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Jupiter's Galilean Moons

Images related to my article at http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp, about Jupiter's four largest moons.
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Jupiter And Satellites. (Credit: Giorgia Hofer on February 4, 2015 @ Laggio di Cadore, Veneto, Italy.) The opposition of Jupiter is on February 6. This is when Jupiter, the Earth and the Sun are aligned - Jupiter is at its closest to us at opposition. (You can't see the moons without optical aids.) Mona Evans, "Absolute Beginners - Seeing Mars and beyond" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art27359.asp

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Jupiter And Satellites

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Jupiter’s moon Io and its tiny shadow sweep across the giant planet’s face back in 1999, as snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope. [Credit: John Spencer (Lowell Observatory) and NASA] Mona Evans, "Jupiter's Galilean Moons" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp

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Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa: Best Bet for Alien Life?

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Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa: Best Bet for Alien Life?

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Io. The most volcanically active body in the Solar System, it's about the same size as the Moon and orbits at about the same distance from Jupiter as the Moon does from Earth. Yet it has over 400 volcanoes and a “month” on Io lasts only 42 hours. This is all down to gravity. Caught between Jupiter's strong gravity and that of its companions Callisto & Ganymede, Io is mercilessly squeezed, releasing heat. ©Mona Evans,"Jupiter's Galilean Moons" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp

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"Jupiter with Io and Ganymede" by Damien Peach. Winner of the Astrophotographer of the Year 2011 competition. An impressive image that compares well with those taken with large telescopes. At the lower left is Io and the larger moon is Ganymede. ©Mona Evans, "Jupiter's Galilean Moons" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp

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Valhalla Crater on Callisto. Callisto is the most heavily cratered satellite in the Solar System. Its surface has apparently been primarily sculpted by impacts. Valhalla is its largest crater - it's 360 km (225 miles) across and the rings extend to 1900 km (1190 miles) from its center. (Photo: NASA) ©Mona Evans,"Jupiter's Galilean Moons" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp

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As befits the colossus of the Solar System, Jupiter has four of the system's largest moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa. See them compared to other Solar System objects. ©Mona Evans,"Jupiter's Galilean Moons" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp

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Callisto. This Jovian moon seems to be the odd one out. It's far enough away from the other three Galilean moons that it isn't part of the orbital resonance and its interior isn't warmed by tidal heating. It's also the least dense of the moons and shows the least internal layering. ©Mona Evans,"Jupiter's Galilean Moons" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp

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Ganymede. It's bigger than Mercury, has a liquid iron core and is the only moon in the Solar System with its own magnetic field. The terrain is varied, but there are broadly two different types: heavily-cratered dark regions (evidence of great age) and brighter regions showing patterns of ridges and grooves for thousands of miles, suggesting later geological activity, but nonetheless ancient. ©Mona Evans,"Jupiter's Galilean Moons" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp

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Europa. It's covered in ice and is one of the smoothest objects in the Solar System. The small number of craters shows that the surface is young, possibly only a 100 million years old. (That's young geologically.) In this picture you can see that there are also cracks and streaks. The cracking is caused by tidal heating, but we don't know exactly what the staining is. ©Mona Evans,"Jupiter's Galilean Moons" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art42279.asp

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