By Raven Fon
This video of Jupiter’s four most famous moons beautifully dancing through space is a captivating sight to behold, and it’s the first time we have been able to fully visualize their orbit.
“Celestial harmonic motion was captured for the first time by NASA’s Juno mission. It snapped imagery of Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io orbiting Jupiter between June 12-29, 2016 on its approach to the gas giant,” says Steve Spaleta of LiveScience.
NASA recently released a video containing images from Juno’s approach of the great planet.
Scott Bolton, Juno Principal Investigator, said these powerful words about what you are about to watch, and you can really his love for this incredible spectacle,
“For centuries we have imagined how the planets move and how the stars move and we’ve only been aided by computer animation or the efforts of Hollywood. Well tonight that’s going to change. Because Juno on its approach managed to capture a movie of Jupiter and its moons and we’re going to show that to you tonight.
“And for the first time all of us together will actually see the true harmony in nature. This is what it’s about. This is what Jupiter and its moons look like. This is what our solar system looks like if you were to move out.
“This is what the Galaxy looks like. It’s what the atoms look like. It’s harmony at every scale.”
credit: Associated Press
Here are some interesting facts about Jupiter, and its moons, from NASA:
- Jupiter has 67 moons. 53 are named, 14 are not.
- The planet Jupiter’s four largest moons are called the Galilean satellites after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who observed them in 1610.
- The four moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, are each distinctive worlds.
- Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system. Io’s surface is covered by sulfur in different colorful forms.
- Europa’s surface is mostly water ice, and there is evidence that it may be covering an ocean of water or slushy ice beneath. Europa is thought to have twice as much water as does Earth.
- Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system (larger than the planet Mercury), and is the only moon known to have its own internally generated magnetic field.
- Callisto’s surface is extremely heavily cratered and ancient — a visible record of events from the early history of the solar system.