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Jupiter and Its Moons Photograph courtesy NASA This family portrait, a composite of the Jovian system, includes the edge of Jupiter (with the Great Red Spot visible) and Jupiter's four largest moons, known as the Galilean satellites. From top to bottom are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. The smallest of these four moons, Europa is about the size of Earth's moon.

The sizes of Jupiter's four major moons in contrast to Jupiter's Great Red Spot. From top to bottom, the moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Image credit: NASA/JPL/DLR

Io is the first Galilean moon of Jupiter, it is slightly larger than Earth’s moon.  Io experiences intense tidal heating due to its elliptical orbit and orbital resonance with Europa and Ganymede.  This makes Io the most geologically active moon in our solar system.

Gibbous Europa-Although the phase of this moon might appear familiar, the moon itself might not. In fact, this gibbous phase shows part of Jupiter's moon Europa. ESA and NASA have together started preliminary development of the Europa Jupiter System Mission , a spacecraft proposed to better study Europa.

Gibbous Europa Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA; reprocessed by Ted Stryk Although the phase of this moon might appear familiar, the moon itself might not. In fact, this gibbous phase shows part of Jupiter's moon Europa. The robot spacecraft Galileo captured this image mosaic during its mission orbiting Jupiter from 1995 - 2003. Visible are plains of bright ice, cracks that run to the horizon, and dark patches that likely contain both ice and dirt...

JUPITER’S MOONS — CLOSE-UP These four views show the great surface variety present on Jupiter’s large satellites. We see volcanic deposits on Io, ice fractures on Europa, grooved terrain on Ganymede, and impact basins on Callisto. The relative ages of these surfaces range from Io, the youngest, through Europa and Ganymede, to Callisto, the oldest. Prepared for NASA by Stephen Paul Meszaros