How many are the satellites of Jupiter and what are they called?

Galileo Galilei was the one who discovered the Jupiter Satellites, the planet is surrounded by more than 60 moons, among them there are 4 that are the best known Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. In this post we are going to learn a little more about their origin, how they are made and much more.

satellites of jupiter

satellites of jupiter

Jupiter's satellites there are more than 60, of which the major Galilean moons and the minor moons are distributed in two groups. Also present are the satellites of mars.

Galilean moons are normal moons in that their dimension and volume are large enough to form a stronghold in gravity in such a way that it conforms to the moon to a round appearance.

Eight of Jupiter's moons are normal satellites with straight circular paths that are not quite crooked according to the planet's equatorial surface.

The other four normal moons are smaller in size, very close to Jupiter; these serve as sources of molecules that make up Jupiter's rings.

The other moons are lopsided, whose direct paths are even further away from the planet and contain steep slopes and oddities. These moons were attracted to Jupiter and their solar orbits.

satellites of jupiter

There are at least 17 mismatched satellites that were recently found but have not yet been named.

Origin and evolution

It is thought that jupiter and its moons it is created from a circumplanetary disk, a ring of accretion (growth) of gas and solid fractions similar to a proto-planetary disk. These are the result of the remains of a large number of satellites with the volume of a Galilean moon which were founded in the early history of Jupiter.

The renderings suggest that while the disk was possibly of low volume at any given time, over time a substantial piece of Jupiter's mass gained by the solar nebula ran through it.

However, the volume of the disk of only 2% of that of Jupiter has the responsibility to explain which are the existing moons.

In this way there may have been some generations of stars with the size of the Galilean during the primary history of Jupiter.

satellites of jupiter

Each spawning of the moons could have been fired at Jupiter by the shifting of the circle, with the new moons forming after recent debris from the solar nebula.

The large volume of the latter represents that it was moved inland at a higher rate than the first two.

The outer, normal moons are believed to have been created by transiting asteroids, although the proto-lunar disk was strong enough to absorb much of their stimulus and thus capture them in orbit.

In the year 1979, the two Voyager probes sent to Earth the primordial and wonderful figures of the planetary mini-track that Jupiter possesses. The Galileo commission of 1995 managed to reach the orbit of Jupiter, sending hundreds of photos and outstanding information on the chemistry and structure of Jupiter and its moons.


The physical and orbital characteristics possessed by the moons were evolving greatly. Each and every one of the four Galileans has more than 3000 kilometers, Ganymede is the ninth largest element in the entire solar system after the Sun and number seven of the planets, removing Mercury.

All the other bodies of Jupiter are at least 200 kilometers in diameter, with most of these barely reaching 6 kilometers.

The circular appearances have almost completely a very strange curved shape or with slopes, most of these are turning in a different course than Jupiter's rotation, this process is known as opposite displacements.

The orbital cycles are so unequal that they range from seven hours (having less time than Jupiter to rotate around its own axis), to about four thousand times more (almost four Earth years).

satellites of jupiter

Names of the satellites of Jupiter

Galileo gave the name to the four moons of Jupiter that he found in the year 1611, thanks to the help of his periscope he was able to observe the planets Medici made mention of them with the numbering I, II, III, and IV.

This designation was used for at least two centuries, until the names Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto were accepted as authorized in the middle of the XNUMXth century.

As recent satellites were found thanks to the participation of space probes, they were called by the names of Jupiter's lovers.


This is the third moon that Jupiter has for its size and the fifth for its distance. It is one of the moons called Galileo's moons in honor of its explorer Galileo Galilei. Io is a satellite that has a lot of volcanic activity.

It contains the most active volcanoes in the entire Solar System, these are called Pelé and Loki.

satellites of jupiter

The colors that are present on the surface of Io start from red to white, changing through yellow to green.

Io's hue is based on the overflowing presence of sulfur, which changes hue depending on the temperature: at 113° (its melting temperature) it is yellow, at 150° it turns orange, at 180° red and at 250° changes to brown and black.

In the plains the average temperature of Ío -150 ° C. These are the temperatures in the areas near the volcanoes.

Io is the closest thing to the traditional idea of ​​hell. The temperature that is present in the volcanoes reaches at least 1700 degrees Celsius, while the eruptions expelled the vapors and volcanic matter at a speed ten times greater than the volcanoes that are located on Earth. 

