics. Thus, the most densely cratered dark terrains on both Ganymede and Callisto have a likely age of about 4.1-4.3 b.y. Some areas counted on Europa high-resolution images may be as old as 3-3.3 b.y. Other scenarios based on values proposed for the present-day comet impact rate in the Jovian system with non-lunar-like flux decays are conceivable and would result in generally younger ages, possibly as young as 10 m.y. These young ages and impact rates would result in ages for Ganymede and Callisto which are in serious conflict with thegeologic evolution of these two moons as we understand it now.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=1997,
Title:The Bombardment History of the Jovian System
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Neukum, G.UNSPECIFIED
Date:1997
Journal or Publication Title:The Three Galileos: The Man, The Spacecraft, The Telescope
Page Range:pp. 201-212
Publisher:Kluwer, The Netherlands
Status:Published
Event Title:The Three Galileos, Padova, Italy, 7-10 January 1997
HGF - Research field:UNSPECIFIED
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:UNSPECIFIED
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):UNSPECIFIED
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Institut für Planetenerkundung
Deposited By: elib DLR-Beauftragter
Deposited On:02 Apr 2006
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 09:51

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