The Moons of Jupiter
Sixteen moons have been found at Jupiter. The four largest were discovered by Galileo himself in the year
1610! That's why they're called "The Galilean Satellites". There are four smaller satellites in near-circular
orbits that are closer to Jupiter than the innermost Galilean Satellite (Io, see below): Amalthea (discovered in
1892) and 3 others (discovered in 1979). The remaining eight satellites have elliptical orbits and are found far
beyond Callisto (at 11,000,000 km and 22,000,000 km!) in 2 groups of four satellites. And, if that isn't
enough, the Voyager mission also discovered a RING around Jupiter!!
Plot the density versus diameter of these and the Galilean satellites on the chart provided.
How do the Galilean satellites compare to these bodies in terms of size?
Based on density, can you guess anything about the composition of Jupiter's moons?
Based on density, can you guess anything about the other bodies? For example, why is Mercury so
much denser than Mars?
Do you see any trends that correspond to distance from Jupiter?
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Last modified prior to September, 2000 by the Windows Team
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