Jupiter and Galilean Moons

November 10, 2010

Photographer: Philippe Moussette; Philippe’s Website
Summary Author: Philippe Moussette; Jim Foster

The photo above showing Jupiter with its Galilean moons, looking like a strand of a pearls with an agate pendant, was snapped from the Cap-Rouge Observatory in Quebec, Canada on the night of September 20, 2010. From left to right are icy Europa, eruptive Io, huge Ganymede, the largest satellite in the solar system, and heavily cratered Callisto. These moons were likely detected by sharp-eyed observers long before being “discovered” by Galileo Galilei in 1610 but, with Galileo’s improved telescope, he demonstrated that the sky was full of objects that were invisible to the naked eye. The four moons were apparently given their names by Simon Marius in 1614 although these names were not officially accepted until the 1800s.

Photo details: Takahashi FSQ 106 telescope; Canon T2i camera; de-filtered at Cap-Rouge Observatory.