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木卫三发现400年后首张完整地图问世

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发表于 2014/2/17 17:03:59| 收藏

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  这张拼图是用旅行者1号和2号以及伽利略太空探测器获得的图像制作出来的。右边拼图是左边木卫三地质图的底图。


  第一张木卫三表面地图展示了较大的陨石坑地区。

  木卫三北极以发现这里的伽利略命名。

  照片展示了木卫三南极。

  新浪科技讯 北京时间2月17日消息,据国外媒体报道,400多年前,伽利略发现了太阳系最大的卫星——木卫三。如今,科学家绘制出第一张木卫三地图。这是迄今绘制的第一张冰冷外行星卫星的地图,展示了一个“双重风景”。一部分由复杂的沟槽和山脊构成,另一部分多是陨石坑。

  研究负责人、约翰-霍普金斯大学应用物理实验室的韦斯-帕特森表示:“通过绘制木卫三表面图,我们可更准确地解答这颗真正独一无二卫星的形成和演变等科学问题。”

  这张地图由美国地质调查局公布,从技术上阐述了木卫三表面各种各样的地质特征,是第一张完整的冰冷的外行星卫星地图。帕特森、柯林斯和同事们用美国宇航局旅行者和伽利略太空探测器捕捉到的图像制作出这张地图。

  从1610年1月木卫三被发现以来,它就成为反复观测的焦点。科学家用地球望远镜第一次观测木卫三,然后用飞近探测和环绕木星飞行的航天器进行观测。这些研究发现了一个复杂的冰冷世界。它的表面以两个主要地形类型间的鲜明对比为特征。这两种地形是又黑又冷的多陨石坑地区和更亮更年轻(但依然十分古老)的地区,后者以大量沟槽和山脊为特征。

  木卫三直径3280英里(约合5262公里),比行星水星和矮行星冥王星都大。它还是已知太阳系中唯一一颗拥有自己磁层的卫星。这张地图详细阐述了木卫三形成和在太阳系大部分历史中演变的地质特征。这些地质特征记录下木卫三内部演变、木卫三动力学和其他伽利略卫星间相互作用以及撞击木卫三表面小天体演变的证据。

  这张新地图是研究人员比较其他冰冷卫星地质特征的重要工具,因为在其他冰冷卫星上发现的任何特征类型都和木卫三某个地方的特征相似。木卫三表面是地球所有陆地面积的一半以上。这颗卫星为科学家提供各种各样的观测地点。柯林斯说:“木卫三表现出古老和最近形成的地质特征。除了地质多样性,它还增加了历史多样性。”(孝文)
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本帖最后编辑时间发表于 2014/2/17 17:03:59