Jupiter is a planet having properties that are so unusual that they are nearly incomprehensible. And these facts about its moons are even more mind-blowing!
Jupiter is the biggest planet in the Solar System, with a mass more than 300 times that of Earth. Moreover, the red spot, a massive storm travelling at 400 mph and bigger than Earth, is located there.
According to NASA, 53 of Jupiter's moons have been officially recognised. The four Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, are clustered there at almost the same distance from Earth as each other.
Some fascinating details about Jupiter's satellites are listed below:
Europa Scientists are sure that an ocean of saline water and a rocky bottom exist under Europa's ice crust. It's possible there's intelligent life on this moon. Enceladus and Callisto, two more of Jupiter's moons, are also of interest to scientists because of their possible habitability by extraterrestrial life.
However Europa is the most likely site humans may find circumstances that may support life beyond Earth.
Ganymede Among the moons in our solar system, Ganymede is the biggest and heaviest. Another unique feature is a protective barrier similar to Earth's.
The magnetic field protects the Earth's surface from the sun's rays because they are disrupted by the planet's molten metal core. Also, there is data suggesting Europa possesses a similar layer of liquid rock.
Cracks on Europa are similar to those on frozen lakes on Earth, but on a far larger size. Europa's ice, like Earth's, displays evidence of plate tectonics in the form of moving plates, except that instead of rock floating on magma, the plates on Europa are ice floating on an ocean of liquid water. It features a magnetosphere, making it unique among the solar system's moons.
With its abundance of ice and other resources, as well as its real estate and magnetosphere, Ganymede has all the makings of a future home for humanity.
Io Of the planets in our solar system, Io has the most active volcanoes. A research associate at Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences named Hao Cao has claimed that the tidal heating of Io's volcanoes makes them far more powerful than those on modern Earth.
Callisto Callisto, commonly known as Jupiter IV, is the second-largest Jovean moon after Ganymede, and like its twin, it may have something interesting happening under its surface. In terms of its surface, it's 4 billion years old.