Callisto, Moon Of Jupiter

Learn more about Callisto, one of Jupiter's moons.

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. It has been studied for a long time and is still considered a mystery to many astronomers. There are many moons that make Jupiter their home as they orbit this huge planet. Many astronomers study these moons as much as they study the planet itself. One of the moons that have been studied quite extensively is known as Callisto.

Callisto was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei, and is the third largest moon in the solar system. This moon is about the same size as the planet Mercury and has a diameter of about 3000 miles. The moon was named Callisto after a character in Greek mythology. Callisto was one of Zeus' many love interests. Shortly after Callisto and the other moons were named, people began to dislike the names. Instead of using their names, they were numbered. Only in the 20th century did the real names return to these moons.

Callisto is characterized by many craters in its surface. It is the most heavily cratered moon in the entire solar system. The craters seem to be the only characteristic of Callisto's surface. The moon does not have any mountains at all. This could be partly due to the fact that a layer of ice covers the entire surface of this moon. Ice is much weaker than rock, and is unable to support mountainous regions for a long time. The ice is about 200 kilometers thick, and below lays a salty ocean. The salty ocean is thought to be almost 10 kilometers deep below Callisto's surface, and was discovered after monitoring the magnetic field of the moon.

Beneath the ocean, Callisto does not have a very uniform interior and really does not vary dramatically at all. A satellite that orbited the moon suggests that the interior is simply made of compressed rock and ice. Callisto's atmosphere is made primarily of carbon dioxide, and there is very little tectonic activity on this moon. Other neighboring moons of Jupiter have plenty of movement in its surface, but Callisto is somewhat dormant and quiet.

Callisto orbits Jupiter at an average distance of 1,170,000 miles, and it takes Callisto 400.8 hours to orbit Jupiter. The position of Callisto is just outside Jupiter's radiation belt.

The moon is characterized by lights followed by dark spots on its surface. It is truly a beautiful moon that looks more like bright lights in a dark city from an aerial view. It is one of the most beautiful moons in the solar system. The light and dark spots are made possible by the deep craters that are all over the moon's icy surface. Valhalla is an impact on Callisto's surface, and is the largest impact on any surface in the entire solar system. This cratered area called Valhalla is Callisto's signature characteristic.

There are many moons in the solar system, but Callisto is one of the largest moons. It is a beautiful heavenly body that is characterized by bright lights and dark spots. Callisto is quite inactive, but continues to orbit Jupiter as one of the many moons that have made Jupiter their home.

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