This is an image of the surface of Callisto.
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA's Galileo spacecraft

Callisto Tectonism

No signs of tectonism have been seen on the surface of Callisto. The surface of Callisto was carefully examined for types of faulting and fracture. These would have provided evidence of the kind of stress (pushing and shoving) which the crust of Callisto has undergone through time.

Examination of the surface of Callisto shows only that there has been gradual slumping, or "relaxation" of the craters, and what is termed "sublimation-erosion" of the surface.

This type of surface is perhaps unique in the solar system. It is certainly a different type of surface that either that ofGanymede or Europa. (The other major moon of Jupiter, Io has a more conventional form of volcanism.) The difference has to do with the lack of processes in the interior of Callisto.


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Ganymede Tectonism

There has been no icy volcanism on Ganymede, but it does seem that there has been a kind of tectonism, or surface motion. Examination of the surface of Ganymede reveals many kinds of faulting and fracture....more

Surface of Callisto

The surface of Callisto is deeply pockmarked with craters. It looks to be perhaps the most severely cratered body in the solar system. There are also very large craters to be found there. The severity...more

Amalthea

Amalthea was discovered by E Barnard in 1872. Of the 17 moons it is the 3rd closest to Jupiter, with a standoff distance of 181,300 km. Amalthea is about the size of a county or small state, and is just...more

Callisto

Callisto was first discovered by Galileo in 1610, making it one of the Galilean Satellites. Of the 60 moons it is the 8th closest to Jupiter, with a standoff distance of 1,070,000 km. It is the 2nd largest...more

Evolution of Callisto

Most of the moons and planets formed by accretion of rocky material and volatiles out of the primitive solar nebula and soon thereafter they differentiated. Measurements by the Galileo spacecraft have...more

Very Large Impact Crater

Many examples of the differing types of terrain are shown in this image. In the foreground is a huge impact crater, which extends for almost an entire hemisphere on the surface. This crater may be compared...more

Europa

Europa was first discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610, making it one of the Galilean Satellites. Europa is Jupiter's 4th largest moon, 670,900 km from Jupiter. With a diameter that is about half the distance...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF