Best of AOP - Solar System

Jupiter and the Galilean Moons

Galileo discovered the four big moons of Jupiter with his first telescope in 1610. We call them the Galilean satellites in his honor. He impressed quite a few with the discovery, since those moons clearly went around Jupiter, and most of Galileo's colleagues thought that everything went around the Earth. Since Galileo's discovery astronomers have discovered more then 60 moons, all much smaller than Galileo's four.

The big four are called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, and they are visible with nothing more than good binoculars. Io has active volcanoes, Europa (and maybe Callisto) a subterranean ocean, and Ganymede is the biggest moon in the solar system. Also, in this image, the Great Red Spot is visible on Jupiter.

Last Updated: 26-Jun-2014

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About This Image

Click on image for larger version.


Meade 16in LX200 telescope operating at f/6.3

SBIG ST7 ABG CCD camera with color filter wheel

RGB color production was used to create this image.

Maximum Entropy sharpening routine (via Maxim/DL) was performed on each color component.

Unsharp mask was applied to the final color image.

Red = 0.11 seconds binned 1x1

Green = 0.11 seconds binned 1x1

Blue = 0.2 seconds binned 1x1

Minimum credit line:  Michael Stegina/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF