The orbits that dominate the Ganymede solar system are likely to be hit by a massive object up to 90/150 miles [90 km] wide.
According to a new paper published in pre-print service arxiv.org by Japanese scientists. If the theory is true, then it is the most significant influence structure identified in the solar system.
Ganymede is the largest of the 79 moons of Jupiter and is larger than the smaller planets Pluto and the planets Mercury. Its width is 3,273 miles / 5,268 km. It is the only moon we know that has a magnetic field. It also has an atmosphere and is suspected of having a sea of salty groundwater.
Ganymede’s top is marked, barred, and patterned. The paper argues that the trenches above its surface are part of a conventional system of tectonic channels. “If this multi-ring structure is the source of the impact, this is the largest impact structure identified so far in the solar system,” the paper reads. “The impactor’s size is difficult, but the 150km-radius impactor is consistent with the visual canal structures.”
Scientists are using images taken in 1979 by NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 probes and photographs taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which orbited Jupiter between 2001 and 2003.
Theory can be confirmed by future explorations of Jupiter’s icy moons, especially the European Space Agency’s JUICE (Jupiter Icy moon Explorer) campaign.
JUICE is scheduled to launch between April 5-25, 2023, with rocket Ariane 5 from Spaceport Europe in French Guiana, South America. It will arrive in 2031 and spend three and a half years exploring another two Jupiter months Europa and Callisto, before entering the Ganymede route in September 2032. It will be the first spacecraft to orbit the moon outside the Earth-Moon.