Shop Windows to the Universe

Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.
This is an image of Europa
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

Icy Moon

Icy moons are large or small moons which are composed mostly of ice. These moons are unlike the earth's moon, which is made of silicate rock.

Perfect examples of icy moons are 3 of the Galilean satellites, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Except maybe for Europa and Triton, these moons have no atmosphere and no magnetosphere.

Surfaces of some of these moons, particularly that of Ganymede, reveal, however, that their evolution included activity in the interior which ultimately resulted in a change in the moon's appearance. Activity in the interior could also provide an environment suitable for life.


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology, rocks and minerals, oceanography, and Earth system science to astronomy!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Galilean Satellites

The Galilean satellites are the 4 major moons of Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In this picture, Io, and Ios surface, are shown on the left-most end, then Europa, and its surface, then Ganymede,...more

Europa

Europa was first discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610, making it one of the Galilean Satellites. Europa is Jupiter's 4th largest moon, 670,900 km from Jupiter. With a diameter that is about half the distance...more

Callisto

Callisto was first discovered by Galileo in 1610, making it one of the Galilean Satellites. Of the 60 moons it is the 8th closest to Jupiter, with a standoff distance of 1,070,000 km. It is the 2nd largest...more

The Atmosphere of Icy Moons

It is unlikely that the icy moons have an atmosphere. The reason they have no atmosphere is because they do not have enough gravity. Gravity depends upon the amount of substance (mass) contained in a body....more

The Magnetospheres of Moons

Since it has been determined that the composition of the moons is mostly ice, there is probably not enough magnetic material for these to have a magnetosphere of their own. Nevertheless, because of the...more

A Revealing Look at Callisto

The Galileo spacecraft was only 86 miles (138 km) above the surface of Callisto when it took the pictures to the left. These are the highest resolution views ever seen of any of Jupiter's moons. You can...more

Cassini

The Cassini probe began its journey to Saturn on October 15, 1997. It flew by Earth in August, 1999, before heading towards the distant planet. Cassini passed Jupiter in 2000 and then burned towards its...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA