Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, Ricardo Amils, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, William M. Irvine, Daniele L. Pinti, Michel Viso

Facula, Faculae

  • Roland WagnerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-11274-4_569


A facula is a bright area on the icy  satellites of  Jupiter,  Ganymede,  Callisto, and Amalthea, and on  Saturn’s satellite  Titan. Faculae on Ganymede and Callisto are circular or elliptical and up to several hundred kilometers in diameter. Faculae are thought to have been created by impacts into the icy  crusts of these two Jovian satellites, possibly with plastic or liquid material present in the subsurface. Titan shows two globally abundant surface units characterized by either bright or dark  albedo. Faculae on this satellite are irregularly shaped, represent slivers or islands of bright terrain, are located within extensive areas of dark terrain, and are possibly of non-impact origin.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DLRInstitute of Planetary ResearchBerlinGermany