The Galilean Satellites and Jupiter: Voyager 2 Imaging Science Results

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Science  23 Nov 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4421, pp. 927-950
DOI: 10.1126/science.206.4421.927


Voyager 2, during its encounter with the Jupiter system, provided images that both complement and supplement in important ways the Voyager 1 images. While many changes have been observed in Jupiter's visual appearance, few, yet significant, changes have been detected in the principal atmospheric currents. Jupiter's ring system is strongly forward scattering at visual wavelengths and consists of a narrow annulus of highest particle density, within which is a broader region in which the density is lower. On Io, changes are observed in eruptive activity, plume structure, and surface albedo patterns. Europa's surface retains little or no record of intense meteorite bombardment, but does reveal a complex and, as yet, little-understood system of overlapping bright and dark linear features. Ganymede is found to have at least one unit of heavily cratered terrain on a surface that otherwise suggests widespread tectonism. Except for two large ringed basins, Callisto's entire surface is heavily cratered.