Ice spires on Callisto, artwork

Ice spires on Callisto, artwork

C011/1839 Rights Managed

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Credit: RICHARD BIZLEY/CALLISTO ENGINEERING EXPERTISE FOR SPACE COMMUNICATIONS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ice spires on Callisto. Artwork of ice spires (around 100 metres tall) on the surface of the Jovian moon Callisto. The moon's parent planet, Jupiter, is at upper left. The three specks either side (one at left, two at right) are the Jovian moons Io, Europa and Ganymede. It is thought that these spires formed from an ancient impact billions of years ago. They are very slowly eroding over time, the ice subliming and dust within the ice accumulating to absorb sunlight and continue the erosion. The Callisto-Jupiter distance is around 1.8 million kilometres, and Jupiter is around 140,000 kilometres across.

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