Ganymede (moon)

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Ganymede g1 true.jpg
Click image for description
Discovered byG. Galilei
S. Marius
Discovery dateJanuary 11, 1610
Orbital characteristics
Periapsis1,069,200 km (0.007147 AU)
Apoapsis1,071,600 km (0.007163 AU)
Mean orbit radius
1,070,400 km (0.007155 AU)
7.15455296 d (0.019588 a)
10.880 km/s
Inclination2.21° (to the ecliptic)
0.20° (to Jupiter's equator)
Satellite ofJupiter
Physical characteristics
Mean radius
2631.2 km (0.413 Earths)
87.0 million km² (0.171 Earths) [2]
Volume7.6×1010 km³ (0.0704 Earths)
Mass1.4819×1023 kg (0.025 Earths)
Mean density
1.942 g/cm³
1.428 m/s2 (0.146 g)
2.741 km/s (6,130 mph)
Albedo0.43 ± 0.02[3]
Temperature~109 K (−172 °C)
4.61 (opposition) [3]
Surface pressure
Composition by volumeoxygen

Ganymede[p] is the largest of over 66 moons of the planet Jupiter. It is also the largest moon in the Solar System. Ganymede is larger in diameter than the planet Mercury, but has only about half of its mass. Ganymede is much less dense. Ganymede is part of a group called the Galilean Satellites. These also include Io, Europa and Callisto.

Galileo Galilei discovered this moon in 1610.[4] Simon Marius suggested the name "Ganymede" soon after. In Greek mythology, Ganymede was Zeus' cup-bearer.[5] This name and the names of the other Galilean satellites were not favoured for a long time, and were not put into common use until the mid-20th century. Instead, it is simply referred to by its Roman numeral designation (a system that was introduced by Galileo) as "Jupiter III" or as the "third satellite of Jupiter".[6] Ganymede is the only Galilean moon of Jupiter named after a male figure.

Structure[change | change source]

Ganymede is composed of roughly equal amounts of silicate rock and water ice.[7] Its body has an iron-rich, liquid core, and an internal ocean that may contain more water than all of Earth's oceans together.[8][9][10][11][12] Its surface has dark regions, with impact craters dated to four billion years ago. This covers about a third of the satellite. Lighter regions, crosscut by grooves and ridges and only slightly less ancient, cover the rest. The cause of the light terrain's disrupted geology is not fully known, but was likely the result of tectonic activity caused by tidal heating.[13]

Notes[change | change source]

[p] ^ The name "Ganymede" is said as /Gan-ee-Meed/.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Ganymede: Facts and Figures". Solar System Exploration. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  2. Using the mean radius
  3. 3.0 3.1 Yeomans, Donald K. (2006-07-13). "Planetary Satellite Physical Parameters". JPL Solar System Dynamics. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
  4. Galilei, G.; Sidereus Nuncius (March 13, 1610)
  5. Marius, S.; (1614); Mundus Iovialis anno M.DC.IX Detectus Ope Perspicilli Belgici [1], where he attributes the suggestion to Johannes Kepler
  6. "Satellites of Jupiter". The Galileo Project. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  7. Chang, Kenneth (March 12, 2015). "Suddenly, it seems, water is everywhere in Solar System". New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  8. Staff (March 12, 2015). "NASA's Hubble observations suggest underground ocean on Jupiter's largest moon". NASA News. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
  9. "Jupiter moon Ganymede could have ocean with more water than Earth – NASA". Russia Today (RT). 13 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  10. Clavin, Whitney (1 May 2014). "Ganymede may harbor 'club sandwich' of oceans and ice". NASA. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  11. Vance, Steve; Bouffard, Mathieu; Choukroun, Mathieu; Sotina, Christophe (12 April 2014). "Ganymede's internal structure including thermodynamics of magnesium sulfate oceans in contact with ice". Planetary and Space Science. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2014.03.011. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  12. Staff (1 May 2014). "Video (00:51) - Jupiter's 'Club Sandwich' Moon". NASA. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  13. Tidal heating: the huge force of Jupiter's gravitation deforms the satellite as it swings round its orbit. The orbit is not circular, and this sets up the stresses which cause the tectonic activity.

Other websites[change | change source]