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Jupiter's natural satellites

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Jupiter has 63 known natural satellites.

Contents

Discovery of the moons

The Galilean moons: Shown from left to right in order of increasing distance from Jupiter, Io is closest, followed by Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
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The Galilean moons: Shown from left to right in order of increasing distance from Jupiter, Io is closest, followed by Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

The first moons of Jupiter to be discovered were the large Galilean moons, discovered by Galileo in 1610. Over the next four centuries, nine smaller moons were discovered by ground-based astronomers.

The Voyager 1 mission discovered three inner moons in 1979, bringing the total then known to 16 (17 if you count Themisto, which had been found but then lost in 1975). The total rested there until 1999, since when sensitive ground-based detectors have recovered Themisto and found a further 46 tiny moons in long, eccentric, generally retrograde orbits. They average 3 kilometres in diameter, and the largest is barely 9 km across. All of these moons are thought to be captured asteroidal or perhaps cometary bodies, possibly fragmented into several pieces, but very little is actually known about them. The total number of known moons of Jupiter now stands at 63, currently the most of any planet in the solar system. Many additional tiny moons may exist that have not yet been discovered.

The most recent discoveries

On October 6 1999, the Spacewatch programme discovered an asteroid, 1999 UX18. But it was soon realised that this was in fact a new moon of Jupiter, now called Callirrhoe. One year later, between November 23 and December 5, 2000, the team led by Scott S. Sheppard and David C. Jewitt of the University of Hawaii began a systematic search for small irregular moons of Jupiter. The other members of the team included, at various times, Yanga R. Fernndez, Eugene A. Magnier, Scott Dahm, Aaron Evans, Henry H. Hsieh, Karen J. Meech, John L. Tonry, David J. Tholen (all from the University of Hawaii), Jan Kleyna (Cambridge University), Brett J. Gladman (University of Toronto), John J. Kavelaars (Hertzberg Institute of Astrophysics), Jean-Marc Petit (Observatoire de Besanon) and Rhiannon Lynne Allen (University of Michigan / University of British Columbia).

The team used the world's two largest CCD cameras, mounted on two of the thirteen telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii: the Subaru (8.3 m diameter) and the Canada-France-Hawaii (3.6 m). The 2000 observations revealed ten new moons, putting the count at 28 (Themisto had been rediscovered at the beginning of 2000).

The following year, on December 9-11, 2001, eleven other moons were discovered, bringing the total to 39. The year 2002 bore less fruit, netting only one moon, Arche. However, four months later, between February 5 and 9, 2003, 23 more moons were found.

References:

Table of known moons

Name

(Pronunciation key)

