A Moon Above the Rest: Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede


Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede

Galileo Galilei discovered many “luminous objects” in 1610 that were orbiting Jupiter. Thought to be stars, it was discovered that they were moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System and is even larger than the planet Mercury. It is the only satellite in the Solar System known to possess a magnetosphere, has a thin oxygen atmosphere, and could have an interior ocean. There have been flybys and probes orbiting Jupiter since the 1970s that approach the moon to learn more about it. The most interesting fact to me about Ganymede is its name and mythological reference. It is named for the mythical Greek son of a king who was taken by Zeus, also known as Jupiter, posing as an eagle. On Mount Olympus, Ganymede won the position of cub bearer to the gods, and stayed on also as the favorite companion to Jupiter also known as Zeus. The more you know!

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