NASA flyby of Jupiter’s big moon Ganymede revealed massive unknown craters

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After a NASA mission passed within 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) of Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede in June 2021, scientists are still decoding what the encounter can teach us about the strange world.

Two missions have previously imaged Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system, Voyager 1 mission in 1979 and the Galileo spacecraft in the mid 1990s. Some of those images, however, were taken at a less than ideal angle, leaving large blank spots that scientists knew nothing about; technology has also improved dramatically since those missions launched. So scientists were thrilled when NASA’s Jupiter explorer Juno revealed the moon’s crater-covered surface in the greatest detail ever and spotted shimmering auroras stretching between Ganymede’s poles and equator.

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