Diameter (km) Mass (kg) Orbital radius (km)(3) Orbital period (d)(3) Inclination ()(4)
(to Jupiter's equator)
Eccentricity Group
Metis mee'-tis 43 1.2E+17 127 690(1) 0.294780(2) 0.000 0.0012 Amalthea
Adrastea ad'-ra-stee'-a 262016 7.5E+15 128 690(1) 0.29826(2) 0.000 0.0018
Amalthea am'-ul-thee'-a 262146134 2.1E+18 181 170(1) 0.49817905(2) 0.360 0.0031
Thebe thee'-bee 11090 1.5E+18 221 700(1) 0.6745(2) 0.901 0.0177
Io eye'-oe 3660.03637.43630.6 8.9E+22 421 700(1) 1.769137786(2) 0.050 0.0041 Galileans
Europa ew-roe'-pa 3121.6 4.8E+22 671 034(1) 3.551181041(2) 0.471 0.0094
Ganymede gan'-i-meed 5262.4 1.5E+23 1 070 412(1) 7.15455296(2) 0.204 0.0011
Callisto ka-lis'-toe 4820.6 1.1E+23 1 882 709(1) 16.6890184(2) 0.205 0.0074
Themisto the-mis'-toe 8 6.9E+14 7 391 645 129.827611 15.346 0.2006 Themisto
Leda lee'-da 20 1.1E+16 11 097 245 238.824159 27.210 0.1854 Himalia
Himalia hye-mal'-ee-a 170 6.7E+18 11 432 435 249.726305 29.590 0.1443
Lysithea lye-sith'-ee-a 36 6.3E+16 11 653 225 256.995413 25.771 0.1132
Elara ee'-lur-a 86 8.7E+17 11 683 115 257.984888 30.663 0.1723
S/2000 J 11 4 9.0E+13 12 570 575 287.931046 26.169 0.2058
Carpo kar'-poe 3 4.5E+13 17 144 875 458.624818 55.098 0.2736  ?
S/2003 J 12 1 1.5E+12 17 739 540 482.691255 134.861 0.4449  ?
Euporie ew-por'-ee-a 2 1.5E+13 19 088 435 538.779839 131.854 0.0960 Ananke?
S/2003 J 3 2 1.5E+13 19 621 780 561.517739 111.592 0.2507
S/2003 J 18 2 1.5E+13 19 812 575 569.728015 98.461 0.1570
Thelxinoe thel-zin'-oe-ee 2 1.5E+13 20 453 755 597.606695 102.844 0.2685 Ananke?
Euanthe ew-an'-thee 3 4.5E+13 20 464 855 598.093368 123.649 0.2000 Ananke
Helike hel'-i-kee 4 9.0E+13 20 540 265 601.401918 120.908 0.1375 Ananke?
Orthosie or-thoe'-see-a 2 1.5E+13 20 567 970 602.619143 101.861 0.2433
Iocaste eye'-oe-kas'-tee 5 1.9E+14 20 722 565 609.426611 127.043 0.2874 Ananke
S/2003 J 16 2 1.5E+13 20 743 780 610.362159 149.279 0.3185
Ananke a-nang'-kee 28 3.0E+16 20 815 225 613.518491 149.526 0.3963
Praxidike prak-sid'-i-kee 7 4.3E+14 20 823 950 613.904099 132.099 0.1840
Harpalyke har-pal'-i-kee 4 1.2E+14 21 063 815 624.541797 143.944 0.2441
Hermippe hur-mip'-ee 4 9.0E+13 21 182 085 629.809040 149.058 0.2290 Ananke?
Thyone thye-oe'-nee 4 9.0E+13 21 405 570 639.802554 116.088 0.2526 Ananke
Mneme nee'-mee 2 1.5E+13 21 427 110 640.768660 147.647 0.2214
S/2003 J 17 2 1.5E+13 22 134 305 672.751882 139.842 0.2379 Carme
Aitne et'-nee 3 4.5E+13 22 285 160 679.641347 143.251 0.3927
Kale kay'-lee 2 1.5E+13 22 409 210 685.323873 133.342 0.2011
Taygete tay-ij'-i-tee 5 1.6E+14 22 438 650 686.674715 140.521 0.3678
S/2003 J 19 2 1.5E+13 22 709 060 699.124764 140.956 0.1961
Chaldene kal-dee'-nee 4 7.5E+13 22 713 445 699.326904 119.572 0.2916
S/2003 J 15 2 1.5E+13 22 721 000 699.676116 109.168 0.0932 Ananke?
S/2003 J 10 2 1.5E+13 22 730 815 700.129403 115.021 0.3438 Carme?
S/2003 J 23 2 1.5E+13 22 739 655 700.537990 137.576 0.3931 Pasipha
Erinome air-rin'-a-mee 3 4.5E+13 22 986 265 711.964625 143.354 0.2552 Carme
Aoede ay-ee'-dee 4 9.0E+13 23 044 175 714.656754 112.763 0.6012 Pasipha
Kallichore ka-lik'-a-ree 2 1.5E+13 23 111 825 717.806112 141.240 0.2042 Carme?
Kalyke kal'-i-kee 5 1.9E+14 23 180 775 721.020662 137.125 0.2140 Carme
Eurydome ew-rid'-o-mee 3 4.5E+13 23 230 860 723.358859 143.033 0.3770 Pasipha?
S/2003 J 14 2 1.5E+13 23 238 595 723.720459 138.885 0.2462 Pasipha
Pasithee pa-sith'-ee-a 2 1.5E+13 23 307 320 726.932963 144.112 0.3289 Carme
Cyllene si-lee'-nee 2 1.5E+13 23 396 270 731.098603 115.507 0.4116 Pasipha
Eukelade ew-kel'-a-dee 4 9.0E+13 23 483 695 735.199980 118.384 0.2829 Carme
S/2003 J 4 2 1.5E+13 23 570 790 739.293961 98.660 0.3003 Pasipha
Hegemone hi-jem'-a-nee 3 4.5E+13 23 702 510 745.500007 150.314 0.4077
Arche ar'-kee 3 4.5E+13 23 717 050 746.185469 146.289 0.1492 Carme
Carme kar'-mee 46 1.3E+17 23 734 465 747.008062 120.659 0.3122
Isonoe eye-son'-oe-ee 4 7.5E+13 23 832 630 751.646937 118.554 0.1665
S/2003 J 9 1 1.5E+12 23 857 810 752.838751 135.452 0.2762
S/2003 J 5 4 9.0E+13 23 973 925 758.341296 117.922 0.3071
Pasipha pa-sif'-a-ee 60 3.0E+17 24 094 770 764.082032 143.037 0.2953 Pasipha
Sinope si-noe'-pee 38 7.5E+16 24 214 390 769.779665 146.657 0.2468
Sponde spon'-dee 2 1.5E+13 24 252 625 771.603566 112.409 0.4432
Autonoe aw-ton'-oe-ee 4 9.0E+13 24 264 445 772.167762 129.073 0.3690
Callirrhoe ka-leer'-oe-ee 9 8.7E+14 24 356 030 776.543335 131.895 0.2644
Megaclite meg'-a-klye'-tee 5 2.1E+14 24 687 240 792.436947 143.760 0.3078
S/2003 J 2 2 1.5E+13 30 290 845 1077.018006 151.523 0.1882  ?
  • (1) Computed using the IAU-MPC Satellites Ephemeris Service (http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/NatSats/NaturalSatellites.html) value
  • (2) Source: JPL/NASA (http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Jupiter&Display=Facts)
  • (3) Source (for Themisto outward): IAU-MPC Satellites Ephemeris Service
  • (4) Computed from IAG Travaux 2001 (http://www.hnsky.org/iau-iag.htm) for Metis through Callisto, IAU-MPC Satellites Ephemeris Service orbital elements for the others

