Atlas of the Galilean Satellites
Paul Schenk, Cambridge University Press, August 2010

Celebrating the 400th anniversary of their discovery in January and the announcement of that discovery (Sidereus Nuncius) in March of 1610. Here you will find details about this definitive new Volume, a valuable reference & resource for the Jupiter system.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Atlas of the Galilean Satellites

A New Reference
In spite of numerous handicaps and hazards, including lethal radiation and malfunctioning hardware, the two Voyagers and then Galileo have completed the first high-resolution visual reconnaissance of the 4 planetary moons called Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.  The Atlas of the Galilean Satellites (Cambridge University Press, May, 2010: ISBN, 9780521868358) has brought together these complimentary data sets to produce new global maps and views of each satellite.  In addition, all high-resolution images acquired by both Voyager and Galileo have been registered, mapped, and compiled together for the first time.  Sites include giant impact scars on Ganymede and Callisto, heavily faulted terrains of Ganymede, disrupted chaos and ridge terrains of Europa, and erupting volcanoes and 10 mile high mountains on Io.

The Atlas includes:
- 404 pages, featuring all Voyager and Galileo imagery
- Introductory text
         Discovery and Importance of Galilean Satellites
         Guide to acquisition and processing of images
         Geologic Background
- Global color maps & hemispheric views of each satellite
- Full resolution maps (Quadrangles) of each satellite
           (15 equal-area maps each, in color for Io & Europa)
- 250+ High-resolution Plates down to 6 meter resolution
           (many on Io and Europa in color)
- Io hotspot and Volcano change maps
- Selected infrared compositional maps
- Selected high-resolution perspective views
- Appendices:
     Data Tables:  Satellite Properties & Spacecraft Encounters
     Supplemental Reading recommendations
     Gazetteer of feature names
     Glossary of terms
     Index maps locating all high-resolution mosaics

    1. Introduction
        1.1  Revolutionary Importance of the Galilean Satellites
        1.2  Post-discovery
        1.3  Voyager and Galileo
    2. Format of the Atlas
        2.1  Nomenclature
    3. Making the Maps
        3.1  Image Calibration
        3.2  Cartographic Control
        3.3  Putting it All Together
        3.4  True Colors
    4. Geology of the Galilean Satellites
        4.1  The Importance of Being Ice
        4.2  Volcanism
        4.3  Tectonism
        4.4  Viscous Relaxation
        4.5  Other Global Effects
        4.6  Polar Processes
        4.7  Impact Cratering
     5. The Galilean Satellites (Maps)
        5.1  Callisto
        5.2  Ganymede
        5.3  Europa
        5.4  Io
     6. One Big Happy . . .
        6.1  Why Explore Jupiter?
        6.2  The Future
        A1. Supplemental Readings
        A2. Index Maps
        A3. Data Tables
        A4. Glossary of terms
        A5. Gazetteer

Galileo's Moons at 400

7 January 1610
A Revolutionary Day
On a cold winters night in January of 1610 at his home in Padova, Northern Italy, Galileo pointed a telescope at the planet Jupiter for the first time and became the first human to see objects in orbit about another celestial object.  These were the four planet-sized moons orbiting Jupiter, each similar in size to our own Moon or larger.  It did not take Galileo very long to understand the importance (both to human evolution and to himself) of the 4 "stars" close to Jupiter he had discovered during his first observations of that planet in the cool italian winter of 1610.  Indeed, as December 1609 drew to close, noone suspected that their universe was about to undergo a revolutionary change, but Galileo's discovery that January of 4 objects orbiting an object other than Earth (together with the phases of Venus) signaled the end of the Earth-centered view of the Universe. 

A Second Galilean Revolution
Not even Galileo, however, could conceive of the true nature of these four planet-like bodies and the role gravity has played in their history (Galileo had some knowledge on this subject having also conducted simple experiments to test the nature of gravity).  For 370 years, however, the nature of these moons remained largely unknown to us.  At that point, two robot voyagers and a larger robotic "Galileo" came along to explore these 4 moons in earnest, and even learned scientists of our own time were not prepared for what they saw, including volcanoes on Io and subsurface oceans on Europa and the other icy satellites.  What these spacecraft saw proved to be a second Galilean revolution, in our understanding of how planets operate and the (perhaps) universality of habitable environments in our universe.

Galileo at 400 Years: Looking Ahead
Four hundred years after Galileo ushered in a new era, serious plans are in preparations for a robotic return to the dynamic Jupiter system, with a focus on the large ice-rich moons Europa and Ganymede.  As part of the special anniversary celebration, Cambridge University Press and Dr. Paul Schenk and pleased to announce the pending release of the Atlas of the Galilean Satellites.  This is the first truly comprehensive Atlas and compendium of maps of these satellites ever compiled (details on the other pages).  This volume will be of prime importance for those planning the next phase of exploration of Jupiter and its large planetary moons in the next decade and beyond.