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How Many Moons Does Jupiter Have?

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The largest planet in the solar system is Jupiter. In recent years, when asking scientists how many moons this planet has, the answer has changed and there is a good reason for this. Jupiter is an interesting planet and one of the things that makes it so unique is the number of moons.

How Many Moons Are On Jupiter?

There are at least 67 moons that are present on this planet. All of these moons have a unique name. The largest moon in the entire solar system is named Ganymede and it is a Jupiter moon. Other well-known moons on this planet include Europa, Lo and Callisto. It was 1610 when these four large moons were first observed. They are referred to as the Galilean satellites since they were discovered by Galileo Galilei. When it comes to the smaller moons on this planet, they are believed to be asteroids that Jupiter’s strong gravity caught.

Ganymede is very large. In fact, it is bigger than both Pluto and Mercury. The surface of this moon is very icy and scientists believe that below the surface lies a salty ocean. It is large enough to be its own planet and likely would be if it orbited around the sun instead of Jupiter.

jupiters moons
Could a liquid water ocean beneath the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa have the ingredients to support life? Here’s how NASA’s mission to Europa would find out.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

How Are New Moons Confirmed?

There are many instances of scientists suspecting new moons on Jupiter, however, many of these are never officially confirmed. In order for a suspected moon to be considered confirmed, the right data must be analyzed by experts and confirmed by the governing astronomy body known as the International Astronomical Union.

You can see that the moon situation on Jupiter is a bit complex. However, you now have a general idea concerning the confirmed moons that scientists have discovered and know for a fact there are actual moons on this planet.

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