Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. It is located around 500 million miles from the Sun, and its atmosphere is made up of 90 percent of hydrogen, 10 percent of helium and little bit of methane and ammonia. Besides the sun, Jupiter also emits heat into our Solar System.
The most interesting part about Jupiter is its numerous moons. According to astronomers, the planet has more than 63 moons, but the most popular are Sinope, Ganymede, Metis, Thebe and Europa. Four of the moons of the planet were discovered by Galileo in 1610. He named these moons Europa, Callisto, Io and Ganymede. Sometimes, these four moons are also known as Galilean moons.
Ganymede: This moon of Jupiter got is name from Greek mythology where Ganymede was the cup bearer. Ganymede is the largest of all the moons of the planet and it is also the largest moon in our Solar System. It is bigger in size than Mercury and Mars. This moon was named by Simon Marius, who was an astronomer. It is believed that the surface of Ganymede is made up of ice and water. While it is believed that Ganymede does not have any atmosphere, recent discovery shows presence of ozone.
Europa: In Greek mythology, the Phoenician princess who managed to mesmerize Zeus was named Europa. This moon of Jupiter has characteristic red cracks criss-crossing its surface. It is the 4th largest moon of the planet. It is believed that Europa has water, and hence, it is capable of sustaining life.
Io: Named after the woman who Jupiter, the Greek god, had fallen in love with. This moon is the third largest of all the moons that Jupiter has. Io is home to several volcanoes, which are active and responsible for releasing sulfuric acid.
Callisto: This is the second largest moon of Jupiter and named after the nymph who bewitched Zeus. Callisto is similar in size to Mercury, and it is believed that its crust about 4 billion years old.
Astronomers and astrophysicists are still trying to discover more moons around Jupiter, and it is quite possible that we will be hearing more about this planet with numerous moons in the near future.
Kum Martin is an online leading expert in the astrology and education. He also offers top quality articles like: Chinese Ancient Astronomy, Milky Way Galaxy
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