The elements can reach many kilometers in height and since there is very little gravity, some part of this volcanic material leaves for space falling on top of Jupiter.

Io is slightly smaller than our own Moon. Her name was given to represent a nymph that Zeus changed to a calf in order to take care of her from her wife Hera's suspicions of her.

Hera commissioned Argos, the one with the 100 eyes, to keep an eye on her, but Zeus sent his son Hermes to kill him. In her honor Hera obtained 100 eyes from her and placed them in the feathers of her favorite animal, the peacock. 


Inside the orbit are four tiny moons called Metis, Adrastea, Amalthea, and Thebe. All of these have an odd shape, lacking volume or fluid structure to form a spherical appearance.

Amalthea is the one with the greatest dimension, apart from the fact that it is the reddest element of the entire Solar pathway. It is a source of heat, since it manifests more heat than it perceives from the Sun and Jupiter.

Amalthea contains at least 180 km in diameter and an irregular appearance. Its surface is full of craters and large mountains.

It is the third satellite of Jupiter by distance organization, the fifth and last found with the help of the periscope. It was investigated in the year in 1892.


Europa is another of Jupiter's moons found by Galileo. It has a diameter of 1600 km, a little less than our Moon, and it takes 4,55 Earth days to transit its oval orbit around Jupiter.

Europa is completely covered by an ice sheet between 60 and 200 km thick. Its extension does not show any type of crater or any kind of relief that is greater than 100 meters in height. Possibly they are icebergs made up of ammonia and ice.

It is believed that Europa is an oceanic universe surrounded by a mantle of ice, where life can exist in its depth, as is the case in the trenches of the Earth, despite the fact that there are high propagations that come from Jupiter and that make it impossible human life, also that it seems that this planet has an atmosphere in which there is oxygen.

The truth is that the interior of Europe is made up of silicates.

One of the most peculiar qualities that Europa contains is the row of lines that are located in the roots distributed throughout the satellite, some of them are up to 1200 km long. These lines are reminiscent of the fragments of the ice formations that the terrestrial seas have, which suggests that there are liquid oceans below it. 

satellites of jupiter

Europa gets its name from the Phoenician woman Zeus fell in love with. To kidnap her, he turned into a white bull and she, seeing that he was calm, adorned him with a chain of flowers and climbed onto her back.

Zeus crossed the sea with her on his back until he reached the island of Crete. Then Zeus took the white bull up into the heavens in the guise of stars to form the constellation of Taurus.


Ganymede, is the main satellite of Jupiter, it is also the superior satellite in the Solar System, being even larger than the planet Mercury, according to the Article of Scientific Disclosure of the Solar System.

It contains a diameter of 5300 km. It takes 8 Earth days to complete its entire orbit around Jupiter.

It is the only satellite of Jupiter with male renown. Ganymede was in charge of delivering the cups to the gods, the person in charge of serving juices and liquor.

The story goes that it was a Trojan boy who was popular for his great beauty that Zeus-Jupiter fell in love with. He took the form of an eagle to kidnap him and take him to Olympus.

satellites of jupiter

Ganymede has its own hypnotic field and oxygen environment, albeit thin enough to support life systems as we know them.

Its surface is known to be distributed in two areas, one that is dark and older and the other is light crossed by some cracks. This inequality is due to geological occupation. On Ganymede there are no mountains. The average surface temperature is 160°C and the subsoil temperature is 9°C.


It has the darkest surface of Galileo's four moons, even though it is twice as bright as planet Earth's Moon.

Callisto is the stellar element that has the most craters in the Solar System. It seems that it died a long time ago, due to the fact that it does not present any geological occupation on its ice-covered surface. This piece of dead rock is estimated to be at least 5 billion years old.

satellites of jupiter

Callisto terrain

This is a cold satellite with very little density. As it is further away from Jupiter, less illumination from the giant star reaches it, which is why it is thought that it would be more appropriate for a probable human exploration than that of Europa.

His renown was bestowed upon him by one of the virgin companions of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Zeus abused her and impregnated her so Artemis rejected her. 

Zeus transformed her into a bear in order to protect her from the suspicions of his female wife Hera, where he placed her and her son in the sky, giving way to the constellations of the Great Bear and the Little Bear. 

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