Yesterday we learned about Jupiter’s most popular moon – Europa. Today let us learn a few Ganymede facts, which is the largest moon of the gas giant. It is one of the most interesting natural satellites of this solar system because scientists believe it has liquid salt water ocean that can harbor life. So instead of wasting time any further, let us learn some Ganymede facts, shall we?
Interesting Ganymede Facts: 1-10
1. Out of 67 moons of Jupiter, Ganymede is the largest moon and belongs to the group of 4 largest moons of the gas giant that are together known as the Galilean Moons.
2. It is not only the largest natural satellite of Jupiter but it is also the largest natural satellite of our entire solar system.
4. Ganymede is also slightly smaller than Mars. This is the reason why if Ganymede did not orbit Jupiter and instead orbited the Sun, we would have easily classified it as a full-sized planet.
5. Ganymede boasts a diameter of 5,268 kilometers and has a total mass of 1.4819 x 1023 kilograms.
6. The moon orbits the gas giant planet at a distance of 1,070,400 kilometers and takes a total time of 7 earth-days and 3 earth-hours to complete one complete orbit around its host planet.
7. This moon of Jupiter was first discovered by Galileo Galilei on 7th of January 1610. It was the same day when Galileo discovered the rest of three Galilean moons – Europa, Callisto and Io.
8. Compared to Mercury, Ganymede is 8% larger in size and compared to Earth’s moon, this natural satellite of Jupiter has twice as much mass.
9. This moon was originally named as Jupiter III by Galileo but the numeric naming system was given up in the 19th century. The name Ganymede was adopted after Johannes Kepler – a German astronomer and mathematician came up with a suggestion.
10. The name of Ganymede comes from Greek Mythology. In Greek Mythology, we have a called Zeus (who is actually a counterpart of Roman god Jupiter). It is said in Greek Mythology that Ganymede – a prince was carried to Olympus by Zeus where Ganymede became cupbearer for Olympian gods and also became a lover of Zeus.