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Lunar and Planetary Institute

Discovery: Icy Satellites

Paul M. Schenk

Paul M. Schenk
Planetary Geologist

The Voyager, Galileo, and ongoing Cassini missions have been dedicated to mapping these bodies, revealing an amazing diversity of features and important discoveries, including tidal heating, recently formed tectonic fractures, and ongoing ice-rich volcanism. The extensive cratering record can also be used to estimate the ages of these geologic events.

Paul Schenk has been mapping these bodies from spacecraft data, discovering, among other exciting features, plate and crustal rotations on Europa, impact of disrupted comets, the formation of bizarre color deposits on Mimas and Rhea, and diapiric overturn on Triton.

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