Grouping the moons

The interior groups seem natural: Amalthea's, the Galilean moons. Themisto is isolated in space. The Himalia group is "tight", spread over barely 1.4 Gm in semi-major axis and 1.6 in inclination (27.5 0.8). The eccentricities vary between 0.11 and 0.25. Carpo and S/2003 J 12 are two other isolated cases, and so is S/2003 J 2, the most exterior moon.

What is left of the outer retrograde irregular satellites of Jupiter can be grouped in three families, based on shared orbital characteristics and bearing the name of the largest member in each case. These families are clumps in semi-major axis, but also in inclination and in eccentricity. In the two plots below, Carme's group is in orange and Ananke's in yellow.

Missing image
Jupiter_sats_i_vs_a.png
Inclinations () vs semi-major axes (Mm) for the outer satellites
Missing image
Jupiter_sats_i_vs_e.png
Inclinations () vs eccentricities for the outer satellites

Carme's group is obvious, centered on a = 23 404 Mm; i = 165.20.3 and e = 0.238–0.272. Only S/2003 J 10 seems somewhat apart, because of its great eccentricity.

Ananke's group is centered on a = 21 276 Mm; i = 149.00.5 and e = 0.216–0.244; but its borders are less definite. The eight core members (S/2003 J 16, Mneme, Euanthe, Orthosie, Harpalyke, Praxidike, Thyone, Thelxinoe, Ananke, Iocaste) are well-clumped, but the attribution of the remaining eight members to the group is debatable to varying degrees.

Pasipha's group, finally, picks up the remainder, with the exception of the moons at the inner and outer limits of the groups (S/2003 J 12 and S/2003 J 2); it is centered on a = 23 624 Mm; i = 151.46.9 and e = 0.156–0.432 (note the much larger spreads). If it is real, it must be ancient to explain the dispersion of its membership.

Naming notes

Some asteroids share the same names as moons of Jupiter: 9 Metis, 38 Leda, 52 Europa, 85 Io, 113 Amalthea, 239 Adrastea, 1036 Ganymed.

Note that the satellites discovered between 1904 and 1951 (Himalia, Elara, Pasipha, Sinope, Lysithea, Carme and Ananke) were not officially named until 1975, well after their discoverers had passed away. They were simply known by their Roman numeral designations (Jupiter VI through Jupiter XII). See Naming of natural satellites.

See also

External links


Jupiter's natural satellites

edit  (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php?title=Template:Jupiter_Footer&action=edit)

Metis | Adrastea | Amalthea | Thebe | Io | Europa | Ganymede | Callisto | Themisto | Leda | Himalia | Lysithea | Elara | S/2000 J 11 | Carpo | S/2003 J 12 | Euporie | S/2003 J 3 | S/2003 J 18 | Thelxinoe | Euanthe | Helike | Orthosie | Iocaste | S/2003 J 16 | Ananke | Praxidike | Harpalyke | Hermippe | Thyone | Mneme | S/2003 J 17 | Aitne | Kale | Taygete | S/2003 J 19 | Chaldene | S/2003 J 15 | S/2003 J 10 | S/2003 J 23 | Erinome | Aoede | Kallichore | Kalyke | Eurydome | S/2003 J 14 | Pasithee | Cyllene | Eukelade | S/2003 J 4 | Hegemone | Arche | Carme | Isonoe | S/2003 J 9 | S/2003 J 5 | Pasipha | Sinope | Sponde | Autonoe | Callirrhoe | Megaclite | S/2003 J 2
Amalthea group | Galilean moons | Himalia group | Ananke group | Carme group | Pasipha group


Our Solar System
Sun | Mercury | Venus | Earth (Moon) | Mars | Asteroid belts
Jupiter | Saturn | Uranus | Neptune | Pluto | Kuiper belt | Oort cloud
See also astronomical objects and the solar system's list of objects, sorted by radius or mass
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